Category: Insects Pests and Diseases

Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes

Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes
22 Jul

Blossom end rot is one of the most common complaints for tomato growers, particularly on plants grown in containers. It’s a complex problem that results from calcium not being available to the plants as the ovary at the base of the flower is fertilized and begins to develop into a tomato. It is very typical…

Save The Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee

20 Jul

Save The Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee West Coast Seeds recently launched the hashtag #savetherustypatchbumblebee across our social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We have been encouraging our followers to re-share our post and tag a friend in an effort to attract awareness to this endangered pollinator. An Endangered Species The rusty-patched bumblebee was officially…

Lupin Aphids

12 Jun

Through April and May we enjoyed a very robust display of lupins planted around our farmhouse and over the septic berm. The blue and purple flowers were visible from the nearby overpass and painted a streak of colour across the property. These perennial flowers begin to bloom just after the last frost date, and usually…

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles
5 Jun

Flea beetles are tiny, hopping, flea-like beetles of the genus Phyllotreta. To deal with flea beetles, it’s best to understand their life cycle. Adults emerge from the soil in spring and feed, laying eggs on plants’ roots. They die off by early July, but the eggs hatch in one week, with larvae feeding for two…

Planting to Attract Predatory Insects

Planting to Attract Predatory Insects
6 Apr

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…

European Chafer Beetles

European Chafer Beetles
15 Mar

Although they arrived from Europe, they’re well at home now in BC’s Lower Mainland and many other regions. This lively beetle (Amphimallon majalis) has an annual life cycle that is worth understanding in an attempt to control it. The beetle spends its childhood and teen years as a grub in the soil, feeding on the…

Companion Planting with Umbellifers

26 Nov

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…

Snails and Slugs

Snails and Slugs
3 May

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. The organic gardener’s best control is to…

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management
26 Apr

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 Butterfly Garden

Planting a Butterfly Garden
24 Apr

The plight of the Monarch butterfly has been a big news item in recent times. Just look up “monarch butterfly” on Youtube, and you’ll find scores of videos aimed at Monarch conservation. The Monarch is unusual due to its remarkable migration route between south central Canada and the hilltops west of Mexico City. For years…

How to Protect Seedlings

How to Protect Seedlings
11 Apr

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…

Do Ants Farm Aphids?

Do ants farm aphids?
6 Mar

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…