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Beneficial Insects In The Garden (part 2)
Beneficial Insects In The Garden (part 2)

Video: Beneficial Insects In The Garden (part 2)

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: Beneficial Insects PART 2! *Webinar Series* 2023, February
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Read the first part of the article Beneficial insects in the garden

How to use biological methods of plant protection

Lacewing
Lacewing

Lacewing

It is necessary to protect the moist and shady habitats of insects and plant growth areas, which are suitable for laying eggs of entomophages, protected from the sun.

They can be located both on the personal plot and on the lands adjacent to it. Chemical methods of protection must not be used in these places. For example, lacewings (their voracious larvae are called aphid lions) often choose thickets of ferns and evergreen shrubs for laying eggs. Ladybugs often mate on white and yellow flowers: tansy, chamomile (poplar), yarrow. Spiders and ground beetles prefer to live and lay their eggs in tall grass under hedge bushes, from where they make hunting forays into garden beds at night.

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It is necessary to take care of creating hedges with nectar-bearing plants selected in them. A variety of insects live in hedges: both harmful and useful. Entomophages eat phytophages and thereby prevent them from multiplying uncontrollably, but at the same time they never completely destroy them, maintaining their nutrition and, accordingly, their numbers. If mass reproduction of pests suddenly begins in the garden, then entomophages move to cultivated plants and help the gardener to cope with the "invasion". In this case, the sequence of events that is characteristic of a garden without a hedge is disrupted. If there is no hedge, then in the year favorable for the reproduction of pests, the number of pests will first increase.

In places of accumulation of multiplied pests, entomophages appear only during the flight of their adults. The abundance of food leads to a sharp increase in the number of entomophages, but there is a certain delay in the reproduction of entomophages compared to the reproduction of phytophages for the time it takes for predatory larvae and adult insects to develop from eggs laid by entomophages. This usually takes 2-3 weeks. Hedges deprive phytophages of 2-3 weeks of the advantage of uncontrolled reproduction and are thus a natural buffer that promotes a biological balance between beneficial insects and pests. In hedges, no chemical protection methods are used.

Aphid-eating ladybug larva
Aphid-eating ladybug larva

Aphid-

eating ladybug larva

The spirea hedge is quite decorative, unpretentious, tolerates a haircut well and became fashionable in the 50s of the last century. Spireas have a wide variety in the shape and size of the bushes, the time and duration of flowering, the color of flowers and the shape of the inflorescences. At the moment, the fact that, being good honey plants, spireas attract many adult individuals of entomophages, is completely forgotten. They are especially loved by riders. Many species of riders feed and mate on their flowers. This is what brought such popularity to spirea hedges at one time. The flowering of spring species of spirea is early, short, but friendly. The flowering of summer species is the same massive, but longer.

Of all types of spirea, willow spirea is the most beloved by riders, which is a late-flowering species and is distinguished by long, gradual flowering. In our region, willow spirea bushes begin to bloom in early July, and the last wave of their flowering ends in late September. Regardless of the weather conditions of the year, which can delay the flight time of the imago, insects always find nectar from it and "remember" the feeding place. The creation of a spirea hedge is one of the effective methods of biological protection of the garden.

Hover fly
Hover fly

Hover fly

Creating a mixed coniferous-deciduous hedge is not an easy creative process. Ephedra (thuja, spruce) are the skeletal elements of such a fence. Sealing elements can be decorative flowering apple trees, hawthorns, spireas. All of these plants can be cut well and can be used to make something beautiful. Elderberry (common and black), low maples (Ginnala, Tatar, etc.), low-growing varieties of mountain ash (Burka, Titan) are good as "podzabornye" plants.

Adding decorative apple trees, hawthorn, spirea to a mixed hedge, we pursue two goals. Firstly, the beautiful flowering and bright fruits of these plants increase the decorative effect of the hedge, and secondly, phytophages "love" apple trees and hawthorns. Spirea bushes attract imago entomophages during flowering. Females of wasps, after feeding spirea flowers with nectar and breeding near feeding places, lay eggs in hedges in the habitats of phytophages. This creates conditions for a biological balance that helps the garden in case of epizootic growth of pests.

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Persian lilac
Persian lilac

Persian lilac

There are two more plants that can either be present in a hedge or solo in the interior of your garden. This is a Persian lilac, which is distinguished by abundant flowering. She is an excellent honey plant and is loved by many insects. For some reason, it is found in our gardens less and less. And one more lilac - crackle, similar to lilac only with its leaves. Its bush "resembles" a Persian lilac bush and by the age of 30 it is a stately beautiful multi-stemmed tree 10-12 meters high. This lilac has three types: Amur cracker lilac, Chinese cracker lilac and Japanese cracker lilac. All three species grow in the Northwest. In the 50s of the last century, it was quite popular, but now it is undeservedly practically forgotten.

It blooms three weeks later than common lilac. Its abundant flowering continues for almost a month. Small white or slightly creamy flowers with a strong honey aroma (not like the smell of ordinary lilac flowers) have far protruding stamens and are collected on short pedicels in large paniculate inflorescences up to 25 cm long. The flowering panicle, due to the long stamens of the flowers, does not look like the flowers of common lilac. Japanese cracker lilac has the largest inflorescences (30x18 cm). During flowering, the strong honey aroma of this large shrub spreads over long distances and attracts many insects. Like Volzhanka, flowering brushes of cod lilacs are always successful with entomophages.

Japanese spirea in the garden
Japanese spirea in the garden

Japanese spirea in the garden

Hedges with beautifully flowering bushes attract another type of insect to the garden - pollinators. The more pollinators visit your garden, the higher the yields of berries, fruits and vegetables. A garden of continuous flowering, created on the basis of nectar-bearing plants, helps to achieve a natural balance between the number of "beneficial" and "harmful" insects. Often, pesticides are used against pests in gardens, which sharply reduce the beneficial activity of entomophages. All treatments with pesticides, if you really can't "live" without them, should be carried out before the garden blooms. This strategy leads to the accumulation of beneficial insects in the garden from year to year and contributes to the creation of a biological balance.

In my garden I have been adhering to the stated concept for over 30 years. Hazel trees are planted along the northwest border of my site, and on the east side there are Ginnal maples and honeysuckle. They provide pollen to early emerging entomophages. From the southeast side, the site is framed by a hedge of willow spirea. I don't use insecticides.

The pollen of plants flowering in the garden and meadow grass along the ditches and the land adjacent to the plot provide insects with a food base throughout the summer. This strategy leads to the accumulation of beneficial insects in the garden from year to year and contributes to the creation of a biological balance.

Larisa Semyonova, member of the gardeners section of the House of Scientists. Gorky

Photo by Olga Rubtsova and E. Valentinov

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