One thing I decided from the beginning when we started our garden was that I didn’t want to use any chemical pesticides. I’ve been very diligent about not using chemicals in the home so why would I use them in the garden? Especially on plants we grow to eat.
So when I started to see little aphids I quickly went in search of a solution. And happily found out that ladybugs were the answer! How awesome is that?
My lettuce, celery, broccoli, and various other veggies and fruit (gotta remember those strawberries!) needed some protection so we headed out to find us some ladybugs. My mother-in-law let me know that Ace Hardware sold ladybugs so we quickly headed over and picked some up after a tasty lunch at Slater’s 50/50.
Ladybugs are great at keeping pests out of your garden. A few pests they take care of are:
- Broccoli Worm
- Tomato Hornworm
- Cabbage Moth
If you have signs of any of these pests you might want to consider picking up some ladybugs at your local gardening store (or Ace Hardware) to release in your garden. To find out more about using ladybugs to keep pests at bay check out this awesome website all about ladybugs, Everything Ladybug!
The helpful staff at Ace gave me a few tips on releasing the ladybugs into the garden:
1. Wet the garden bed. Ladybugs love moisture. If you want them to stay in your garden and not move onto the next you really don’t want to skip this step.
2. Open up the container and let the ladybugs start to crawl up and out.
3. Let your three year old shake the container over all parts of the garden. You don’t want all of the ladybugs in one area. (The three year old isn’t necessary but makes a fun adventure!)
4. Watch as the ladybugs wake up and start moving. The ladybugs might take a few minutes to perk up but soon they’ll start crawling all over and exploring your garden. A good amount of the ladybugs will leave to other gardens but a surprising amount stay.
Watch the little guys for a bit at your child’s level. You’ll be amazed at the sheer joy your little ones find in this activity!
5. Continue to mist the garden with the lady bugs twice a day. Just enough to make sure that the dirt and plants are moist and the ladybugs have water to drink.
You can also mist the garden with a 1:1 ratio of sugar based soda to water. This will make the ladybug’s wings sticky and will allow them to explore your garden instead of flying away. This solution works for about a week and then wears off.