Home & Garden

Work in Concert with Nature to Manage Garden Pests and Mosquitoes in the Landscape

Credits: Melinda Myers, LLC

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - A garden filled with flowers, birds, bees and butterflies is a sight to behold. These winged beauties add color, sound and motion to our gardens. Plus, they help maximize a garden’s productivity by pollinating plants and managing plant-damaging pests.

But what about those unwanted visitors to the garden? The aphids, mites and cabbage worms that feed upon our plants or the mosquitoes that feed upon us.  There are ways to have a beautiful garden and at the same time enjoy the outdoors when we work with nature to manage our landscape.

Add a birdbath, a few birdhouses and plants for the birds. They’ll repay you by eating many of the insects that feed upon your plants. Include seed-bearing plants like coneflowers, Rudbeckias and cosmos as well as berry plants like Juneberry, dogwood and firethorn. Add an evergreen and a few trees for shelter and nesting, if space allows.

Sign Up for E-News

Include a hummingbird feeder and a few of their favorite flowers like columbine, salvia, penstemon, and phlox.  Then watch as these fast flyers feed upon aphids, mites and mosquitoes in between sips of nectar.

While watching the birds, bees and butterflies, examine your plants for garden pests. Catching insects early may mean the difference between a successful harvest and disappointment. Before reaching for the pesticides and destroying their food source, attract the good guys and manage unwanted pests with a few of these eco-friendly strategies.

Tolerate a bit of damage and wait for the birds, lady beetles, praying mantis and other beneficial insects to move in and eat the bad bugs in the garden. Use barriers like row covers to keep cabbage worms off your cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels Sprouts. Sink shallow containers filled with beer into the soil around hostas and some of the other favorite plants of slugs and snails. These pests are attracted to the fermenting yeast, crawl inside and die.

If the bad guys persist, step up your eco-friendly control. Knock small populations of aphids and mites off plants with a strong blast of water. Apply insecticidal soap or Summit Year-Round Spray Oil if nature needs a helping hand. These organic insecticides are effective at managing pests, while gentle on the good guys when used properly.  

Keep mosquito populations to a minimum. Drain water from toys, buckets or any object that can hold water and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  Change the water in birdbaths several times a week. Toss a Mosquito Dunk (SummitResponsibleSolutions.com) in rain barrels and water features. This organic insecticide only kills the larvae of mosquitoes, black flies and fungus gnats. It won’t harm bees, butterflies, birds, pets and people.

Evaluate your success and make needed adjustments. Write a note in next year’s calendar to watch for the return of these pests. You’ll be ready to step in and lend nature a hand if needed.

As you begin to work in harmony with nature you will find more birds, bees and butterflies visiting your garden. Together you can grow a beautiful and productive garden for all to enjoy.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Summit for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ website is www.melindamyers.com

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week: Allison Graves Girls’ Gymnastics

This year, the South Plainfield Girls’ Gymnastics Team finished the season with a 4-2 record.  They also finished third in the Greater Middlesex Conference and fifth in Central Jersey Section 2.  The team was led this past year by senior captain Allison Graves. 

During the season, Allison has excelled for the Lady Tigers.  She finished sixth in her floor routine at ...

Obituaries

South Plainfield – Daniel J. Olson, Sr., 92, died Sunday November 19, 2017 in the New Jersey ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor from Councilwoman Faustini & Council President White

November 14, 2017

Dear Editor,

The two of us would like to thank the people of South Plainfield for their support.  We were honored that so many people put their faith in us, and we will do our best to live up to your trust.

We also want to thank our volunteers, who are the best volunteers around.  From making phone calls, to addressing envelopes, to putting up lawn signs, our volunteers showed ...

Community Happenings

Parish Census

November 21, 2017

CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART----PARISH CENSUS

We want to be sure that you are counted and we need your help!  

You should have received a parish census form in the mail.  If you are

attending the Church of the Sacred Heart and wish to be counted as an active member

 of this parish please complete the census form.  This month, you will be receiving a

“follow ...

Mayors' Wellness Committee Hosting 2nd Annual Anti-Drug and Alcohol Conference

November 14, 2017

The South Plainfield Mayors’ Wellness Committee will host a second annual anti-drug and alcohol conference on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the South Plainfield Senior Center.   Speakers will include a judge from the Drug  Court,  South Plainfield police officer,  Carrier Clinic,  JFK  Center For Behavioral Health speaker,  recovering ...

