|This graphic is for those who trust in machines and chemicals -|
instead of God's Creation. They are paying big money to inflict damage.
Almost Eden Gardens and Nursery collects bags of leaves for their operation, about 1/2 block from us. The owner knows gardening, beneficial insects, and the value of organic (Creation) methods.
Another Facebook friend, Jessica Walliser, wrote:
Soldier beetles, leatherwings FAMILY Cantharidae NORTH AMERICAN SPECIES 470
As adults, all species of solider beetles have soft, leathery wings; they fly well and serve to pollinate various flowering plants. Larval soldier beetles live in leaf litter and under rocks, logs, and debris. Larvae feed primarily at night and are fast movers with large, grasping jaws that capture insect eggs and prey insects, including grasshopper eggs, caterpillars, aphids, and mealybugs. Adults consume nectar, with many species also eating aphids and other insects. Both adult and larval soldier beetles can exude foul defensive chemicals to aid in protecting them from other predators. In the eastern United States, the orange and black Pennsylvania leatherwing is a common sight, while the brown leatherwing is more common in the West.
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 1046-1051). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
Leaf litter is essential for the best bugs, but leaving it alone is also ideal for them to overwinter.
By divine design the insects settle down for the winter underneath the litter, serving as food for winter birds but also awaiting their adult stage in the spring (once again greeted by birds).
The beneficial insect sources insist that leaving areas alone is the best approach - not digging to make them neat, not rototilling leaves into the soil. As I wrote before, most leaves will be pulled into the soil, especially where the soil is richly populated with soil creatures, especially earthworms.
The piles of dead leaves in the spring are havens for insect life and food for soil creatures. We scooped the excess into the compost bin and over the endzone of the backyard. Some dead leaves remain but most have composted into the soil or in the compost bin.
Dead leaves lying on the mulch of the main rose garden disappeared before our helper could remove them.
We treat chunks of wood and twigs the same way. We maintain a stick pile near the Jackson Bird Spa and move chunks of wood into the two rustic fence areas. Sometimes the larger wood pieces are used to frame bushes, to set them off and provide a toad shelter and bug generator. Bugs and slugs love decaying wood; toads love bugs and slugs.
One Butterfly Bush has a large mulched area around it, logs setting it off to keep people from walking over the new plant. Around that I have planted dill, Bee Balm, and coreopsis - three beneficial insect plants.
|This is my favorite bird identification book.|
Sharon Lovejoy, another Facebook friend, has a wonderful, total look at gardening,
from the soil below to the air force above.