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Compost

Does Applying Compost to Columbine Deter Leaf Miners?

As you can see from the top photo my Columbine were attacked by leaf miners last year.

Columbine
Without compost

This Spring I added a one to two inch layer of compost around my Columbine. The bottom photo shows this year’s leaf miner free plants.

Columbine
With compost

The addition of compost appears to have eliminated the appearance of leaf miners.

I don’t know how compost would deter leaf miners. Perhaps healthier plants are able to withstand leaf miner invasion? Perhaps leaf miners are attracted to weaker or weakened plants?

Predators tend to prey on the weak.

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Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints

  • Make your own compost and lay it down as a mulch, about two inches deep.
  • Wood mulch in the garden? No, but maybe a bit of liquorice root or cedar mulch on a highly trafficked footpath.
  • Don’t prune anything in the Fall.  Pruning can cause the plant to start growing again, using up the plant’s, shrub’s or tree’s energy stores to send out new growth, growth that will promptly be killed by the first frost.
  • Prune Spring blooming plants in the Spring, AFTER they bloom.
  • Prune Summer blooming plants like Rose of Sharon and Butterfly Bush in early Spring.
  • I added a one to two inch layer of compost around my columbine this spring and it appears to have practically eliminated the appearance of leaf miners.
  • The same amount of compost under my roses greatly diminished the appearance of Black Spot.
  • Dead-heading (removing spent blossoms), saves the plant energy it would normally put into making seeds, and induces the plant to make more flowers.
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    Helpful Hints

    Introduction

    Carly here.  I would like to share my love of gardening with you.

    I am a 50+ year old mother of two grown children and I now have more time to devote to my passion which is gardening.  I minored in horticulture in college, and learned most of what I know by experience which I will share with you on this site.  I am by no means an expert, just a fellow gardener, sharing what I’ve learned by experience.

    I highly recommend Mike McGrath’s public radio talk show on gardening: “You Bet Your Garden”. Mike delivers great information on gardening with an unrelenting sense of humor!