The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Praying mantises on the peach tree

Praying mantis eggs on peach tree

Our kitchen peach tree is currently hosting 10 praying mantis egg sacs.  That means between one and several thousand predators are inside, itching to eat up bad bugs in the garden next year.

I'm not quite sure why the praying mantises love our kitchen peach so much.  Maybe the complexity of the forest garden island or the large size of the tree makes them feel safe there?  Other peach, pear, and apple trees just as close to the garden each host one or fewer egg sacs apiece.

No matter what their reasoning, I think those praying mantis mamas have good taste.  The kitchen peach is currently my favorite yard tree too!

Our chicken waterer lets us go out of town for a day or a week without worrying about the flock.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Cool, I haven't taken inventory of the egg sacks in my area. I usually just find a couple around the yard.

I do love to see them around, but I'm kind of torn on the idea of praying mantises. They are a great predator to have, but they are indiscriminate killers. They will kill a honeybee just as quickly as a squash bug. But they are still a great addition to the garden.

Comment by Fritz Mon Nov 28 09:06:51 2011
The way I look at it, praying mantises are a sign of a healthy beneficial insect population. If there aren't enough bad (and good) bugs to eat, you won't have many of them. Of course, I'm also a fan of wolves and mountain lions, despite the potential for losing a few livestock, so you might take what I say with a grain of salt. :-)
Comment by anna Mon Nov 28 11:41:51 2011

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