– Hi, thanks for joining
us for The Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South. I am Chris Cooper.  Not all bugs are bad,
 in fact, beneficial bugs  can take care of
 some infestations  before they are even a problem.  Also quick, five ounces
 per acre is how much  on your 50 square
 foot bean patch?  Today, we’ll show you
 how to do garden math.  That’s just ahead
 on The Family Plot:  Gardening in the Mid-South.  – (female announcer)
 Production funding for  The Family Plot: Gardening in
 the Mid-South is provided by  the WKNO Production Fund,
 the WKNO Endowment Fund,  and by viewers like
 you, thank you. [cheerful country music] – Welcome to The Family
Plot, I’m Chris Cooper. Joining me today
is Tonya Ashworth. Tonya’s our local garden expert and Mr. D is here,
thanks for joining us. – Howdy.
– Thanks for having me. – No problem, all right, Tonya, let’s talk a little bit
about beneficial bugs. But first, what do we
mean by beneficial? – Well, a beneficial
bug or beneficial insect is a bug that helps you reach
your goals in the garden. Some of them are pollinators. We think of immediately our
bees that are good pollinators, so they’re beneficial to us. And also, we have a lot of bugs that kill other bugs
that we don’t like. So, we have bugs
that eat the bugs that would eat our vegetables. – Okay, so you wanna start
with the braconid wasp? – Sure, the braconid wasp
is very a common thing to be seen in the garden,
but most people don’t know  when they’ve seen evidence
 of the braconid wasp.  Usually, you’ll find these
 on the tomato hornworms  on your tomato plants.  You’ll see all these
 little white egg sacs  on the back of the caterpillar.  And the braconid wasp,
 even though it’s a wasp,  it will not sting you.  They’re very tiny, like an
 1/8th of an inch, so very small.  The female lays her eggs on
 the back of caterpillars,  moths, beetle larva,
 and some aphids. And when those eggs hatch,
the larva eat the host, the tomato hornworm or whatever. And then after they
are done eating, the bad bug dies and
the new beneficials fly away to infect
more of your pests.  So, if you see a tomato hornworm  that has all these
 little white egg sacs  on the back, you don’t
 want to squish it.  You wanna leave it there so that  it can provide food
 for those good bugs. You can also attract
them in your garden by growing certain
things like dill,  parsley, wild carrot and yarrow.  In general, any kind of
 little herb with small flowers that adult wasps like
to use for nectar. – Small flowers, I think
that’s pretty interesting. Okay, now let’s talk
about green lacewing.  – Okay, the green lacewing,
 the larva are the ones  that feed on the pests.  In this case, they like
 aphids, mealy bugs,  caterpillars, scales,
 thrips and whiteflies.  So, a lot of the things
 that we don’t like, they like to munch on.  The female will lay her
 eggs on a slender egg stalk,  and she can lay about 200 eggs
 at a time on these stalks.  And one larva that
 emerges from that  will eat 200 aphids in a week, so they’re called aphid
lions, they’re really hungry. Hungry guys. – (Chris) In a week.
– In a week, 200 aphids. And they will feed for two
to three weeks before they go  into a cocoon, and then
 five days later they emerge.  You can plant some things to
 attract them to your garden  like angelica coreopsis,
 cosmos, and sweet alyssum. And you can also mail order
those egg stalks with the eggs. So yeah, the green lacewing
are very beneficial. You don’t wanna spray
those with an insecticide. And in fact, a good
rule of thumb is, when you spray an insecticide, you oftentimes kill
the beneficials with the ones that you’re
trying to get rid of. Yeah, so unless you use
Bt, ’cause it’s specific to caterpillars, but if you use
a broad spectrum insecticide you’re gonna kill all of
your good with your bad. So, you want to be careful
in how you use those. – Good information to share,
Tonya, good information. How about this next one
though, a pirate bug? Yes, minute pirate bugs. That’s kind of a fun name. – (Chris)
Yeah, it’s pretty fun.  – They’re very small, 1/12th
 to a 1/5th of an inch long,  that’s where they get the
 minute from, very small.  And they’re black
 and white in color.  The immature stages
 are very small,  they’re kinda tear-drop shaped  and brown and orangy colored.  The adults and the nymphs
 will both be predators  for thrips, spider mites,
 aphids and their eggs.  And an adult will eat
 30 spider mites a day. So, they’re quick moving. They’ll attack just
about anything though, not just those particular pests
that we like to get rid of. And the way they
attack their prey is they have a piercing,
sucking mouthpart.  So, they’ll use that mouthpart
 to inject into their prey,  and then they will suck
 the juices out of the prey.  – (Chris) Ew.
