Ants, Aphids and Learning New Things!

Well one thing is for certain, we never stop learning! I have recently made a new discovery, we have struggled to get rid of infestations of aphids and scale on some of our fruit and ornamental trees. It puzzled me why, when we have so many beneficial insects in our garden, why???? Why were these friends of ours not fighting the war in the rest of the garden? Well the answer is ants! Ants have their role to play in the great cycle of things, however if you have ants on your trees, they are more than likely harvesting food, and that food is the sugary secretions from scale and aphids. These busy ants take it back their nest to feed their colony. And not only are they harvesting but they are protecting the aphids from predators (gardener’s friends). So in order to have any hope of controlling aphids or scale you must control the ants.

In the photo above you can see I have put tape just under where the tree forks, then smeared a thin layer of Tree Guard, this is a type of glue available where you buy or order your gardening products. The ants disappear, they can’t stand it! Then something amazing happens, all those wonderful insects that love to eat aphids and scale come and do what they do best, feast on them!

Soldier Beetle

I inspected my Bush Lemon tree that was just loaded with ants before I applied the tape and glue. It now has so many different insects and wasps all over it, taking care of the pests for us, amazing! I always thought the ants were a problem, I just didn’t realise how much of a problem they were. They are only doing what is natural and ants are important in the grand scheme of things, however in my opinion the tape and glue is a wonderful idea because you are not wiping out an entire ant colony, you are simply deterring them.

Mangoes!!

We are enjoying a bounty of mangoes from the garden at the moment. They are smaller this year but still delicious! My goal when we first moved to this farm 8 years ago was to have enough fruit trees to supply our needs year round. I am slowly beginning to reap the rewards as the garden matures. Each season brings different challenges and some years are better than others, overall though we are becoming more and more self-sufficient in our own small way.

We have also had some new additions to our farm 4 baby guinea fowl. Thank you Gayle! I will try and get a photo soon, they are still settling into their new home, last night was their first night here. The geese are very interested in these new additions, walking around their home, trying to get a look at these new babies! I would have to say if you are wanting a pair of body guards for your young, geese are a very worthwhile addition to the family! Ours are very lovely, we have 2 females and I have never regretted purchasing them. I love to watch them walk around the garden and carry on with their antics! And their eggs are amazing!

Buckwheat (white flowers) so easy and beneficial to grow in your vegetable garden, marigolds, clover and lucerne.

I have been working in the garden, trying to keep on top of things, I think I’m getting there! That mental list that we all have each day. But as time has gone on, I have learnt to let go and accept that each day is different. If everything on that list doesn’t get checked off, that’s okay, tomorrow is another day. And I want to enjoy the task that I’m doing, give it my full attention, rather than constantly thinking of every other thing that needs to be done. Life is filled with daily tasks, whether you live on a farm or in town. Go to a job or stay at home. We all have set missions each day. I believe it’s important to do whatever it is we are doing to the best of our ability, but also to be kind to ourselves. Enjoying those little things that bring us joy. Sometimes I just stop and watch the little wrens in my garden, or sit and take in the flowers and bees around me. It could be something as simple as your child quietly reading a book, at dinnertime when there is complete silence because everyone is enjoying the meal you have prepared! What an achievement that is! It’s something to stop and appreciate whats around us whatever that might look like for each of us. Some days are harder than others but with each new day there are precious gifts, if we are able to look, to be aware and have the eyes to see them.

2 thoughts on “Ants, Aphids and Learning New Things!

  1. So beautifully written again my dear sister 😍 and reading it I’m sure many would think “I want to start a garden” ❣️❣️❣️

  2. Jo, thank you for your sharing. Just love it and love the photos!!! So pretty.
    I have an issue with ants around my hibiscus trees. Will follow this good advice
    Thanks

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