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This little row of White Flowering plants is Buckwheat. Now, it’s been growing in this country since Colonial times and it has all sorts of benefits. It’s amazing really. It will germinate in three to five days. It grows in really dry areas. It’s a great, green manure and that I could turn this under into the soil it will improve the soil quality.
The blooms are edible and it makes the flower that’s gluten free and you may know Buckwheat pancakes. This is what it comes from or noodles made from Buckwheat, but one of the reasons that I have it here is because it’s a part of our beneficial insect program. You see, it also attracts the insects that I want in this garden, and it will also lower our way of some of the insects I don’t want over there in the big garden.
For instance, aphids love it so if I can get the aphids, so if I can get the aphids to move over here with the Buckwheat that’s a better deal. Get them off from my bins onto the Buckwheat that’s what I want.
And we have another area out here in the garden that serves as an Insectary and it works hand in hand with the Buckwheat that’s plenty with all kinds of colorful flowers. There’s Cosmos and Zinnia and Marigolds and Fennel and Dill and so fort in this garden as well as some Sunflowers. And if you just stand there and look at it you can see that it’s a hub of activity all day long. You can see insects coming and going in a constant ride.
Now, carrying on with this theme of beneficials I want to you that this Lacewings that I just ordered you see they come in a little cup like this and they are tiny little eggs and what I plan to do is sprinkle those eggs throughout this band of Buckwheat because the aphids that are here will serve as a food source for the babies when they hatch.
Now, you have to use your imagination because they’re very tiny but within just three weeks they will grow to about a half and inch long and they will live up to their reputation as being aphid lions. They have such a voracious appetite for aphids. It’s rather astonishing and it doesn’t there, they also are great in hunting down Red Spider Mites and Mealybugs.
Now, if you’re raising beneficial insects it makes a lot of sense that you wouldn’t use insecticide because you’ll not only kill the bad bugs but you’re going to kill all of these good bugs as well , just think all of these little eggs will be scattered among here, the hatchlings will emerge. This will create a nursery among the Buckwheat and soon you’ll be over there in the big garden helping me take care of those pests before they get to my vegetables.
If you’d like more information on this topic or any other gardening topic, just check my website, PAllenSmith.com.