Ligaya Gardening Tips #1 Bug bait

We often get asked for gardening tips, so have decided to do a weekly post describing things we do to keep our garden going well with bugger all effort. I’ll collate them on this page. Here’s this week’s… Vegetable plants can be very useful even after we’ve eaten the good bits. Letting them go to flower and seed is an excellent way to lure pest insects and concentrate them in one place for easy elimination. The beautiful Pak Choy flowers in the pic above are a deadly lure for for the little pests in the pic below… All I need to do is pinch off the flowering stem with the bugs on and feed them to the chooks. That said… my preferred option would have been to take it a step further and use the aphids to attract lacewings and ladybugs but there’s not a lot around at this very moment. Some weeds such as Sow Thistle, which is around

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It’s that time again! 

Two days ago, our Snake beans were right as rain. I went out this morning and they were full of holes! The culprit? These little green looper caterpillars. I don’t know their real name, I’ve heard many, usually associated with swearing. I’m lucky that the crop is young, so I can get on top of it with the time honoured ‘squishy-squishy’ method of thumb and forefinger.  As the beans are in the aquaponics, I can’t use any other method. Poisons and pesticides are right out. I may try a sprinkle of diatomecious earth. Maybe that will irritate the buggers! When does a bug become a pest? Right now! 

Pear Slugs, not Peach Slugs! 

I made a little video this morning about our infestation of Pear Slugs.  These voracious little blobs of goo have been tucking into our Pear tree while I’ve been distracted with other things. A good dose of diatomaceous earth has fixed them. The post title alludes to the fact that all day, while discussing them on our social media sites, I’ve been incorrectly calling them ‘Peach Slugs’ so I’m a little embarrassed! 

Something strange over the garden 

After the success of the plastic Owl in the backyard, I decided to go one step further and grab us a flying one.  These are quite a clever design, essentially they’re a plastic Owl head on a windsock with wings that stretch a metre wide.  I’ve installed it on a 4 metre length of electrical conduit but need something a bit more rigid. After it was installed, we had some very strong winds and the conduit swayed way too much.  To test it, I installed it near the chook run and they all huddled in a corner making alarm sounds. Sorry girls!  Then I placed it in where it was in full view of the bunnies and they promptly moved to the back of their cage. Sorry again!  So we know it scares critters, now to get some steel and make it a permanent fixture to scare mice and pest birds away.  Who knows, it might attract some Owls… 

Mamma bird is back

Mother Blackbird had so much success raising her first batch of babies by our front door that she’s laid a second batch. It’s really encouraging when critters feel safe enough in our garden to raise families.  There was a lot of conflict with blackbirds at first, but we’ve fortified everything and sometimes leave mealworms and bugs for them to eat, so it’s an easy truce at the moment. I hope it’s remembered next year! 

Top Predator

It’s good to see a predator in the garden! Predstors such as this centipede indicate that there’s a good population of things for it to eat. That means bugs and often the very bugs that eat your veggies! So if you see one of these fellas when you move something or dig in the mulch, don’t squish it, let it go and it will help you out for the rest of its life…

Bugs love Chinese cabbage too!

In my straw bale bed the bugs love the chinese cabbage (i think its Wongbok) but leave the lettuce, silver beet and kale alone.
Months later…I’ve found that the bugs generally like European vegetables over Asian. I know this contradicts the post above, but it’s all a learning experience