Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sacrificial Plants

Today I will be talking about "sacrificial plants".  What this means is growing plants for the purpose of attracting the bad bugs, which keeps them away from your veggies.  Alternatively you could grow plants to attract more beneficial bugs to your garden. We try to do both.  In this case there were 2 large mullen plants that were volunteers, which means came up with out being intentionally planted.  These plants came up on each end in front of our strawberry patch and looked nice so we decided to leave them.  We found later that several weevils that we identified as plum curculio, were infesting one of these plants.  These weevils have a large proboscis and use it to suck juices out of plants.  The mullen kept them happy and out of our strawberries, but because the population was growing I decided to do some preventative maintenance and vacuum up these  weevils with a shop vac.  In the bottom of the vac we put a little soapy water to drown the weevils.  Because the mullen is soft and supple it was a little difficult to vacuum the weevils as the leaves would get sucked up, but with a little persistence and patience the weevil population was back under control.

Mullen with weevil infestation

Vacuuming the weevils

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