Friends with Benefits
Reasons Why We Plant Beneficial Flower Rows:
ORSO FARMS is growing Certified Organic Hemp Plants!
With that commitment to the plants and environment, we must utilize all the tools available to assist us in a healthy grow. One of the most unique tools is the use of “Beneficial Flowering Plants” to combat pests on the Hemp Plant.
1) We Source and Use Companion Plants
We consider Flowering companion plants as our "friends" with benefits!
They offer our neighboring Hemp plants, useful "service."
Our Friends seed mix:
White Dill Ammi Flower
2) Beneficial Rows Improve the Ecosystem of the Hemp Field
a) Our "Friends" attract, butterflies, wasps, lady bugs, birds and native bees. And in some cases, the target pest is more likely to stay in the beneficial flowers and not the Hemp plant.
3) Source of Fertilizer
a) Our Friends - Beneficial Rows can ‘fix nitrogen’ in our soil. They can help to fertilize our plants. Our Friends add nitrogen via a beneficial relationship with rhizobia bacteria, that converts nitrogen into a form that other plants can use.
Working with nature by growing a few of these flowering species can help reduce the use fertilizer.
4) Pest and Disease Management
Friends with Benefits work in several ways to help us manage pests and diseases. Maintaining a predator to pest balance in our Field is vital for the health of our Hemp Plant.
Friends with Benefits can:
a) Attract beneficial predator insects as an ‘insectary’ or food source which means less organic pesticide sprays being used. Various species of ladybirds and their larvae will feed on aphids, scale and powdery mildew. The Dill attracts Green Lacewings which will feed on some of the Hemp Plant’s most deadly pests, Aphids, Leafhoppers & Mealybugs.
b) Attract the Targeted Pest – the Nasturtium attracts; Aphids, spider mites, whiteflies and leafhoppers, some of the harmful pests of the hemp plant and flower and will in some cases choose to munch on Nasturtium plant over the Hemp Plant.
c) Produce chemicals to repel insects from attacking a plant’s leaves, flowers, roots and fruit. Nasturtiums can be used to fumigate the soil as a natural deterrent to harmful root knot nematodes and help to repel insects above the ground.
d) Pests are building Immunity - Upwards of one-thousand pests have become somewhat or very resistant to pesticides. But a ladybug will consume aphids all day long with no defense for the aphids.
Friends with Benefits is a choice we make to dedicate 15% of our acreage to this host crop in our fields, an easy solution for a whole host of potential pest problems.
“Bloom where you're planted” equals “Reap what you sow.”