Category Archives: Insects Pests and Diseases

We hear so much about ants “farming” aphids that we thought we should answer the question, “Do ants farm aphids?” It’s natural for human beings to try to explain an observation of the natural world in terms of human emotions and experience. While it is common knowledge that “ants farm aphids,” this personified view leads […]

Cilantro and dill are both good examples of umbelliferous plants. When these plants bloom, the flower structure is in a shape called an umbel — scores of tiny flowers arranged on a more or less flat or umbrella-shaped plane. Other umbeliform plants include carrot, Ammi, parsley, parsnip, celery, and fennel. Using these plants for this […]

Organic gardeners share one challenge that has many faces – how to protect seedlings along to the point when they are strong enough to defend themselves. Because seedlings are so tender and tasty, and low to the ground, they are easy pickings for a host of animals, from the very tiny to the enormous. Everything […]

In our 2015 Growing Guide is Brian Campbell on Pollination and Bee Diversity: Lack of pollination is an unfortunate trend in the plant world. In the late 1960s, the first global review of pollination deficit was conducted. At the time, one out of every ten insect-pollinated flowers was not setting seed because of insufficient numbers […]

These gastropods (Snails and Slugs) are a fact of life in damp coastal BC. Two factors, however, can be used to minimize their impact on your organic vegetable garden. First, they shun sunlight, and are mostly active at night. Second, they require ample moisture to thrive and breed. So the organic gardener’s best control is […]

Planting to attract predatory insects is one of the key tactics for pest control in an organic garden system. Insects, like plants, come in all shapes and sizes, and play many different roles in the environment as well as in your garden. As sure as some insects are pests others are positively beneficial. Aside from […]

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Healthy organic gardens are full of bugs. Gardens, and even farms, are ecosystems that maintain their own balance. Thousands of species of insects and other invertebrates make their homes in the soil and on the plants we grow. In a balanced garden ecosystem, pest species are the exception, and infestations are […]

Planting a Bumblebee Garden by Brian Campbell Why garden for Bumble Bees? Bumblebees are a keystone species. This means much of our ecological system hinges on the survival of bumblebees. Not just native plants rely on these furry pollinators, but also many other organisms; over 250 insect species use bumblebee colonies for one or more […]

Wireworms represent the larval stage of the click beetles of the family Elateridae. There are around 9,300 species worldwide, but it is a small handful of species that cause problems in our fields and gardens. Click beetles are 1-2cm long, quite narrow in shape, and can be brown, grey, or black. Most obviously, when turned […]

The Lower Mainland of BC tends to enjoy very damp spring and early summer weather. This dampness creates the ideal habitat for Woodlice – often called sow bugs or pill bugs. These are the small, grey, segmented animals that can be found beneath rotting wood, garbage cans, plant pots, and so on. They gather, sometimes […]