We like to keep it green at Giving Tree. We’re not crazy about pesticides and chemical sprays for plants that do more harm than good. Whenever we have the opportunity we look for ways to stay organic and grow our plants as naturally as possible. Recently we received a shipment of some special friends: Ladybugs!
Ladybugs, or ladybeetles, are celebrities in the gardening world. Due to their voracious appetite for aphids and other harmful, soft-bodied bugs, they act as an excellent pest deterrent. When we started thinking about how to prevent invasive species from getting near our plants we knew right away we wanted to utilize these little crimefighters. A single ladybug can consume thousands of aphids during its lifetime! In Hebrew, Dutch, French, and Russian, ladybugs are referred to as a “Moses Cow” or “God’s little cow”. Because ladybugs are bred and “domesticated” for use with agriculture, they are often fondly associated through language with other domestic farm animals like cows, horses, and sheep.
When ladybugs are ordered in a shipment, they are usually refrigerated to keep from getting too active during transport. We thought they would arrive sluggish and might need some warming up, but as soon as we started placing them next to the plants they went right to work! They prefer to camp out on the shady underside of the leaves and stalks instead of the flowers. We made sure they had enough water, took a few picture, then left them alone to work their magic.
Growing cannabis is a blast, but staying vigilant against pests is a strict requirement! A few harmless bugs can multiply in a matter of days and wipe out a harvest in record time. Regularly examining the plants for signs of damage and planning pest control before the pests even arrive will keep a harvest from destruction.
Aphids and pests beware!