[permaculture] Leaf Cutter Ants
ktopek at houston.rr.com
Fri Jun 18 18:08:21 EDT 2004
Fire ants are also tilling, prefering to build nests in dry soil that is low
in organic matter. To counteract them, place composted mulch on and around
their mounds. They will carry compost and fungus inside with them and this
will decrease their activity in that location. I suspect the beneficial
fungi for compost and soils is harmful and toxic to fire ants. They will
move on, but after having improved the soil structure. A well mulched site
harbors few fire ants.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kelly Lockamy" <garden_muse at bellsouth.net>
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 8:26 AM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Leaf Cutter Ants
> thanks marsha!!! i was wondering if or when anyone would point out the pc
> principle of working with nature - not against it!
> now for those fire ants...any suggestions??
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Marsha Hanzi" <mhanzi at yahoo.com>
> To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 7:32 AM
> Subject: [permaculture] Leaf Cutter Ants
> > Leaf cutter ants have a role to play in an ecosystem.
> > They appear in the transition from a rather poor
> > grass-shrub system to the beginnings of a forest.
> > Their immense compost heaps are very fertile, and the
> > bed for the trees of the future.
> > They are our allies and not our enemies, and deserve
> > to be treated as such. Making war on them is no use-
> > we all know who will win!
> > If you supplant their function by working with immense
> > quantities of organic material, they will disappear
> > from the system in about a year's time.
> > If cooperation is one of the pillars of Permaculture,
> > we need to apply it to our relationwhip with Nature.
> > So, to recap- in the case of undesirable leafcutter
> > action, you should-
> > 1. Verify if you planted the wrong thing at the wrong
> > time (i.e. trees which belong to a more evolved system
> > in an early stage of succession)Ants are janitors,
> > removing weak plants from the system.
> > 2. Increase biodiversity
> > 3. Go really heavy on mulching.
> > I usually tell our farmers that if they do these three
> > things and still have ant problems after one year, I
> > myself will jump into their bonfires on St. Johns feast!
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