OK this really appeals to the science plant geek in me. I'm trying to overwinter peppers plants (they're perennial!) and they have aphids (aka plant lice). I've discovered the aphids are being parasitized by Aphidius wasps. These wasps are about the size of an apostrophe! It's cool and creepy as the wasps eat the aphids from the inside just leaving the lifeless husk.
The Aphidius wasps attack 40 different species of Aphids
The life cycle is such: Adult Aphidius wasps lay eggs in the Aphids (1 egg per Aphid I believe). The eggs hatch and the larvae feeds on the Aphid. The Aphid swells up as the larvae matures. The Aphidius wasps. then hatches out of the back end of the Aphid, leaving a lifeless husk.
One can see living Aphids of all sizes inter mingling with the dead Aphid husks. There is a theory that this is beneficial to the Aphids in that it makes it harder for the wasps to find the Aphids or at least differentiate them at first?
  
On the left living Aphids on pepper plants.                            Aphid cocoons and a close up of  aphids husks.
One winged adult Aphid in the center and below
Two empty Aphid husks with exit holes
 
On the right two Aphidius wasps surveying  a host of parasitized Aphid. A Red pepper acts as a colorful background.
 
 
 
 An ecosystem at my fingertips.  Live aphids, Aphid coccoons, and four Aphidius wasps. all in a space barely larger than my thumb!
 
The Aphidius wasps appeared spontaneously on pepper plants I'm trying to overwinter in my heated basement. The Aphids increase quickly and as such are a concern. I am seeing an enormous increase in numbers of the Aphidius wasps. Will they over take the Aphids, only time will tell. The pepper plants look much worse for the wear though
 
There are many suppliers of the Aphidius wasp on the internet. Here are two sources with additional information 
They can easily appear spontaneously too as mine did. They seem to work great in the low light situation of my walk-in basement.
They are of course harmless and it's amazing to see them flitting from leaf to leaf!

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 Olallie Daylily Gardens

129  Augur Hole Rd.    South Newfane,     VT   05351
Tel: (802) 348-6614 - Fax: (802) 348-9881 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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03-07

on bloom in 6/27/07

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April 29 (Monday) Shipping begins 

(Weather Permitting) 

We begin shipping as soon as the snow melts, fields dry out and the daylilies begin growing.  


 May 25th (Saturday) 
Daylily Gardens Open

Open Friday-Sunday 10-5pm. 


 June 6-16: Iris Days

This period is when the maximum number of Iris blooms are showing. There is both a large variety of colors as well as a large show of blossoms. Many other  perennials in bloom as well.


  July 4-5: Closed for Private Party 


 July 10th (FRIDAY)
Peak Season Begins
Peak-season hours: Open Wednesday-Sunday (closed Mondays & Tuesdays): 10-5 pm

This is The Time to come and see the field in full bloom. Thousands and thousands of blooms all blooming at once.

Peak Blueberry Season begins: Organic PYO

The Blueberries typically produce an enormous amount of berries, but sometimes because of heavy picking the crop can be in short supply while the next batch ripens


 July 20-July 21
Rock River
Studio Artist Tour
 

This weekend is a lot of fun! There is art to see, blueberries to pick and acres of daylilies in bloom. 


 August 17th
Peak season ends
post-season hours

Friday-Sunday 10-5 pm

While the mass of blooms is less than peak, there are still thousands of blooms out. It is always amazing to see how the daylilies just keep on blooming. 


 September 2nd: Last day Open Gardens close 

open by chance or by appointment after this point.

 

 Early-Mid October: End of 2024 Shipping Season.