Back at it and what a class to start off the year.
Dr. Ken Fry was the morning speaker. Ken luvs bugs. He gave a great presentation about managing pests in the garden. More importantly he talked about good bugs and that you have to know about insect life cycles in order to know what to look for and when to look for insect problems in your garden. He’s a big fan of smart integrated insect management and biological control of insect pests that might be bugging your plants. His philosophy is nicely summed up as ‘no harm, no foul’ as opposed to ‘see bug, kill bug’.
In Zone 3 here on the prairies, we have a nice selection of critters that might cause problems. Luckily they are no where near as big and threatening as bugs from warmer climes. But they can still do damage. Balcony gardeners are not immune from pests but we have an advantage over our ground dwelling gardening colleagues. Bagged container soil is clean and sterile and depending on how high your balcony is, the number of bug visitors decreases. It’s easier to hand pick bugs off container plants and customize your response to an insect attack by moving and isolating problem plants. It would be interesting to test how high up you need to be before aphids disappear from a balcony garden…
The activity of the day was a matching game – damage to culprit. And Ken brought along his bug collection, including larvae in little jars, which was pretty cool.