Here’s a quick list of what needs to get done in your garden in October:
Mums come in a variety of colors: white, yellow, gold, bronze, red, burgundy, lavender, pink and purple. Many treat their mums as annuals, using them to decorate their yard for fall, or planting in their container gardens.
If you’d like to plant your garden mums, and overwinter them, follow these steps:
Choose an area in your yard that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day
Choose an area with well-drained soil
Take them out of their pot, even when they are in fiber pots and lightly break up the roots
Plant them about 1 inch deeper than the original nursery pot
Remember to water, and water at the base of the plant, not over the top of the plant
After your mums have browned, cut them back about 4-6” above the ground, and mulch the base with 4” of mulch, leaves, straw, or pine needles
Remember where you planted them come spring so you don’t mistake them for a weed, and pull them up
Lady Bug and Green Lacewing Eggs
Effective Organic Pest Control
*PLEASE NOTE – DO NOT TREAT PLANTS WITH BOTH LIVE LADY BUGS OR GREEN LACEWING EGGS AND INSECTICIDES!
Always keep used container of Lady Bugs/Green Lacewing eggs out of direct sunlight and as cool as possible. Best if kept in a refrigerated at 35-40 degrees as they will hibernate at this temperature.
Directions for releasing Lady Bugs: water garden area before releasing bugs. Since lady Bugs do not fly at night it is best to release them after sundown, if not they will immediately fly away. Shake them out of container at the base of the plants that have aphids as the bugs will crawl up. Release 1/3 the first night, another 1/3 two nights later and the last 1/3 two nights after that. Always keep unused bugs in refrigerator to keep them dormant. As long as the lady Bugs have a food source they will stay but once the food – your aphids are gone so are the lady Bugs.
GREEN LACEWING EGGS
Green Lacewings are predators of many species of pest insects and mites. These attractive, pale green insects are an effective natural enemy of aphids, mites, whiteflies, mealbugs, leafhoppers trips, and all types of moth and butterfly eggs and caterpillars.
Lacewing adults are ½ to ¾ inch long. They have transparent, pale green wings and bright metallic gold eyes (also known as “Golden Eyes”). Adult Lacewings are not themselves predaceous (predatory insect), but feed on honeydew, nectar and pollen. They lay tiny pale green eggs on hair like stalks attached to the underside of leaves. In several days the lacewing larvae hatch. These larvae are the active searchers, immediately beginning to move over the plant in search of food. Because they are such voracious aphid eaters, consuming as many as 1,000 aphids each day, they are called “Aphid Lions”. They also devour a great deal of other insects. Do not feel discouraged because you have difficulty locating the Lacewings once they are released, the larvae are very secretive and do most of their foraging at night when water is available.
Directions for releasing Green Lacewing eggs: you will receive the Lacewings as dormant eggs and ready for hatching. Once they hatch they are HUNGRY! Using the whole container since they will be ready to hatch once warmed up, sprinkle them around your trees and plants. If placing in trees you can place a small amount in small paper cups and staple them to the leaves. The Lacewing will crawl out and up into the tree (or plant). The larvae will feed and devour everything in sight for about 3 weeks, then they will roll up into a little white pupae and emerge as an adult in about 1 week ready to lay eggs and start all over again! Yea!
Recommendations: WATER WASHING: in the event your plants are already heavily infested with aphids or other harmful insects, it is advisable to “water wash” your plants first. This involves spraying the plants with a strong stream of water, thus knocking most of the insects to the ground. The Lacewing larvae will establish themselves more quickly and prevent further re-infestations.