 – (Tonya) Yuck.  But that’s how they do it. They can go from an egg
to adults in three weeks and they have three
generations per season. And this is another one
that you can buy online. And they’re actually a
really good predatory bug if you’ve got a greenhouse, and they may be more
effective than others. And if you wanna try
to just encourage them to come to your garden,
you can plant goldenrod,  daisies, alfalfa,
 yarrow, clover and vetch. – Okay, all right, so
how about this next group of beneficial bugs, spiders? – Spiders, yes.
– Really, spiders? – Well, they’re not
technically an insect. When we talk about
beneficial insects, they’re not
technically an insect ’cause they have eight
legs instead of six, so they’re an arachnid. But not all spiders build
a web to catch their prey. In fact, the ones in our garden that are beneficial,
they hunt their prey. So, we have wolf spiders,
jumping spiders and crab spiders.  And the wolf spiders, I know
 every gardener has seen.  They live along in the
 leaf litter, in the mulch,  and whenever you’re
 turning your garden over  or doing any kind of weeding,
 you’ll find them there.  They’re kind of the
 large, brown spiders  with the stripes on their back.  – (Chris) Yeah, large.
 – (Tonya) Yes.  – (Chris)
 Yes, yes, they are.  – The mama spider
 carries around her eggs  with her where she goes,
 and after her young emerge,  for two weeks, she’ll carry
 her young on her back.  And they hunt at night
 in the leaf litter. Then we have a jumping spider.  The jumping spider, even
 though they don’t use a web,  they’ll use a strand of
 silk to tether themselves  to a leaf, and then they’ll
 jump on and attack their prey. And then the crab spiders
have enlarged front legs,  and that’s where they get
 the name crab spider from.  And they like to
 hang out on flowers  and hunt for their prey
 from flower petals.  And they can even turn colors,
 change colors a little bit  to camouflage
 against the flowers. – Oh, how about that? – Yeah.
– Not fair. – Pretty cool, yeah, not fair. (laughing) They’re good hunters. – Pretty good, all right, so
how about the praying mantis? We’ve all heard about
the praying mantis. – Well, the praying mantis
are really cool looking bugs.  Of course, they get their
 names from their big front legs  that they use to grab their
 prey while they munch.  And they can be really good
 at camouflaging themselves  against twigs, and sticks,
 and all that kind of stuff.  They like to lay their egg cases  in like this paper
 mache lookin’ thing.  Actually, bought a tree
 recently and it had one  of these egg cases on it,
 so that was pretty cool. – (Chris)
That’s cool. – And the egg case
will have like up to 200 baby praying
mantis in there. And you won’t even know
that they’ve hatched. You can’t look at the egg case and tell if they’ve
hatched or not, you just have to happen to
see a baby praying mantis somewhere, and
that’s how you know that you’ve had it hatched. So, you can buy
them on the internet and put ’em in a greenhouse
or in a garden setting, but you won’t know if
they’ve hatched or not unless you just so
happen to see the babies.  And these take five
 months to mature.  And they can lay up to five
 egg cases in their lifetime.  And they like to eat
 pretty much anything  that will catch their attention.  They’re pretty slow-moving.  Yeah, so they’ll grab anything,  like another
 beneficial insect even, they’ll grab like bees
and other praying mantis. So, they’re not real
particular on what they eat. – Wow. I’ve never seen a
baby one, though. – I haven’t either except
like on the internet. You can like look up video
of these things hatchin’ out of their egg cases,
it’s really pretty cool. – All right, it’s
pretty good stuff. So once again, folks, be careful when you’re using pesticides
in the garden, right? Because we do have beneficials
out there that will help us. Right?
– That’s right. – Thank you much for
that good information, Tonya, we appreciate that.  There are a number of
 gardening events going on   in the next couple of weeks.  Here are just a few
 that might interest you. [cheerful country music] All right, Mr. D, let’s see if we can tackle
some garden math. – Gardening math, I hate math. (laughing) – I think we all concur. – Yeah, yeah. – But math is a big part of
putting down fertilizers, putting down pesticides, so
you have to know a little math. – (Mr. D)
That’s right, kids. – So, when they told you to pay
attention in algebra class– – (Mr. D.)
