Caught In The Act

wasp.pngHow do you control grubs on your tomatoes without poisoning yourself at the same time?

How do you stop grubs eating all of your cabbages before you get a chance to?

Now, I’ve been caught in the act! Well, not me … it’s the wasp that does my organic pest control that’s actually been caught in the act. Here’s a photo of how he does it.Organic veggie gardening can be full of frustrations as well as joys. I’ve noticed lately that my garden has been full of cabbage white butterflies trying to take out my harvest, laying their eggs everywhere, hatching those rotten green grubs on my broccoli. But careful planning and companion planting in the beginning are also paying off. Along with the butterflies, I’ve also noticed a stack of wasps busy doing their stuff.

I was lucky enough to catch this one in the act the other day so I quickly grabbed my camera. These parasitic wasps will control an infestation of grubs in your garden in no time. Different species prey on different pests and they work on keeping their hosts alive in order to feed their own young. They often lay their eggs into a grub and the wasp larvae feed on it’s body tissue until it bursts into adulthood.

You might get a bit of damage to your crops initially but within a couple of weeks you’ll be hard pressed to find any trace of those grubs.

I very rarely use even organic pesticides because they upset the natural ecological balance in the garden. If you are patient enough to wait for nature’s predators and prepared to tolerate a little damage, then you’re on a winner. Bug free, pesticide free, yummy home grown veggies!

Don’t be afraid of wasps in the garden. If you treat them with respect they will do the same for you. I’ve only ever been stung once and that was when I inadvertently pruned a branch holding a nest underneath a leaf that I didn’t see. Even then it was not that the wasps had fatalistically swarmed against me, no, it was when the leaf got caught between my calf and my thigh as I knelt down to pick up the prunings – I had squashed it as I knelt down. Wouldn’t you fight back if you were about to be sat on by a 10 tonne elephant. Not that I’d call myself a 10 tonne elephant, but comparatively, I was pretty big!

Attract wasps into the garden with plenty of flowers. I use cosmos, alyssum, zinnia, coriander gone to seed, lavender and borage.

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