ladybugs in your container garden
Especially if you
are planting an organic container garden,
ladybugs are an excellent way to control aphids in your garden.
And yes, they do work in container gardens as well. But there
is some useful advice if you plan on releasing ladybugs into
your garden so that they will stay where you want them!
First, always purchase
your ladybugs from a reputable source, whether it be from
a garden supply store or through mail order. The best source
of ladybugs here is a local farmer's market selling fresh
produce, so check that as well.
When you get them
home, keep them in the bag (whether they arrived in a mesh
bag or paper bag) along with a couple drops of water. Ladybugs
tend to be thirsty when they arrive, and this is the main
reason why they fly away as soon as you release them, because
they are looking for water. If you place the bag in your refrigerator
for a few hours, it will chill them a bit, which will also
slow them down when you release them.
Water your garden
very well before you release them. They will be thirsty, and
a well watered garden will keep them near, since you have
provided them with an easy source of water to drink.
ladybugs in the evening, after sunset. This will prevent the
chance of a bird eating them before they have had time to
figure out their new surroundings. Then, first thing in the
morning, they will begin work on the aphids!