You better do that. You better, you’re
gonna have to use it. – Yes, you’re gonna
have to use it. – Fortunately, we have
calculators nowadays. They help and there’re
a few apps out there that give you a little
bit of help, too. It’s good to be able
to know how to do it so you can kinda cross check, and make sure you got it right. It’s really important
that you do it right. And you might wanna,
like I said, double check because one little decimal
point can make a big difference. Two decimal points makes
a real big difference. If you’re supposed to get 10%, .01 instead of .1,
that’s very important. – (Chris)
Makes a difference, no doubt about that. – But the important thing
when a lot of the pesticides, and fertilizers, and
soil test reports, and things like that will break
homeowners information down to a thousand square
feet, or sometimes, per hundred square feet. Most of the time, it’s
per thousand square feet. So, probably the most important
thing you can do first is determine how many square
feet that you’re treating. And we all know that in
order to find the area of a rectangle, we multiply
the length times the width in feet, and it’ll give
you the square feet. Or in inches, it’ll give
you the square inches.  If you have a lot, I
 would determine the area  of the lot first, and
 then I would determine  the area of your house,
 and subtract that  from your total square
 footage of your lot.  Measure the area of your
 driveway, subtract that.  Measure the area of your
 patio, subtract that.  The area of your dog
 pen, subtract that.  The area of your swimming
 pool, subtract that.  The area of your
 workshop, subtract that.  And when you’ve
 done all of that,  you will pretty
 much have the area,  the total area in square
 footage that you’re treating.  So, then you’ll know
 how much product to buy. And then if you’re
using a fertilizer, keep in mind most of the soil
test reports will tell you how much nitrogen you need
per thousand square feet. They’re not gonna tell you
how much triple 15 you need, because you may
not have triple 15, you may have triple 10
or 6-12-12, or 34-0-0. Or there’s a lot of different
formulations of fertilizer, so they’re gonna tell you
how much active ingredient you need per
thousand square feet. And then when you
buy that product, whatever you come up with, if it calls for 10 pounds of nitrogen per
thousand square feet, and you’ve got a 34% product, then you’ve gotta
reduce the amount. You’re gonna increase
the total amount of the product you put
out to get that 34%. You gotta bring it down to 34%. Same way with the 10%,
triple 10 would be real easy. If you would need
to put 10 pounds of nitrogen per
thousand square feet, then you’re gonna put, if you have triple
10, be a hundred, like a hundred
pounds of triple 10 that you’re gonna
have to put out there. It’d be two bags of fertilizer. So, if it’s 50-pound bags. So, just double
check everything, use algebra, use your
algebraic expression. I have to write it
down and look at it. If I try to do it in my head, I’m gonna make a mess. So, write it down and then
cross multiply, cross check, and then make sure
you’ve got it right. You can add more, so
if you underestimate you can go back and
you can add more. But it’s pretty hard to take up if you put too much out there. And putting too much out
there with fertilizer, can contaminate
our water supplies, and it can create problems,
it can create algae blooms and things like that. Don’t feel like just because
you have a 50-pound bag of fertilizer you’ve
gotta use it all. It will keep, it will keep. You can roll it up and
put you some duct tape on it and use it next year. Just use what you need. And with herbicides,
if you put out more than you’re supposed to put out, you can kill desirable grass. Some of the herbicides may be
targeted to just broadleaves, but if you go a way, way, way
more than you’re supposed to, you might kill everything
that you’ve got out there. – (Chris)
For sure. – So, it’s important to
follow label directions and unfortunately,
you gotta use math. – Speaking of using math, you
wanna get to our math problem? – Well, let’s do a
math problem, yeah. – Let’s see if we
can do one quickly. – Okay. – So, set us up here,
what do we have? – Have I gotta show you my
scratchin’ here on this?  I can do that, I can do that.  What I’ve got here is
 triple 15 fertilizer,  and the soil test
 recommendation calls  for 10 pounds per
 thousand square feet.  So, I know that I
 have 4,000 square feet  that I need to treat.  I’ve done all my subtractions,  and additions, and
 multiplications,  and I’ve got a 4,000 square
 feet I need to treat.  So, I just set up an
 algebraic expression.  I got 10 pounds per
 thousand square feet,  I’ve got 4,000 square feet.  So, four times 10 is 40 pounds.  I need 40 pounds of nitrogen
 on my 4,000 square feet.  And I’m using triple 15, so
 triple 15 is 15% nitrogen,  15% phosphorus and 15% potash.  And so I got a 15%
 material, so I set it up.  40 pounds is 15% of what?  40 pounds just happens
 to be 15% of 266.66.  So, I need 266.66 pounds
 of triple 15 on that–  – (Chris) 4,000.
