Chickens control asparagus beetles
spent a lot of time last year combatting the asparagus
beetles in hopes
that our asparagus would keep their leaves all summer and give us a
crop this spring. After months of hand-picking
the asparagus beetles and squishing their eggs, predatory
stink bugs came along to help out in August, and I felt like we
kept the beetle population under control. Still, when I read that
the beetles overwinter in mulch and other garden debris and can be
deleted by burning, I decided to give it a shot.
is the operative
word here --- I put "burn asparagus beds" on my list in January and
here it is near the end of March with nothing done. I'm such a
wimp when it comes to fire that I didn't know where to start, and when
I did finally try to light the mulch, it was too damp to burn. I
didn't really want to burn up my precious organic matter anyway.
Didn't I carefully spread that straw around my garden for a reason?
chickens moving to new digs, I opted to try a more
permaculture solution. I raked up all of the dead asparagus tops
and mulch and carted the whole shebang to the new chicken coop to form
the first layer of their deep bedding. Our chickens are
constantly scratching for bugs, and once they've eated up the bad
beetles and fertilized the straw, I can always spread the value-added
product back on the garden. I hope the mulch transport will help
keep asparagus beetle populations lower this year.
Our chickens stay healthy on
pasture and unlimited clean water from their chicken waterer.
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