Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Parasitoid Wasp Cocoons

It’s nice to know nature is at work in my garden.  The Beneficials are doing there job all without any interference from me! There are tons of Lady Beetles out there and a lot of mating going on between them! I can’t tell you how many Lady Beetles I have caught doing their "thing" in my garden lately! But, I will be happy to have the Lady Beetle Larvae in my garden! Good stuff.
Well, today I found two Tomato Worms in my garden and one was covered in Parasitoid Wasp Cocoons! Yay!!! According to my reading, these wasp come from the Braconid Family and are very small but super good for the garden using all kinds of BAD bugs as their hosts or prey. Including hornworms, caterpillars, beetles, aphids, squash bugs and stink bugs. All Right! Get to work little wasps! I need all the help I can get with those buggers!
In other gardening stuff, I have been harvesting quite a bit of Oregano and Basil from the garden and drying it. I have found another great use for my Magic Bullet, aside from baby food! The smaller flatter blade does a great job cutting up the dried herbs! I LOVE it! Right now I have two large cookie sheets with herbs drying on them and they will soon meet the Magic Bullet! Fun stuff!
Happy Gardening!


  1. Jealous!! Can you send some of your Parasitoid Wasps my way? Great pics....I hope they hatch soon.

  2. Umm... Those parasitoid wasps cocoons sound and look totally gross, but I love what they do to the garden pests! I had never even heard of them before reading your post today. Totally fascinating!

    Your oregano and basil, do you just air dry them on your cookie sheets? About how long does that take?

  3. It takes several days for the Oregano and Basil to dry out. I tried putting it in the oven once, but I think it took some of the smell and flavor out of it. I would love to get a dehydrator someday!

  4. I'm also interested in how you dry your herbs. So you just lie them on the cookie sheet and let them dry there? Do you have to flip them at all?

  5. Well, I don't know if this is a good or bad way of drying my herbs, but I figured if you can hang them to dry why not just lay them out to dry. I just lay them out on paper plates or something larger like a cookie sheet and just let them dry on their own. Occasionally I shift them around a bit to see how dry they are and if they seem ready to chop or not. I do take all the stems off before I start drying them though. Seems easier to me. This is only the first year I have tried drying herbs so it has been trial and error. Last year I didn't have much and just threw it in the freezer till I was ready to use it, which also worked well for me, cause once it was frozen it broke up pretty nicely for use in a recipe. And thawed pretty quickly as well.