 – (Mr. D.) 4,000 square feet. See, it’s a weak material, and the triple 15
is only, it’s 45%, now in that you’re also gettin’ the same amount of potassium, and the same amount
of phosphate. So, triple 15 is 45%
fertilizer, and 55%– – (Chris) Inert material.
– Inert ingredients. – (Chris)
As they say, or ingredient. – So, there’s a lot of
fertilizer in there. 266 pounds, how many bags is it? That’s quite a
bit of fertilizer. – Yeah, and I think
they come in what? 40 maybe, 50 pound bags. – And 10 pounds of nitrogen
is a lot of nitrogen. I just threw that out there. It may be probably one
pound or one to three pounds is probably a more
common recommendation on nitrogen fertilizer. So, that was just an
example that I used. – And of course, we
know that nitrogen moves pretty quickly
through the soil. – Yeah, and you know
it’s gonna be there if it’s not encapsulated, if
it’s not slow-release form, it will be gone in
four to six weeks. You know, a lot of rain,
four weeks, six weeks. If there’s not too much rain,
four to six weeks it’s gone. – Your algebra teacher would
be proud of you, Mr. D. Thank you so much. – No, no, she wouldn’t. – Well, we appreciate
that math question for us. Thank you much.
– Thank you much. – This is a planting of
the old flowering begonia, which is an annual that’s
been around for many decades. Often, you’ll see it advertised
for use in sun or shade. And yeah, well, but, maybe. It actually does a little
bit better in some shade. And this is a really
good example right here. This patch that’s
doing so well, and lush and covered with flowers, is
actually getting some shade from this overhang
during the midday sun and the afternoon sun,
which is the hottest part. Although it does
get morning sun, which is ideal so that it
will continue to flower well. If you look at this area,
it’s certainly baking in the hot sun for longer parts of the day, not doing as well. The temptation might be that
you water it more heavily then. But in fact, begonia’s
a plant that suffers from too much water,
so you don’t wanna keep that soil too wet. You will rot the roots
and lose that planting. So, be sure you check to be sure that it does need
watering again. You also might
wanna check out some of the new forms that
have the larger leaves and are really beautiful
additions to the landscape. – All right, here’s
our Q&A session. Tonya, you help us out if we
get in trouble, all right? – Okay. – Here’s our first email. I put a lot of coffee
and tea grounds in my small compost pile.  Does the caffeine
 from coffee grounds  have any beneficial, neutral
 or detrimental effects  on plants or the
 compost organisms.  My compost pile is also
 my fishing worm bed.  Also, do my veggies
 accumulate caffeine in them?  And this is from Mr.
 Dunn in Bartlett. What do you think
about that, Tonya? – That’s an excellent question. – It is. – But you have to know
a little bit about soils and how plants take up
minerals from the soil. And it’s all at a very
microscopic level. So, you don’t have to
worry about your plants having extra caffeine in ’em. They’re not gonna have
a problem with that. Because your plant root
hairs are takin’ up things at elemental levels. So, caffeine is not a compound
that they’re gonna take up. They’re gonna take up
the different elements that used to be in
the coffee grounds. And coffee and tea grounds
are excellent sources of nitrogen for
your compost pile. So, definitely keep usin’ ’em. And enjoy the benefits of
those good source of greens, as we call it, in
your compost pile. And you don’t have to
worry about any kind of negative effects
from the caffeine. – I have a theory though
about the fishing worms. – Okay. – Sometimes, the fishing
worms I try to put on the hook are more
active than others. (laughing)
– (Chris) Oh, caffeine. – Personally, I think they
had a shot of caffeine. Some of ’em really wiggle a lot. – (Chris)
Oh boy. – I don’t know. – (Chris)
Caffeine, huh. – We need to study that. (laughing) – We can get a grant for
research on fishing worms. – Yeah, just to study that. But what about those
compost organisms that are in there,
those microorganisms, you think the caffeine
would affect them? – I don’t think so. – As they’re breaking
down the compost? – I don’t think so, I
haven’t read anything about that anywhere,
and all I’ve read is how great coffee grounds
and tea grounds are. I think you’re okay. – All right, so there
you have it, Mr. Dunn. All right, here’s our next
