Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bugscaping Practiced Here

We like to encourage our friends to do our work for us here at The Funny Farm so we provide them with food and drink as an incentive to help us out. That's why we practice Bugscaping!. We grow specific plants to attract beneficial insects to do battle with the evil pestilence that comes out of nowhere to devastate our crops and piss us off. We're talking about flowering plants, particularly those whose flowers are in the form of umbels (you know shaped like an umbrella). Okay who has umbels? Dill, yarrow, queen anne's lace are some who do.  We want flowers with lots of nectar for the beneficials to feed on easily. Other good ones are goldenrod in the late summer (not an umbel), garlic chives, cilantro as it transforms itself into coriander. The key is to grow lots of different flowers and have something blooming in all seasons. We grow greens through the winter here in Georgia so in early spring we let some of the kale and mustard go to seed to feed the early appearing beneficials. We adapted this from Dr. Richard McDonald's farmscaping concept, scaling it down to garden size. He has a crazy but informative web site that explains the concept in detail and has lists of good plants to grow.
Whom do we want to invite to join our army? Wasps, flies, lacewings, beetles, bees, lightening bugs ( that's right they are predators too). And don't forget the birds. They eat lots of insects like beetles and worms. When we gardened in the city there were lots of mockingbirds around. I once saw one pluck a tomato worm right off a tomato and swallow it down. How cool is that? Birds need bushes and houses for nesting sites so keep some areas wild for them.
Who needs chemicals when there is a huge army out there just waiting to enlist in our army. Fight bugs not people!
Oh yea, the Nanking cherries are ripe. Yum!


Robbyn said...

Excellent! I checked out Richard McDonald's site, and it's wonderful...thanks for sharing!! I liked seeing some of his pics broken down by season, and it's really what we dream of doing when we have a patch of dirt ...

lisa said...

Hi! I'm Lisa Todd. I am happy to have found your blog :) I frequent the new Urban Gardener quite a bit now having it so close to my place; I've gotten so much helpful information there with organically treating my plants.

I love what you guys are doing, and as I have recently been seriously considering starting a small farm of my own oneday, if you guys ever need any volunteered help at your farm, I'd love to learn a thing or two!

Cheers and looking forward to reading more!