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Friday, May 1, 2009

Praying Mantis at our schools

Yesterday I did another program on the Healthy Garden at Maplewood School. Maplewood is one of the two intermediate schools in the South Huntington School District with grades 3 through 5. The entire third grade came to the assembly to learn about gardening and beneficial insects.

The day before that I had done a similar program for a single class where we were able to make pots and plant them (scroll down for more on that). With such a large group, a hands on workshop wasn't feasible. Since I had already brought a praying mantis egg case to Mrs. Labate's class, I thought it would be fun for the students to have a second case outside the school.

Can you see the egg case attached to the branch? I used twist ties to put it on the limb of the Andromeda just near the entrance of the school. It will be interesting to see if the baby praying mantis emerges at the same time inside the building and outside. I hope somebody lets me know if they see the babies start to crawl out.

Mr. Roemer's garden is right at the entrance of Maplewood. I thought it was very fitting that it was filled with Myosotis which has the nickname Forget-me-not. I think Mr. Roemer would be happy to know that there is going to be praying mantis in his garden.

For those of you planning on stopping by here today or tomorrow, the showers in the forecast won't be slowing me down. I'll still be out there in my boots and slicker. The garden needs this rain desperately after being shocked with our heatwave earlier this week. These are perfect conditions to split and divide perennials. If it gets too wet I can always spread mulch.


1 comment:

  1. It looks like a Chinese mantis egg case. It is important to be well informed about these insects. I consulted some fact sheets.
    The University of Wisconsin ( gives this advice: "Purchasing lady beetles and praying mantids for release in the home garden is not recommended." North Carolina State University ( states: "Chinese mantids have no demonstrated value in pest management." They give the following reasons: The insects present in most gardens are not abundant enough to satisfy their needs, so they may eat each other or leave the area. They are indiscriminate in their choices and eat a number of beneficial species, as well as pests.


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