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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Farmscaping Empty Farmscaping

Post  countrynaturals 4/6/2019, 6:02 pm

Extension.org wrote:Farmscaping is the deliberate use of plants and landscaping to increase diversity of habitats to encourage and conserve beneficial organisms to to help prevent damage to crops by pest insects.

I had never heard of this until today. Now I'm fascinated, but it's more than I can take on this season, but definitely something to take into consideration for next fall/winter and next year. Are there any experts out there or shall we all learn about this, together?  geek

https://articles.extension.org/pages/18573/farmscaping:-making-use-of-natures-pest-management-services
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Post  countrynaturals 4/6/2019, 6:08 pm

Just to make this even more "interesting" is that fact that I garden for (and sometimes raise) butterflies, and many of these "beneficials" destroy butterfly eggs and larvae. Shocked
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Post  AtlantaMarie 4/7/2019, 4:49 am

Hmmmm..... Let's learn together!
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Post  countrynaturals 4/7/2019, 10:08 am

AtlantaMarie wrote:Hmmmm..... Let's learn together!

Start with a Youtube search for "farmscaping." There's so muh there your eyes will glaze over. This is very dry stuff, but one quick take-away is to mix native flowers in with your veggies -- staged for the time of year. Ex: penstemon early in the season -- astors late. Also, no hybrids if you can help it. Another tip was to let some dill go to seed. In fact, let a little bit of everything go to seed. WOW! I really learned a lot in just one day. I guess I'm the temporary "expert" on farmscaping. darn funny  I hope somebody comes along soon who actually knows something, or I could get us into all kinds of trouble. blush
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Post  countrynaturals 4/7/2019, 10:20 am

I just remembered a couple more: Spread out your crops to keep pests from getting them all. That way you can pull out any that get really infested, without destroying your whole crop or having to resort to chemicals.

Also, the one expert I watched for over an hour, said that marigolds aren't all that good for controlling bugs. Their reputation is highly overrated.

I'm getting sucked in, here. Farmscaping 950477  Ah well -- 3 more days of rain and I'm sick of knitting, so it's back to Youtube for more farmscape learnin'. study

If you have a problem with Japanese beetles, plant goldenrod. It attracts parasitic wasps that destroy the beetles' eggs/larvae. (They also destroy butterfly eggs/larvae, so keep that in mind. Sad  ) *

Important point: All of this stuff works on eggs/larvae mainly (only?). As far as I can tell, none of it will do any good on full-grown pests -- unless it's something specialized -- like attracting birds that eat a specific bug. I think this whole thing will be highly specialized for our individual needs.

* My problem with all of the "beneficials" is that they kill butterfly eggs/larvae right along with the bad bugs. This even includes ladybugs and mantises. So, my perspective on all this will be from a "deterrent" pov rather than attracting predators.

TIME OUT! Had to rescue a bird in the house from 4 cats. SCORE ONE FOR THE GOOD GUYS! (Stinkin' cats! No  ) 10 minutes later, the cats are still looking for that long-gone bird. Razz

Okay, back to Youtube. geek
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Post  No_Such_Reality 4/7/2019, 10:58 am

The main issue with youtube is you find everything from Joel Salatin to Naturally reversing dementia with a homebrewed concoction the pharmaceutical comapnies don't want you to have.

Not to mention people like the Vegan lifestyle enfluencer with a million followers caught eating fish becaue her doctors made her realize her 'lifestyle' was causing her real.health problems. Her solution?  Hide the meat and keep.promoting the lifestyle for years.
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Post  countrynaturals 4/7/2019, 11:22 am

No_Such_Reality wrote:The main issue with youtube is you find everything from Joel Salatin to Naturally reversing dementia with a homebrewed concoction the pharmaceutical comapnies don't want you to have.

I had never watched Youtube before -- except for specific instructions on some specialized topic -- but I've been going nutz with all this rain, and I'm just not a TV watcher, so I've been binge-watching garden tours. That's how I stumbled onto this topic. So far it all makes sense, and seems highly professional.

The main thing all of these presenters agree on is: NATIVE PLANT DIVERSITY in our gardens. I guess farmscaping is a relatively new concept, and the native plant angle is their mantra.

The 2nd most important idea is to let some stuff go. Let a few plants of each type bolt, and don't clean everything up in the fall. Leave some dead stalks and leaf mulch for the burrowing beneficials to overwinter in.
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Post  countrynaturals 4/7/2019, 11:30 am

Plant Mexican Sunflower for the Monarchs. It's one of the last fall bloomers and can continue blooming even after a light frost. It can help save the late-emerging Monarch butterflies from starvation, before they head down to Mexico. (I'm going to post this in the Monarch thread, too.)
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Post  countrynaturals 4/7/2019, 12:10 pm

Finally, plant milkweed, yarrow, comfrey, and anything in the mint family (which includes basil.)

That's all, Folks. Thankyou, thankyou. (I'll be here all week.) lol!
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Post  sanderson 4/7/2019, 3:48 pm

No_Such_Reality wrote:The main issue with youtube is you find everything from Joel Salatin to Naturally reversing dementia with a homebrewed concoction the pharmaceutical companies don't want you to have.

Not to mention people like the Vegan lifestyle enfluencer with a million followers caught eating fish because her doctors made her realize her 'lifestyle' was causing her real health problems. Her solution?  Hide the meat and keep promoting the lifestyle for years.
True. Now we can stop high-jacking Suz's thread. Very Happy

I live in the city and even if I plant a diverse garden, it's hard to attract beneficials. I started SFG in March 2013 and just now have 8 ladybugs! The bee population is down to about the same number.

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Post  countrynaturals 4/7/2019, 5:14 pm

sanderson wrote:
I live in the city and even if I plant a diverse garden, it's hard to attract beneficials.  I started SFG in March 2013 and just now have 8 ladybugs!  The bee population is down to about the same number.  

So just grab the two ideas about letting a few plants bolt and leave a little debris to overwinter. It could make a difference and shouldn't hurt anything. Oh, and make room for one Mexican Sunflower somewhere. I know, I know, they get big. Rolling Eyes  I wish I could send you just one measly acre. We'd never miss it. geek
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