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Beginner Gardening: ants in the garden

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 11, Views: 108
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Lancaster, CA

June 22, 2012
8:56 AM

Post #9175794

my garden is crawling with ants. can they harm any plants? they especially enjoy the sunflowers and corn as well as the base of my mustard greens and grapes. are there any natural deterrents.?
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2012
11:46 AM

Post #9175985

Unsure of the type of ant or what damage they can do but
ants can serve to provide pollination for your vegetables.
Greenfield, OH
(Zone 6a)

June 22, 2012
12:17 PM

Post #9176021

Ants can be a real benefit in the garden. I wouldn't worry about them

This message was edited Jun 25, 2012 10:10 AM
Standish, MI

June 22, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #9176035

Where we live we have a bad problem with ants. What they do in the garden when they are in large enough numbers is destroy some of the plants. Last year we lost 30 of our 48 Jalapenos to the ants. What they do in our garden is tunnel next to the root systems and then the roots seem to dry and the plants begin to wilt. Basically they destroy the root system of the plants.

The only way of controlling them has been to put powder Seven in the hole when we plant. This has happened over that last four or five years. But this year we seem to be doing better with all our plants only losing one pepper and one tomato to the ants.

Our soil is heavy toward being sandy and it makes a great place for the ants to make the whole yard an ant hill.
Lancaster, CA

June 23, 2012
8:52 AM

Post #9177127

thanks yall. they're just regular black ants. but there are a whole lot of 'em, some with wings.


Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 23, 2012
5:42 PM

Post #9177694

with wings are the drones, the mound is swarming following a new queen. They do harm plants - they'll eat them to the ground once they start digging in good. Roots, fruit, and aphids.
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2012
8:25 AM

Post #9178403

Try some diatomaceous earth. Any insects crawling over it find it cuts their "skin". I always run for than when I see the first sign of ants moving in. It is non toxic but one should use a face mask or make sure you don't breath in the fine powder. It would be safe around your peppers.
Ozark, MO
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2012
1:46 PM

Post #9178816

My garden is lined with really old railroad ties, and little black ants like to nest in the rotten wood. Unfortunately, they also like my veggies - especially okra. Okra has sap they like, and they get around the base of the pods and eventually ruin them.

I don't get carried away about controlling ants, but when I see about a million of them on a railroad tie about to swarm, Ortho Bug-B-Gone takes care of them real quick. I figure people who are a lot more qualified than me have approved the use of such products by home gardeners.
Central, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 6, 2012
6:24 AM

Post #9195052

For those gardeners fighting "fire ants" in the garden read this pub:

Houston, TX

July 12, 2012
12:15 PM

Post #9202871

One thing to really watch for with ants is APHIDS. The ants will farm the aphids to get the honeydew they secrete. They will defend the aphids against predators and can cause aphid populations to get out of control. It's definitely something to watch for. I had a bad problem early in the season here in Texas. I had to resort to Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew (spinosad) and that really got things under control fast. It will kill the beneficial insects, too, including bees, so be careful with that. Good luck!
Arlington, TX

July 12, 2012
3:36 PM

Post #9203066

does Amdro work for more then just fire ants?


Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 14, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9204945

I have noticed that ants know when a melon is ripe. They will collect at the area where stem meets fruit. I've not noticed this in prior years and am wondering if it is because it has been so dry this year.

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