How to Attract Ladybugs

ladybug lady bird beetle

Intro: The ladybug, also called ladybird and lady beetle, is great for container gardens because they keep out those annoying aphid pests that eat your container plants. Don’t destroy any yellow eggs laid underneath plant leaves, as these will hatch into ladybug larvae. They have a very different-looking larvae, so don’t kill any insects that look like the one in the photo below. Ladybug larvae actually eat more pests than adults. Ladybugs can live to three years old and can grow to about 0.3 inches.

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How to Attract White-Crowned Sparrows

White-crowned sparrow

Intro: White-crowned sparrows look similar to house sparrows, but they have a prominent white and black stripe on the head. The rest of their bodies are gray or light brown, and they have an orange-yellow beak. These wild birds are much less common at bird feeders than house sparrows, but they may visit your balcony garden when hungry in the winter. They eat insects, including caterpillars and beetles, in the summer, and mainly eat birdseed during the winter. White-crowned sparrows from different regions have slightly different colors, and because their songs are learned, there are also regional song dialects. There are several white-crowned sparrow subspecies.

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Identifying and Treating Rust Fungus

Rust fungus sunflowerRust fungus appears as a brown rusty coating or spotting on plant leaves and stems, and the spores will be orange-brown raised bumps on the undersides of the plant leaves. If you check your container plants often, you will be able to spot rust early on and treat it before it becomes too serious in your balcony garden.

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How to Attract American Goldfinches and Lesser Goldfinches

American goldfinch

Intro: The American goldfinch may be one of the first wild birds you see in your balcony garden. These birds are common and easy to attract, and the males display a beautiful clear and bright yellow color (they are also called the wild canary). Male American goldfinches also have a black cap and black wings with a horizontal white stripe. Although they are a breathtaking yellow in the summer, they turn a dull yellow-brown during the winter months (due to a full molt). Females are a dull yellow-brown all year and have black wings but no black on the head. Both males and females are white on the rump.

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Ants: A Garden Pest

Pest garden antsAnts can spark a debate with gardeners. Some will say that they’re harmless and that they’ll actually help pollinate your flowers. But other gardeners have had definite problems with these little insects.

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