Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A new addition to my "Monsanto sucks, Michelle Obama rocks!" organic garden - LADYBUGS!

My little "Monsanto sucks, Michelle Obama rocks!" organic veggie patch is doing quite well. The green beans, carrots, zucchini, salad mix, and cilantro are all up and growing fast. However, this year I purchased my tomato seedlings from the organic Green Meadows Farm instead of the conventional garden center where I usually purchase my annual flowers. And, like is typical with organic farms, the seedlings had some unwanted hitchhikers. These aphids and grasshoppers quickly moved on to the tasty new leaf-growth of the green beans and the munching commenced.

Instead of spraying even with an organic cod liver oil or soap I decided to buy ladybugs. Yes, you can mail-order lady bugs. There's nothing better than a ladybug to eat an aphid. I ordered 4,500. Seems like a lot, but the info on said that was for a "small garden" of about 2,500 square feet, which is about the size of my tiny back yard. So I clicked "add to cart" and they were on the way!

Upon arriving at home this evening there they were, literally sitting a top my mail box, Yay!

Notice the "KEEP OUT OF SUN/HEAT" on the box. My mail man is a nice guy but he's lucky it was a cloudy day since my mail box faces west. I would have had fried ladybugs. When I opened the box they were just fine, hanging out in their little cloth sack:

I also ordered three praying mantid egg cases which I put straight into a mason jar to watch the hatching action. They're for targeting the larger grasshoppers, but don't worry, they generally don't eat lady bugs. Once out I'll release them into the garden too, but they're safer inside, warm and dry for now and freaking my husband out (which I find hilarious!):

The lady bug info sheet said to release them in the cool of the evening and over a few days, so I went to work, sprinkling them on my carrot seedlings:

My green beans:

And around the base of my brandywine heirloom tomato seedlings waiting to be planted in the back row since we have one more coat of paint to put on the garage and I fear them getting stepped on:

And then I sprinkled some on the flower garden for good luck:

Hopefully the little guys are enjoying their first night in my organic patch of earth and eating their fill! Looking forward to releasing the rest tomorrow!


  1. They all look so happy. I have been seeing ladybugs here for the last week so I guess my plants are safe again this year. Haven't seen any praying mantis yet but they should start showing up soon.
    The garden is looking goood.

  2. Keep us posted on your progress. I would have no problem with the ladybugs but my granddaughter would freak out. She has a bug phobia. Panics at the sight of an ant. She is only three - imagine her her at 21. I sure hope it improves.

  3. SQ: you are lucky you get praying mantids in your garden all on their own! I've only ever seen one in the "wild" ever!

    Rae: my husband and your granddaughter should hang out and be freaked out by bugs together. worms are worse, screams like a girl!

  4. Your garden is BEAUTIFUL!! And I really appreciate that you're not using any pesticides ... even the organic kind. I'm a firm believer in natural methods, like lady bugs ... failing that ... I'll use repelents like marigolds to ward off little munchers.

    BTW ... thank you, so much, for supporting Reduce Footprints' new green challenge. I just think that if we all do the same green thing, during the same week, we could have a huge impact ... and perhaps change the world.

    Take Care!

    Small Footprints

  5. Oh ... I hadn't seen the sidebar ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! :)


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