Monday, May 5, 2008

Herbal Pest Control

Several years ago I bought 2 Don Juan climbing roses. I had avoided roses for years due to their need for much more attention than I was willing to give them. A regimen of spraying, fertilizing, pruning etc. The Don Juan roses were not as finicky, so I tried them out. The first year wasn't so bad, producing big, dark red roses which I trained on a post fence. The next year, by the end of April, beginning of May, the plants started dropping their leaves, leaving only the branches, which still produced a fair amount of flowers but looked terrible. I vowed to do better the next year, and sprayed in early march, fertilized but soon forgot about my promise to the roses. Same thing happened so that fall I cut them to the ground, and continued to do so the next year, not allowing them to grow very high throughout the summer. This year, I wanted to be able to use the roses in my bath and body products, so I didn't want to spray them. I looked at them a couple of weeks ago, and they were already covered with aphids, so I started looking for a "green" way to control the aphids.

According to an article in this months Organic Gardening Magazine attracting Lacewings to your garden will provide pest patrol for aphids. Each lacewing devours hundreds of the little pests causing damage to your plants. How to get those aphids to your garden? Plant catnip in your beds around plants where aphids lurk. Studies have shown, that the chemical in catnip mimics a pheromone emitted from the male lacewing to attract female lacewings. Other studies have also show that carrot family herbs suck as angelica, dill, and cilantro also attract lacewings. So be sure and add these herbs to your garden this year.


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