When I started my garden this year I knew I would have to keep an eye on my leafy veggies. Without close observation they can be decimated by a little pests that are hard to see. Organic gardening requires diligence, but there are resources to help fight the pests. Ladybugs are one such example.
Ladybugs are beetles that are beneficial to any garden. They will munch on aphids, mites, scales, and whiteflies, all of which are annoying in your garden. You can actually order them in the mail to get a jump start on your yard.
I recently ordered 4,500 of the little ladies, and gents, from Planet Natural. They have great instructions on how to release them into your garden to minimize mortality and they provide tips on how to keep them from flying away.
When the box arrived on my doorstep it was in the afternoon, which is not a good time to release them. So, as instructed, I put them in the refrigerator until it was time.
The next morning I made sure my lawn and garden had plenty of water. The grass still had the morning dew but I watered a few of the vegetables. Then I took the cloth bag out of the box and opened it near the food source. At first, they were a little hesitant, maybe lethargic from the chill of the refrigerator.
Then they started pouring out of the bag. I moved it to several different locations in my garden to ensure the little ladies and gents had enough food and water.
They were very thirsty after their long journey. I found several of them sucking on water droplets.
I wanted them to stick around my yard so prior to the release I made sure they had places to live. They need holes and other hollow spaces to nest in. I have several fireplace logs that are rotting in my back yard so I stacked them in a quiet corner near the garden. I also made a few habitats similar to this to put around the yard. They love daisies, yarrow, and tansy and frequent gardens that have these plants so I made sure I planted these flowers as well.
I have always loved ladybugs as my garden shoes would indicate. I remember as a child picking them up and letting them crawl all over my arms. It's fun to see them in my yard because I know they are hard at work. They are my little organic garden warriors!