Pages tagged "Beneficial Insects"
Farmer Blog: Chris Hardy
September 28th, 2017
Harvesting dill seed today and continue to be amazed at how much this plant supports beneficial insects and pollinators. Nearly every plant in the dill patch either has green lacewing eggs (the tiny eggs on long threads), monarch caterpillars or inconceivable numbers of ladybug larvae, nymphs and adult lady beetles.
Next year's farm plan will include perimeter hedgerows and succession planting of dill and other herbs including fennel, another easy to grow powerhouse nectary plant that has been bustling with life all year.
Diverse staggered plantings are so important in providing early and late season nectar needed to sustain them through the long cold winter ahead.
- Chris Hardy
(Photos by: Chris Hardy)
The City of Eugene prides itself on having a beautiful downtown area.
City leaders say a big part of the ambience is the flowers, but it takes a lot of manpower and bug-power to keep downtown blooming.
Today, the city released around 22,000 ladybugs and green lacewings.
They also put more than 80,000 green lacewing eggs in flower pots in the downtown area.
And they aren't done yet.
City officials say these are beneficial insects.
They'll eat the pests which would otherwise destroy the downtown flower baskets and other greenery.
The insects are an alternative to using harmful pesticides.
"We switched over to non-synthetic pesticides two years ago, using oils, but we still thought that was a little too harsh," Project Manager Brian York said. "So, we researched further and came up with beneficial insects."
Last year, the city started experimenting with beneficial insects.
They released around 50,000 ladybugs in the downtown area and noticed significant improvement.
So this year, they're going all out: the city plans to release more than one million insects over the course of the season.
York says the practice is more sustainable and cheaper than using pesticides, aiding in Eugene's effort to stay green.
"We operate with something called the triple bottom line," Eugene's Community Relations Director Jan Bohman said, "which means we look at the decisions we make from 3 different angles. Meaning it's good for the environment, it's good for the economy, and it's equitable for the people."