Saving on Beneficials
excerpted from from Greenhouse
Gardener's Companion by Shane Smith.
When you first peruse a bug catalog or price list, you might suffer
from sticker shock. One order of bugs might run anywhere from $15 to
$75. And to add insult to injury, they must usually be shipped
"overnight" or "next day," which can run as much as $35 to $40.
All that may not be so bad until you realize that it might take more
than a few shipments to get a good establishment of critters in your
greenhouse. If you go with only one shipment, you may find that the
population of good guys goes down as their food supply (bad bugs) is
depleted. When this happens, it can give the pests a chance to
establish beyond the capability of your beneficial bugs to ever catch
up with their numbers. By doing a few releases, you can even out these
population swings and gain better control.
Praying Mantis Egg
One way to minimize costs is to get
together with other greenhouse enthusiasts and split an order.
Many bugs are sold in commercial quantities, and by splitting an order
two or three ways, you will still have plenty of beneficials for your
greenhouse. When the order arrives, simply split it up.
way to minimize
costs is to locate a good supplier that is the nearest one to you. Then
you might be able to select a cheaper shipping method and still get the
bugs within 1 or 2 days. This can provide substantial savings, because
then you can conceivably go with second-day shipping versus next-day
|You should know that
there are many
levels of bug suppliers. There are wholesalers, retailers, and
companies that simply sell beneficials as a sideline to their larger
gardening or greenhouse business. I always prefer dealing with
companies whose main business is the selling of beneficial critters for
greenhouse control. (The Appendix of Greenhouse
Gardener's Companion has a number of companies
never hurts to ask them if this is their primary business or if they
also sell wheelbarrows and trowels, too.
Gardener's Companion: Growing
Food and Flowers in Your
In this fully revised edition of a best-selling
veteran gardener Shane Smith embraces this new
approach to greenhouse gardening. Through lively writing that balances
wit with commonsense advice, Smith draws on his more than 20 years
experience to cover everything you need to know to establish a charming
and productive greenhouse.