Balance is everything in a garden.
|Praying Mantis-beneficial predator|
I believe in sharing a little food with the wild creatures. I don't mind feeding a few pests. After all they are just trying to survive on this earth. A lost fruit, some damaged leaves, and a devoured brassica is not going to break my garden. I am willing to make some small sacrifices. Nevertheless, there have been times in which the squash bugs were too many and the aphids were too thick for the plants to survive. And such desperate times called for desperate measures.
|Squash Bug Nymphs-Pest|
|Tomato Horn Worm-Pest|
Squashing insects can be a little gross. But crushing their eggs is an easier task to stomach. Pest eggs are almost always on the bottom sides of the leaves. Most eggs that you find on a leaf where laid there because that leaf is the larva's food. Why else would the parent insects lay the egg there? One of the easiest ways to deal with squash bugs is to look for their tiny brown egg clusters on the undersides of the squash leaves. Similarly, caterpillars eggs, like the cabbage whites, are easily destroyed. These eggs are little cream colored cones. But even if you don't know the individual insects eggs, if there are clusters of eggs on the undersides of your leaves, those insects are probably there because they want to eat that leaf.
|Lady bug Nymph-beneficial predator|
More than anything, spend a lot of time in your garden. Listen to the plants, watch how they grow, thrive, and even die. No garden is the best it will be the first year. Gardens, like the plants within them, grow and mature.
|Bumble Bee on Anise Hyssop-beneficial pollinator|