The Katy apricot tree has one branch under seige. It's almost white with aphids. I thought I would have to resort to my favorite remedy for big aphid infestations, an oil spray. Then I went out to look at the branch this morning, and
It's a buffet for lady beetles. They have big aphid appetites, only surpassed by their larvae's appetite. Natural pest control, managing pests with their own enemies, rather than me imposing a solution.
I'm not certain that I can let the ladybugs handle all of the aphids -- it's a really big infestation. Instead of spraying with oil, though, I'll probably use my hands to brush as many aphids off as I easily can.
As my garden becomes more and more balanced, though, I should see fewer big swings in the pendulum like this. Instead, there will be smaller pest attacks, balanced with predators. In this way, the plants only sustain the damage they can manage.
And if I keep my hands to myself as much as possible, there may be even more beneficial predators soon.
The Garden in May 2013
12 hours ago