Can I control fungus gnats and thrips with nematodes?
Yes, we have been seeing customers have a lot of success using nematodes.
Nematodes are a multi-cellular beneficial parasitic round worm that targets pest insect larvae of mainly Sciarid flies (fungus gnats) and Thrips. The soft bodied pest insect larvae serve as a host for the beneficial nematode. The nematodes hunt down the harmful larvae and destroy them by entering the host pest insect as an infective juvenile. Each infective juvenile Nematode carries a bacterium in the gut, which it releases into the body cavity of the target pest after penetration, killing the host in approximately 48 hours.
The population growth of these nematodes depends mainly on the type and condition of the medium, temperature, and humidity.
You can apply the Nematodes using a watering can or a sprayer.
What are the benefits from use of seaweed in the garden?
Consuming food grown with seaweed used as a fertilizer helps give you important minerals that are more frequently deficient from land-based diets.
Seaweed contains all major and minor plant nutrients, and all trace elements; alginic acid; vitamins; auxins; at least two gibberellins; and antibiotics. For those who cannot gather fresh seaweed, it is available in a dried ‘meal’ form or as a concentrated liquid extract which is active in significantly smaller rates.
Seaweed benefits for plants include:
- Stronger plants with greater vigour
- Protection from marginal frosts
- Plants stay longer in production
- Produce travels better and has longer shelf life
- Improved root formation
- Improved survival of seedlings
- Resistance to mildew and other diseases
- General increase in health, so less insect infestations
Why should I think about pH in my garden?
Correct pH is a critical but often overlooked aspect when growing in hydroponics, coco coir, or Sunshine/Pro Mix.
Put simply, the pH of your fertilizer determines how much of the mineral elements are available and accessible for the plants.
Acid loving plants like rhododendrons and hydrangeas require lower pH. Tomatoes require slightly acid conditions, while peonies and sunflowers love lime, which ‘sweetens’ the soil, or raises the pH.
There are a variety of ways to test for pH in your growing medium. pH test strips or electronic equipment are easily available. Or, collect a cup of soil from your area of concern, mix it with 2 cups of distilled water, and bring that in to our shop, and we’d be happy to test it for you.