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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pest Control on the farm - Preying Mantis Egg Case

I was walking through the orchard the other day and noticed something on the branches of a young apricot tree.   I stopped to take a closer look and also take some pictures of it.   I then searched under insect egg cases and realized its a preying mantis egg case.   This makes me happy as preying mantises are insect predators and will help control the insect pest population.     This is also a by product of utilizing organic growing methods because if I sprayed insecticides, there wouldn't be any eggs cases of good or bad insects.

Preying mantises are insects that are closely related to cockroaches.   They will eat almost any other insect they can sneak up on and will also eat smaller preying mantises.   They will also eat small lizards or frogs if they can catch one.     Here is an image of a typical preying mantis found in most gardens or farms.

Here is an image of a baby that I found last summer so I took a picture of it before I released it.

Here are images of the egg cases on the apricot tree along with a picture of my finger along side for scale.    I will watch it closely and hopefully take some pictures of it when it starts hatching.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Planting Update - Carioca Lettuce

I have started planting all the seedlings that I have started.    Today I planted a 50 foot row of carioca lettuce.   This variety is a red lettuce that forms loose heads.     I plant 3 rows within each row that is about 3.5 feet wide.   The seedlings were started in a plug tray.  

Here is a image of the seedlings.   They have decent roots so should start quite easily.   Lettuce plants are very easy to transplant.

Here are images of the rows after they were planted and finally an image of this variety when it's mature.