viewer email, it’s a picture.  There is a rust-like
 coating or growth  on some of our beans this year.  What is it and do
 we need to worry  about it spreading
 throughout the patch?  And this is Miss
 Sarah in Franklin.  So, rust-like coating
 on the beans, Mr. D, have you seen that before? – It’s probably rust. – It’s rust, yeah. – It probably rust, yeah. Yeah, it’s a very, very
common fungal disease that attacks snap beans
and a lot of beans. There are reddish-brown
pustules on the leaves and pods. And that was pretty clear. There’s fungicides that will
do the trick, chlorothalonil, BRAVO, and even sulfur
will take rust out. So, keep in mind
with the fungicide, they’re preventative
in nature primarily, so if you’ve already
got the problem, you’re not gonna cure the
problem that you’ve got with chlorothalonil and sulfur,
but you should prevent it from spreading to
unaffected tissue. If you’ve got a problem
with it right now, you might wanna spray
and then wait until seven to 10 days, or
something like that. The rust is more of a problem, most fungal
organisms like moist, warm, moist conditions. And if we have drier conditions and a lot of sunshine
and all that, and you’ve got
some air drainage, then that problem might go away. If not, every seven to 10 days, you can treat with a fungicide, but you do need to
look at the label and make sure and check
for pre-harvesting. ‘Cause if you’re pickin’
these snap beans, make sure that if that’s
a seven day waiting period after you’ve sprayed,
then you need to wait seven days
before you pick ’em. – Okay, does it affect
the actual bean itself? – As far as the organism, yes, it is actually
feeding on that pod. It’s feeding on the pod. Now, will it hurt
you if you eat that? – Right, this is
what I’m getting at. – Probably not. I’m not aware of any
rust being a problem even if you accidentally
ingest some. – Okay, there you
have it, Miss Sarah. All right, here’s our
next viewer email. My squash has large
leaves and yellow flowers.  On my plants when the
 squash flower falls off,  the squash dies.  What did I do wrong?  And this is Miss Norma. So, Tonya, what happened? – All right, well, that’s
a very common question, especially at the beginning
of the growing season. Squash actually have male
flowers and female flowers. And so, obviously,
the only flowers that can bear fruit
are the female flowers. So, it just so happens
that squash has a tendency to put male flowers on first. And obviously, you’ve
gotta have female flowers and male flowers at the same
time to get a squash, a fruit. So, probably what’s
happenin’, it’s early in the blooming season
when this person, when she noticed this. And you’ve got all male flowers, and the male flowers, since
they can’t grow a fruit,  they fall off and that’s
 pretty much the end of it.  And you can tell if
 you have a male flower  or female flower by lookin’
 at the base end of it,  its little stem kind of part  that attaches the
 flower to the stem.  If it’s kind of swollen
 from the get-go,  then that is the female
 ovary part of the plant. So, hang on, you’ll get fruit, unless the squash vine
borers get to them first. (laughing) But yes, you will eventually
have both male and female at the same time bloomin’
and get pollination, and your female flowers
will bear fruit, and your male ones will
just continue to fall off. – All right, if you have a
small embryonic fruit. – Yeah.
– That you see behind that’s attached to a female
flower is what that is. So, bees actually help
with the pollination. But what if you
don’t have any bees? How can you help? – Well, you can get a Q-tip. – (Chris) Aha.
– Yeah, and do it yourself. – And explain that one
to your neighbors, right? – Yeah. (laughing) All right, so there you
have it, Miss Norma. Well, Tonya, Mr. D,
we’re outta time. It’s been fun. – Right, thanks.
– All right.  Remember, we love
 to hear from you.  Send us a email or letter.  The email address is
 [email protected],  and the mailing
 address is Family Plot,  7151 Cherry Farms Road,
 Cordova, Tennessee, 38016.  Or you can go online to
 FamilyPlotGarden.com. That’s all we have
time for today. If you’d like more information
on beneficial insects or more garden math
examples, head on over to FamilyPlotGarden.com. Thanks for watching,
I’m Chris Cooper. Be sure to join us next
week for The Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South. Be safe. [cheerful country music]