Springtime not only brings thoughts of flowering crocus, daffodils, tulips and planting vegetables, but of spring cleaning in the garden.  Left behind from fall and winter are masses of leaves, twigs, needles and blown trash stuck in every nook and cranny in our gardens.  Spring is the time to clear away the debris so new life can emerge from the warming soil to once again brighten our gardens.

While doing your Spring cleaning in your garden not only be vigilant with your cleaning, but also look for overwintering insect eggs.  One in particular is the Mantids or you may know it by its commonly referred name the “Praying Mantis”.  If you are fortunate enough to discover one do not destroy it.  The Mantids are one of the best beneficial insects to have in your garden. (more…)

lacewing.jpgQ: I see ladybugs and lacewings for sale at my garden center. Is this a good way to control unwanted bugs in my garden?

A: Some beneficial insects can be purchased and turned loose in your garden. The problem with this is that the insects you purchase are not aware that you have given them a special invitation to your particular “garden restaurant” and they may very well fly away. (more…)

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Green lacewing on peony bloom

Q: I know there are “good” bugs and “bad” bugs for my garden. How do I know which is which?

A: Insects – a general term for “multi-legged creepy crawlies” have a certain “ick” factor for many people. In spite of their tiny size, we perceive them as scary and harmful to people. Surprisingly, most insects found in your yard or home do not feed on or harm plants – or people. (So try to think of it as MOST insects you encounter in your garden are the “good” bugs.”) Certainly, there are many pest insects such as aphids, scales, various caterpillars and beetles that cause problems for plants. But there are also many beneficial insects that feed on and destroy insect pests.

The following info is a summary of a longer fact sheet from Colorado State University Extension (see Work Cited below). (more…)

Q: I thought we didn’t have Japanese beetles in Colorado, but I’ve heard that they are here. Is this true?

japanese_beetle.jpgA: Stunning in their metallic shades of vibrant copper and emerald green, Japanese beetles might seem like welcome immigrants to our state. However, anyone who has lived in other parts of the country knows how destructive these voracious scourges can be. Until recently, Japanese beetles were unknown in Colorado. Unfortunately, they are now prevalent both in southern Denver and in locations along the Western Slope. It is only a matter of time before they spread southward to El Paso county. Gardeners here can prepare by learning how to identify these beetles and protect their landscapes. (more…)