What’s Happening at Holy Savior Academy

November 21, 2017

Editor's Note - The articles below were written by students at Holy Savior Academy

HALLOWEEN – Nick R.

Holy Savior Academy celebrated Halloween in many different ways this year:  parties, parades and crafts are just a few of the activities the participated in.  There was a Halloween parade where all of the children gathered around and walked outside of the school into ...

Puleo International Kicks-Off the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” with Warehouse Sale at 3614 Kennedy Road, South Plainfield Location

November 21, 2017

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Puleo International, a third generation family owned manufacturer and distributor of unique handcrafted holiday décor items is opening their doors to the public for their 13th Annual Christmas Sale. Puleo’s Warehouse sale rings in the holiday season much like Christmas music in late November. The doors open daily will sales running from now thru ...

South Plainfield Mechanic Public Works - Job Opening

South Plainfield Mechanic Public Works – The Borough of South Plainfield is looking for a fulltime mechanic for the Department of Public Works. Responsibilities shall include the repair, maintenance and servicing of various motor vehicles and construction equipment as well as various machines and tools utilized in Public Works.

Two years of experience in maintenance and repairs of ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_5dbd9d15e9b665ebdcae_christmas_concert_17-page-002

Sun, November 26, 3:00 PM

Church of the Sacred Heart, South Plainfield

Christmas Concert-The Orchestra of St. Peter by ...

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_0e74dfa344727c70448c_historical_society_1

Tue, November 28, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

Railroad Historian Presentation on November 28th

Carousel_image_5b6ffbacdba024685760_pig_roast

Fri, December 1, 7:00 PM

Scotch Plains

Plainfields’ Unico To Hold Annual Pig Roast On ...

Carousel_image_c1b2c6acd3c55fdb1b78_meet_the_mayor

Sat, December 2, 9:00 AM

Maple Avenue

Meet the Mayor

Carousel_image_6443057b41c7f4288014_tiny_tim_caroling_night_cartoon

Sat, December 2, 6:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holiday Caroling in Memorial Park

Carousel_image_697d0bfc66fa8224730e_mayors_wellness

Tue, December 5, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

Second Annual Anti-Drug and Alcohol Conference

Columns

Thanksgiving Wishes from Mayor Matthew P. Anesh

This Thursday I will be in the Pit, attending the annual Thanksgiving Day Football game. It is one of my favorite days of the year. The game and competition is fun, but what I find most important is the opportunity to see residents young, and old, come together as one large family. The victor of the game between North Plainfield and South Plainfield receives what is called the Mayor’s ...

The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman (St. Martins Griffin, 2016)

 

Author Lynda Cohen Loigman states, “The Two-Family House is a story I thought about for at least ten years before I ever wrote a word. I spent countless hours over a full decade thinking about how Rose, Helen, Abe, and Mort would behave in difficult situations, and how they would feel when faced with ...

Bookmarks

Did you miss a movie that you wanted to see in the theaters and don’t want to pay to rent it or for the DVD? Come to “Monday Night Movies” at the library.  It’s all the fun of a movie theater but none of the cost.  We are showing brand new releases every Monday night and we will be providing popcorn for all who attend. This week’s movie stars Brie Larson, ...

Johnny Four Fingers Week #12 Thanksgiving NFL Picks

CALABASH, NC – The Four Finger man is getting ready for the big day. Plenty of antipasto, macaroni, wine and a little bit of turkey. No golfing today. It’s all about family, food and football. I’m making picks for two of the three games. Good luck to the Tigers. Get those Canucks! Happy Thanksgiving from the Carolinas.

 

WEEK #12 Thanksgiving ...

Press Releases

Recycle Your Used Cooking Oil

November 21, 2017

Residents who bring their recyclables to the South Plainfield Mary B. Mazepa Recycling Center on Kenneth Avenue may have noticed a new container recently.  A 200-gallon bright red metal tank sits next to the rechargeable battery boxes near the office shed.  This red metal tank is for cooking oil – the kind you use for deep frying, which can be reused only so many times and then ...