Garden Wisdom Blog — category: Insects Pests and Diseases

Lupin Aphids

aphid category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Insects Pests and Diseases lupins organic pests

Lupin Aphids

Through April and May we enjoyed a very robust display of lupins planted around our farmhouse and over the septic berm. The blue and purple flowers were visible from the nearby overpass and painted a streak of colour across the property. These perennial flowers begin to bloom just after the last frost date, and usually finish just before the end of spring. Lupin flowers are rich in nectar, so they’re great for feeding domestic and wild bees. Like other members of the family Fabaceae, they fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil that will feed other plants, including food crops. Some...

Read more →


Flea Beetles

category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Insects Pests and Diseases

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are tiny, hopping, flea-like beetles of the genus Phyllotreta. To deal with flea beetles, it’s best to understand their life cycle. Adults emerge from the soil in spring and feed, laying eggs on plants’ roots. They die off by early July, but the eggs hatch in one week, with larvae feeding for two to three weeks. At this point, they fall off the plants, back into the soil to pupate, emerging as new adults in another two to three weeks. We might see as many as four or more generations per year. They thrive in full sun, particularly...

Read more →


European Chafer Beetles

category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Garden Wisdom category: Insects Pests and Diseases garden-wisdom pollinators

European Chafer Beetles

Although they arrived from Europe, they’re well at home now in BC’s Lower Mainland and many other regions. This lively beetle (Amphimallon majalis) has an annual life cycle that is worth understanding in an attempt to control it. The beetle spends its childhood and teen years as a grub in the soil, feeding on the roots of grasses, particularly in lawn areas. As an adult, it emerges, mates, and then lays the eggs for a new generation. In the larval stage, the chafer can cause some damage to lawns resulting in brown patches. But because they are so substantial, they...

Read more →


Companion Planting with Umbellifers

category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Insects Pests and Diseases category: Organic Growing

Companion Planting with Umbellifers

Cilantro and dill are both good examples of umbelliferous plants. When these plants bloom, the flower structure is in a shape called an umbel — scores of tiny flowers arranged on a more or less flat or umbrella-shaped plane. Other umbeliform plants include carrot, Ammi, parsley, parsnip, celery, and fennel. Using these plants for this purpose is known as companion planting with umbellifers. Because of their flowers, all of these plants attract beneficial predatory insects. Because dill blooms relatively early in the year, it is particularly useful as a companion plant. Watch for ladybug larvae and adults hiding along the...

Read more →


Snails and Slugs

category: Articles and Instructions category: Garden Resources category: Insects Pests and Diseases organic pest-control raised-beds seeds

Snails and Slugs

These gastropods (Snails and Slugs) are a fact of life in damp coastal BC. Two factors, however, can be used to minimize their impact on your organic vegetable garden. First, they shun sunlight, and are mostly active at night. Second, they require ample moisture to thrive and breed. The organic gardener’s best control is to minimize the amount of water in the garden: Remove all unnecessary objects under which moisture can collect – all pots, bricks, boards, hoses, and tools should be removed from the garden. Water only in the morning, and take advantage of evaporation and drainage during the...

Read more →