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University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

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  1. When Elmer was sowing his lawn, two seeds blew into his garden and sprouted as grass plants. Why did Elmer call these two grass plants weeds?

    Answer: Any plant can be called a weed when it grows where it is not wanted or where it interferes with the plants the gardener does want.

  2. Why are weeds bad in a garden?

    Answer: This is a tricky question! Weeds can be bad in a garden if they soak up the nutrients, water, and sunlight that are needed by the vegetables or flowers that the gardener wants to grow. Weeds can also attract harmful insects that will then also attack desirable plants in the garden. However, there is some scientific evidence that weeds growing near the garden also provide homes for beneficial insects. Beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and praying mantids, eat pest insects that might attack the vegetables and flowers.

  3. Two of the plant-eating pests in Elmer's garden are not insects. Which ones are they?

    Answer: Mites (related to spiders) and Slug (related to snails and clams)

  4. At least five of the insects in the garden are helpful. Which ones are they, and how are they helpful?


    Honey Bees - carry pollen from flower to flower, fertilizing them so that they will produce fruit (without bees to pollinate the flowers, there would be no squash, okra, or peas to eat)

    Ants - some ant species feed on insect eggs and small insects, incuding those of pest insects

    Lacewing - larvae are predaotrs that eat pest insects, such as aphids

    Ladybird Beetle (also called ladybug) - adult and larva are predators that eat pest insects, such as aphids
    Mantis - you and adult praying mantids eat many pest insects

    Mites - some mites are predaceous and feed on other mites that suck plant juice from the plant

    Wasps - some very tiny wasps are egg parasitoids--they lay their eggs inside the eggs of other insets, especially those that will hatch into caterpillars; other tiny wasps lay eggs onthe caterpillars themselves. They developing wasp larvae kill the harmful caterpillars that would otherwise eat flowers and vegetables in the garden. Larger wasps, such as the paper wasp, capture caterpillars as prey.

  5. Which pests suck sap from the plants?


    Lace Bug
    Leaf Bug

  6. Which insects chew plant leaves?


    Asparagus Beetle
    Bean Beetle
    Flea Beetle
    Potato Beetle

  7. Which insects will develop into moths or butterflies?

    Answer:Caterpillar, Borer, Earworm

  8. Which pest chews roots or underground parts of plants?

    Answer: White Grub

  9. Of the vegetables planted, which ones have roots that are good to eat?

    Answer: Beets, Carrots, Radishes

  10. Which plant grows edible tubers?

    Answer: Potato

  11. Which plants produce edible fruit? ("Fruit" can be defined in various ways, but what is meant here is the part of the plant that contains the seeds.)

    Answer: Beans, Corn, Okra, Peas, Peppers, Squash, Tomatoes

  12. Which plant produces an edible bulb?

    Answer: Leeks

  13. We can eat the young stem, or shoot, of what plant?

    Answer: Asparagus

  14. Which plants have seeds as the main edible part?

    Answer: Beans, Corn, Peas

  15. Which plants have leaves that can be eaten?

    Answer: Beets, Cabbage, Kale, Lettuce

  16. Which plant will come up year after year without having to be replanted?

    Answer: Asparagus

  17. Some of the vegetables are normally eaten raw, and some are normally cooked first, and some may be eaten either way.


    Raw: Radishes, Lettuce

    Cooked: Asparagus, Beans, Beets, Cabbage, Corn, Kale, Okra, Potato, Squash

    Either: Carrots, Leeks, (Lettuce), (summer) Squash, Peas, Peppers, Tomatoes

  18. Which vegetables have you eaten, and did you eat them raw or cooked?

Last updated: 14 January 1999

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