companion plants for fruit trees

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by dekel, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. dekel

    dekel Junior Member

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    how to deter ants away from fruit trees,which companion plants could be the best baits to attract ants somewhere else?
     
  2. Chookie

    Chookie Junior Member

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    Not sure about plants that deter ants but maybe an animal integrated garden system may help solve this issue your having. The ants stay well away from my chooks;)
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    You could try pennyroyal ,tansy and catnip for the ants and nasturtiums,coriander and mint for the aphids
     
  4. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Hi Dekel, Are the ants on the tree or around the tree?

    If the ants are on the trees I would suspect a scale problem - which attracts the ants. The ants 'farm' the scale insects to provide them with sugars... In this case it is actually the scale issue that you need to resolve,rather than the ant issue.

    If the ants are around the tree then it suggests the soil environment is conducive to ants. Around here we tend to get ants in the drier soils that are often less fertile. Ants have an important role in taking nitrogen down into the soil too.

    If you can give us more information on what the exact ant problem/issue is then it may be easier to give you a good answer.

    Cheers
    Grahame
     
  5. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    As Grasshopper says, it could be aphids rather than scale, but either way it may not be the ants that are the root problem...
     
  6. dekel

    dekel Junior Member

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    Thnx guys.further observation concluded the ants are eating the mealy bugs and the mealy bugs eat the plants

    I pruned the infected part of the macademia and thwy celebrate at the moment on the sunflower.
    I wonder if i should pull the sunflower out. At the moment i am observing who will win ants or mealy bugs.
     
  7. dekel

    dekel Junior Member

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    It could also be that the mealy bugs extract the juice and the ants join the party and eat the juice on the surface
     
  8. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Ants are bad here at the moment due to the lack of rain. I've even got a new species of very small ant here that are absolutely maniacal in attacking every plant with every different type of scale, aphid, mealybug that I've ever seen in one place. Lost whole plants, nearly a tree and everything else looks lethargic. I alos have a spider mite explosion.

    These ants are not interested in boric acid sugar traps, or boric acid protein traps. You can try the trap with yours if it gets really bad.

    Like Grahame says, increase your irrigation and fertility if you can. I noticed a reduction when I started irrigating whole areas using a WobbleTee but it's wasteful of water. The mitigating strategy for me is homemade White Oil application, kill all the bad bugs, and then wait till they are brought back by the ants and start again.

    I'm just fingers crossed on the rain to drown out the, what I can only assume is, millions of ants I have here. I can only also assume is that they are so voracious as it is the only way they can farm any liquid water here at the moment through the secretions of the sap suckers. Poor little guys.
     
  9. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    You get any rain today SOP? I'm getting a decent drizzle up here.
     
  10. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Not a drip.

    Up there has been significantly more than here (comparing the Mary and here). That said, just 800m up the road gets more than we do here and everyone that lives around here knows it. Most storms split and avoid this area and the cutoff is a T-intersection at the top of a ridge.
     
  11. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I've always found that aphids and mealy bugs show up when a plant is stressed, usually from not enough water., and not enough organic matter and compost in/on the soil. Start irrigating, long deep soaks of water half way out to the dripline, extra thick leaf/grass mulch.

    If you can put a ring of boric acid powder around the base of the tree, the ants will pick it up. You can also make a water spray with lavender or lemon or rosemary (some strong scented) essential oil, a couple drops of simple dishsoap to make the water/oil mix, and spray bands around the trunk of the tree in about hand-width intervals, to break the scent of the path the ants are following. If they can't find the trail to the mealy bugs, they will give up. You could even spray the ground around the tree so they don't even get that far.
     

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