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Radish as ladybug incubator

Updated: Jun 26

A nearby radish field with bee hives

The area around Deck Family Farm has many fields currently blooming with radish crops gone to seed. The crop covers the fields and creates a foamy, floating sea and there are often honey bee hives located there to benefit from the food source.

In Grazier's Garden here at Deck, garden hand Nick Shearer pointed out our bolted radish row. It is humming with pollinators of many kinds: honey bees, tiny, tidy-looking wasps, and flies.

They didn't keep the row for the bees, he said, but for attracting ladybugs to the area.

Blooming radish on the farm.

Gardeners know that if you provide crops that aphids like to eat, aphids will come. This is, ironically, the goal. Aphids love radish and many brassica vegetables, so we have left the radish as a decoy crop for the aphids, hoping this will incubate a nice population of ladybugs. Then, the lady bugs will stick around and clean aphids off other crops throughout the season.

I didn't see any ladybugs or larvae during my visit, but enjoyed looking out for the pollinators. Can you find them in the photos below?


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