Armstrong Garden Centers Gives Away One Million Ladybugs

Monday, April 8, 2013 | 2:03 pm

Armstrong Garden Centers will be giving away one million ladybugs across all store locations to help gardeners keep a healthy garden this year. In certain cultures, ladybugs are considered to be good luck. Put luck on your side this growing season when you visit Armstrong during Ladybug Weekend, April 20th and 21st.

“April is the best time of the year to begin planting summer fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, corn, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon,” states Sean Sturgeon, regional manager of Armstrong Garden Centers. “Adding ladybugs to your garden will increase the likelihood for strong growth and reduce the risk of serious damage caused by pesky insects, such as aphids.”

Ladybugs are predatory insects and their main source of food is aphids. Aphids, sap-sucking insects also known as plant lice, can stunt plant growth, turn leaves brown, and may cause plant death. Adult ladybugs are capable of eating more than five thousand aphids in their lifetime.

“Not only are ladybugs highly effective in pest control, they eliminate the need to use harmful pesticides,” continues Sturgeon. “More Californians are taking advantage of growing their own produce. We encourage all to attend Ladybug Weekend and discover the benefits of ladybugs.”

Armstrong will be hosting a class on beneficial insects on the first day of Ladybug Weekend at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 20th at every store. Along with ladybugs, participants will be taught which plants are best for attracting the following beneficial insects:

• Praying Mantis – These bugs are fascinating to watch, with their very slow moving, 3-inch long bodies and prominent eyes. Praying Mantis feed on anything they can catch

• Red Worms – Their intricate digestive tract produces nutritious fertilizer known as worm castings. The tunnels they create in soil also help the aeration of plant roots
• Decollate Snails – Carnivores that feed on their cousins, the brown garden snail. Once they rid your garden of brown snails, they feed on leaf litter and other organic material, helping the composting process
• Green Lacewings – Aphid exterminators, both as larvae and adults. They also feed on mealybugs, scale spider mites, thrips, whiteflies, small caterpillars, insect eggs and larvae

Ladybug packets will be available while supplies last and are limited to one per family. Armstrong has many free workshops throughout the year. Contact your local Armstrong Garden Center or go to armstronggarden.com/pages/classes to see a full calendar of workshops. All classes are free, no registration is required and any level of gardener is welcome.

Armstrong Garden Centers

Armstrong Garden Centers has been taking the guesswork out of gardening since 1889. Armstrong is the largest California independent retail nursery company with twenty-two locations in Los Angeles and Orange County. For more information and expert gardening tips, please visit armstronggarden.com or any of our twenty-two store locations.

• Follow Armstrong Garden Centers on Twitter – @armstronggarden
• Like Armstrong Garden Centers on Facebook – facebook.com/armstronggarden
• Watch their gardening tutorials on YouTube – youtube.com/armstronggarden

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