Tired of "Leaf-Roller Catepillars" decimating your green beans, but hate to use pesticides? Love the beautiful Long-Tailed Skipper butterfly, and want to see more in your yard without losing your bean crops?
Plant the cheapest sacrificial crop you will ever find!
Simply grab a handful of dried beans from your cubboard, or grab the cheapest bag you can find at the store (usually $1 a pound, or less!) And simply direct sow them in a container or a designated corner of the yard at the same time as you are direct sowing your green beans, water in well, and treat like you would your green beans as far as cultivation goes.
Any time you find Leaf Roller Catepillars on your main crop plants, carefully remove them and transfer them to the sacrificial plants, so that the caterpillars have a host plant to eat, but you're not losing out on a valuable crop!
Long Tailed Skippers have lost much of their natural habitat, including wild beans they would usually use as their host plants, so they how have to rely on the bean plants grown in humans gardens, especially in widely developed areas, so it's important that we do what we can to plant as many host plants for our native pollinators as possible, because they're losing ground every day.
Beans are one of the easiest host crops to grow, and definitely one of the cheapest if you already have the seeds in your food cubboard! If the plants survive the butterfly swarm at the end of the season, you will have dried beans ready from your garden, fresh for soup or planting next year!
We were able to find 3, one-poune bags of Mayocoba Beans at Walmart today in the clearance section for $0.25 each, so we will be growing a mix of like, 15 bean varieites in a container for the butterflies to use as a host plant, and also to just let the beans go wild cross pollination each other to see what we get at the end of the season!