"The arts have this ability to capture the imagination, and I think if you can give that gift to students — [by embracing] creativity, innovation, and exploration — they can take their learning to amazing heights, because it's not just something on a page, it's something they've experienced."
— Lee Arvinger, California Dance Institute
Attract beneficial insects and confuse pests by planting a variety of flowers, vegetables and herbs. Wasps and flies are beneficial and can be attracted by plants from two families: umbelliferae such such as anise, carrot, caraway, coriander, dill, fennel and parsley have many tiny flowers arranged in tight umbels; and composite such as black-eyed Susan's, goldenrod and strawflower have central disc flowers surrounded by many ray petals. Mustard flowers attract lacewings ( aphid predators) and parasitic wasps (to control cabbage caterpillars and coddling moths).
Aphids pierce through and feed on the stems and leaves of plants. If you catch these pests early, while they’re still near the base of your plants, you can spray them off with your water hose.
Just read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and you’ll know the devastation they can have on a garden!
Slugs and Snails
Ladybugs are a natural predator of aphids which make them one of the most beneficial bugs for your garden. Adult ladybugs will consume more than 5,000 aphids during their lifetime!
The Assassin bugs are generalist predators. That means they eat many garden pests! They have piercing-sucking mouthparts which they insert into their prey and release a deadly saliva that liquefies the insides of their prey and stops them from eating our vegetables.
The larval stage of this bug is nicknamed “aphid lion” because of its voracious appetite for aphids and other garden pests. During the first few weeks of their larval stage, assassin bugs can consume around 200 pests per week.
To attract birds to the Edible Garden and pavilion space we have installed various bird feeders. We wanted to see how the birds reacted to our visitors, and how our visitors reacted to the birds. Thanks to generous ongoing donations from Wild Birds Unlimited in Torrance, all the seed is free!
We have installed four seed feeders to attract seed eating birds, like House Finches.
In addition to seed feeding birds, we wanted to attract local hummingbird species. We have two year-round resident species, Anna's and Allen's Hummingbirds (Calypte anna and Selasphorus sasin).
To encourage these birds we installed two hummingbird feeders which we have to refil on an almost daily basis. Stop by the Edible Garden to see them in action.