Gardening with Romke: Give all insects a warm welcome

We tend to call anything that small, crawl or fly an insect. this is not true. Insects belong to the enormous group of arthropods, which are animals that have joints in their legs. Arthropods are by far the largest tribe in the animal kingdom. Some live temporarily underground, others can be found permanently below or above ground level. All arthropods are visible to the naked eye, although a magnifying glass is useful for viewing some.

Anyone who has had grape bushes in the garden knows grape felt mite: You’ll see red bumps on the leaf and if you turn it over, you’ll see a white layer of fungus. You don’t have to fight that feeling of moth fanatically because it has no effect on the grape yield. But if you are one of the obsessive fighters, remove the infested leaf.

Another well-known mite is the blackberry gal mite. This mite causes some blackberries to only partially ripen; Some fruit kernels remain red. The result is a sour blackberry. What can you do about this blackberry pest? Remove all fallen blackberry leaves in the fall. stand on it.

scarlet red dots

Unlike pest mites, there are many beneficial mites in our view. It might bring those days when it suddenly feels like summer. Look at the ground on such a warm spring day and you will see hundreds of crimson red dots. Those are velvet mites. They are useful animals. They mainly eat spider mites and aphids. Velvet mites are among the few species of mites that appear regularly in the garden, perhaps because their bright color makes them immediately noticeable.

The sex life of velvet mites is uncomplicated because the male of velvet mites is unknown. Females reproduce asexually. This mite is a formidable hunter of aphids, thrips and other insect pests, which is why efforts have been made to breed velvet mites for years. This is not easy, because velvet mites enthusiastically eat their congeners in the laboratory. But in the wild they give each other life. Other predatory mites have already begun to be used against pretty much all kinds of pests. You can buy a jar of predatory moths at any garden center.

snail fighter

Mites are related to spiders. Like spiders, they have eight legs. Real insects, like wasps, have six legs. When we think of wasps, we immediately think of lemon wasps, which live in large colonies. However, most wasps do not live in colonies but rather live in isolation. By the way, lemon wasps are not without use. They hunt flies and aphids all year round. Only in late summer do they become vegetarians and develop a great love for sweets.

Digger wasps appear regularly in gardens. Digger hornets got their name from the fact that they dig a hole for each future young man. They do not kill their prey but rather paralyze it, drag it into their burrow and lay their eggs on it. That prey could be anything. There are locust killers, spider killers, insect killers, beetle killers and many more. Not so long ago, the eggs of parasitic wasps were found on the caterpillars of the oak procession caterpillar.

Beetles make up 40% of all insects. 350 million species have been discovered so far. They are everywhere: in the ground, in the air, in trees, in ponds, ditches and rivers. Some beetles eat dead plants, some live plants, some dead animals, and other live animals. Still others eat fungi. Many beetles do a useful job in the garden. They clean aphids and kill snails. In particular, the schallebiter, a large black beetle that occurs in every garden, is a formidable fighter of slugs.

lovable insects

However, it is not the beneficial beetles that receive the most attention. It comes out mainly to harmful beetles: the lily beetle that lives on the leaves and buds of lilies, the alder beetle that does the same to the alder, the yew beetle that lives not only on yew but also on all kinds of perennials, the Colorado potato beetle – the horror of growers Potatoes – and kokafir that can destroy the entire lawn.

When we think of insects, we primarily think of beautiful or beneficial insects. For bees, honeybees and butterflies. How we can attract them to our gardens is now known. But the insect world consists of much more than a few lovable insects. Each animal has its role in the garden. Take a link out of the loop and everything falls apart. Without aphids, the ladybird would die of starvation. No peacock eye without a caterpillar.

Gardeners should try to please all insects, not just those that are fun or attractive. What do you have to do for this? Nothing – you just have to give up everything. Do not use fertilizers or pesticides. Don’t view gardening as a struggle, but try to enjoy everything that lives in the garden, besides the plants.

Beetles keep aphids and snails under control

Many balcony fences have bars. Use it as a handy handle for annual climbing plants, such as climbing moss. You can still plant them in May, but you can also buy them as a potted flowering plant. Bean runner also does well on the balcony. Their orange-red flowers are not inferior to the flowers of many ornamental plants.

The rose always sold is the “Wedding Day”. It is a beautiful rose, but it blooms only for a short time. The name is genius. Another plant that will always sell due to its name is Jasmine’s “Silver Jubilee”.

Classic Container Plants Oleander and citrus trees should be brought indoors each fall. This causes a lot of headaches. You can replace container plants with sweet peppers, eggplant, and hot peppers – at least as beautiful as oleander and much less toxic. No more dragging and no need to panic when the night frost threatens. You eat the harvest, throw the plants away and put the empty flower pots upside down under a roof.

Bumblebees have short tongues and cannot reach the nectar in the narrow tapered foxglove flower. But this does not stop her. They simply bite a hole in the base of the flower tube.

summer lanterns Like dahlias, cannas and gladioli are sown in May. In the fall, you have to dig up the bulbs again to allow them to clear out the frost. Sometimes you forget where you planted it. There is a solution: Purchase aquatic plant baskets for water lilies at the garden center. Fill the basket with summer bulbs and plant the bulbs in the basket and all, they are easy to carry and you can let them spend the winter in the basket.

In May, you can grow old grower begonia, Begonia x bertinii, in window boxes, pots, and hanging baskets. Densely laden flower stalks droop gracefully, so put the pot on a pedestal. You can buy this tuberous begonia in different colors. In winter you can store the tubers dry and free from frost.

bumblebee They are social insects. They constitute a country with a strict division of labor between the birth of queens, the toiling workers, and the stumbling males. In an ordinary garden, you will come across six species: field bees, stone bumblebees, ground bumblebees, meadow bees, bumblebees, and of course garden bees.

In the spring, the queens, who have already conceived in the winter, come out. You can recognize them by their thick bodies with which they fly zigzag low above the ground. They are looking for food and a good nesting place. Once found, the queen begins storing the nectar in wax pots. Then lay the eggs and keep them warm for a week until they hatch. Now she has to search for food on her own, so that the larvae develop into a worker.

This is not easy, because the first queens fly in March, when there is still little flowering. If you want to help bumblebees, plant early bloomers like violets and crocuses pulmonary.

New queens and males are bred in July and August. These fly to mate. Many people think that queens are fertilized during the wedding journey, but the reality is less romantic. Fertilization takes place only after landing again.

In the fall, a newly fertilized bumblebee queen bee searches for a place to hibernate, usually in the ground. The rest of the people die.

tree peony They are woody peonies. In winter, they are not beautiful with their bare branches, but everything is compensated in May when they are in bloom. Tree peonies love the sun. There are two exceptions: Paeonia lutea with yellow flowers and Paeonia delavyi with chestnut red flowers.

pond water It is often overcast in the spring. There are secret weapons against it. Buy half an ounce of daphnia from an aquarium and throw it into the pond. After a week the water is clear. The water soldier, a floating aquatic plant, also provides clear water quickly.

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