The Praying Mantis/Mantids in our gardens.

by Alex Robles

Praying mantids have meant a lot of different things to different cultures over the centuries.  There was a time when the French thought that a mantis would point a lost child home. In some parts Africa it’s considered good luck if one of these alien insects lands on you.  The Greeks named them “Mantes”, which means prophet or seer. The Chinese write about the mantis curing all sorts of ailments, from goiters to impotence. They also believed that roasting the eggs cases and feeding them to children would stop bed wetting.  “But be careful not to eat the cases on an empty stomach for it will surely make one sick” is also in the Chinese

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Biological Predator: Green Lacewings

by Alex Robles

Biological predators are my first line of defense and best answer for pest management in my gardens.  I don’t have to worry about pest developing a resistance to them like I would with certain pesticides.  But I do know that a certain number of pests have to be in the garden for predators to want to stay and feed, Green Lacewings are no different.  There are about 1,200 green lacewing species are known worldwide.  They are great general predators that will attacks insects and insect eggs, such as aphids, small caterpillars, mites, whitefly, scale, mealybug, thrips, psyllids, and other soft-bodied insects.

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The Ladybugs living in our gardens.

by Alex Robles

The name “Ladybird” has been used for over 500 in England to describe the European beetle Coccinella septempunctata.  One of the most popular story of how they got this name is this.

During the middle ages in Europe, swarms of aphids were destroying crops.  The farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help – and help came in the form of ladybugs that devoured the plant‐destroying pests and saved the crops! The grateful farmers named these insects “Our Lady’s beetles”, which became “Our Lady’s bird”.  Since Mary (Our Lady) was often depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings, and the spots of the seven-spot ladybird (the most common in Europe) were said to symbolise her seven joys and seven sorrows.

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Thrips and the Cannabis (Marijuana) Plant.

by Alex Robles

 When it comes to thrips, identification is key, because there are about 4,500 different species of them and they don’t all feed on cannabis.  The most dangerous threat to cannabis from thrips is the Frankliniella occidentalis, also known as the Western Flower Thrip.

Western flower thrip adult (UC Davis Department of Entomology)

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“In My Grow Show” hosted by Alex Robles: Ep. 50 Dr. Stefan Kirchanski talks to me about patenting cannabis genetics.

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Root aphids and cannabis (marijuana) plant.

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Greetings everyone welcome to Ep. 50.  I didn’t put out a show last week because i decided to watch the big game.  Later I’ll play a conversation I had with Stefan Kirchanski who is among other things is a lawyer that specializes in plant patent law.  The “Pest of the Week” continues with “root aphids”. A cool resource I found to help identify bugs is

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Root Aphids and the Cannabis (Marijuana) Plant

by Alex Robles

If you’ve never had root aphids before, count yourself lucky.  They are sinister little bastard that can be easily misdiagnosed.  Since “knowing is half the battle”, I want to share everything I’ve learned about them.

What are they:

The Root Aphid is in the Phylloxera family of insects, more specifically it is from the Pemphigus species and feeds on a lot of different plant roots.

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