AMES, Iowa – Gardeners who’re in search of a artistic technique to management bugs may take into account planting some candy alyssum.

This flowering annual or short-lived perennial provides some brilliant colours to the garden, and most significantly, it attracts useful bugs akin to ladybugs and hoverfly. These bugs are useful to vegetation as a result of they feed on pests, particularly aphids.

Taylor Mauch, a graduate horticulture pupil at Iowa State College, has discovered success with candy alyssum in her vegetable plot on the Iowa State Horticulture Analysis Station north of Ames. Mauch grows the alyssum between rows and on the finish of rows, and has discovered a big discount in insect injury to her pepper vegetation.

Mauch explains learn how to plant and develop candy alyssum in an article known as “Candy Alyssum to Appeal to Beneficials,” which was revealed within the January-February version of Acreage Residing E-newsletter. The article was co-written with Ajay Nair, affiliate professor in horticulture and extension vegetable manufacturing specialist with Iowa State.

“Candy alyssum flowers appeal to useful bugs, which then transfer on to different vegetation within the neighborhood,” stated Mauch. “Having candy alyssum as a meals supply might assist to enlarge useful insect populations, offering extra alternative for these useful bugs to assault pests.”

One grownup ladybug can eat as many as 50 aphids per day, in keeping with the article. The extra ladybugs, the extra aphids consumed.

The mature measurement of a candy alyssum plant is 3-9 inches tall and 10-48 inches broad, relying on selection and does finest in full solar to partial shade, although prefers shade from afternoon solar in hotter climates.

Candy alyssum is simple to plant, in keeping with Mauch, and could be began indoors or planted immediately open air within the spring. If planting open air, she recommends ready till after the final frost. The seeds could be bought on-line or from garden facilities.

Different articles within the Acreage Residing E-newsletter embody a spotlight of the Farm Transitions Convention in February, Windbreak College Occasions, a brand new information for balancing mare vitamin, and a perennial vegetation workshop to be held Feb. 1 in Washington County.

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