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By Melissa Hutsell
Pictured above: The Beneficial Bug Print, featuring 16 different, “heroes of the cannabis garden.” Photo courtesy of Goldleaf
Humans love cannabis. But we aren’t the only ones. There is an army of bugs that love the plant too.
But, for organic growers, critters can be their worst nightmare—and their best friends.
The Heroes of Organic Gardens
Pests including aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats and white flies commonly afflict cannabis, according to Marijuana Break. These insects suck nutrients from plants, spread disease, and kill entire crops… quickly.
Beneficial insects, on the other hand, prey on these pests, eliminating them just as fast. While farmers of all sorts mainly use them as a preventive tool, these little predators can also help control an outbreak once it’s begun, reports Leafly.
For this reason, it’s important to recognize these garden heroes.
Bug Eat Bug World
Goldleaf’s Beneficial Insects Print helps organic gardeners do just that.
The print is part of the company’s cultivation collection. It features illustrations of 16 different friendly predators, which are beneficial for most organic grows—cannabis or otherwise.
Also included on prints are the size of each predator, and their preferred diets. For example:
Thrip Predator: (.5mm) preys on hemp russet mites, onion thrips and broad mites.
Mealybug Destroyer: (3.4-4.5mm) mealy bugs and related species
Rove Beetle: (2-8mm) shore flies, fungus gnats, and root aphids
Lady Beetle: (7-8mm) aphids, chinch bugs, and spider mites.
Praying Mantis: (12-150mm) the generalist of the garden preys on most bugs, including lady beetles.
It may appear that there’s a typo on the print. But it’s not an error at all. Though “whitefly parasite” is listed twice, they are two different bugs known by the same general moniker. However, their diets, and their scientific names differ.
Classy, Scientific Era Illustrations
I hate bugs… and tend to cringe at the site of them. But, Goldleaf’s Beneficial Insects Print reminds me to keep the good ones around, and doesn’t creep me out while doing it.
Artist Sara Marchetto created the visuals to reflect the classic 1800s-style scientific era prints, which give them the ultimate level of sophistication.
They’re printed on uncoated archival paper, which means it’s acid-free. Acid-free paper generally requires less chemicals to process. Not only is this more eco-friendly than alternatives, but acid-free paper has a longer lifespan, according to the Library of Congress (LOC).
Give it the Display it Deserves
I hung my Goldleaf print in my kitchen, near the exit of my house and the entrance of my greenhouse. In order to protect it from any splatter, I had it lamented with grommets for $12 at Staples.
That was a horrible idea. It made it feel more like a poster than the piece of art it is.
For that reason, I recommend getting it framed right away, or purchasing Goldleaf’s hanging rails to give it an elegant display it deserves.
The Gold Standard
However, companies like Goldleaf are limited because the ability to process hemp into things like high-quality paper is not yet available in the U.S., reports Green Entrepreneur.
In the meantime, the company sources Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified products, which ensures, “products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.”
It’s considered the “gold standard” for ecological sourced wood products, reports The Spruce.”
Having this print on-hand won’t necessarily save your grow if pests invade. You’ll still have to get up close and personal with insects to identify them yourself. But, it helps gardeners distinguish between the good bugs and the bad ones, and respond accordingly.
Size: The 18 x 24 print is standard for frames—making it easy to find a suitable one. It’s perfect for home décor because it isn’t too large. But, the text is fine. In that case, if you’re referencing this print daily, or displaying it in an office, I recommend the larger, 24 x 36 print.
Packaging: Packing materials were minimal. The poster came delivered in a reusable cardboard tube, which is handy for safe storage. It also came with a thin sheet of paper to protect it from fingerprints when sliding in and out of the tube.
Price Point: Similar-sized prints can run anywhere from a few dollars, to a few hundred dollars, depending on quality. At $33-$43, Goldleaf’s prints are fairly priced, considering they are sustainably made, and feature high-quality details and designs.
For all those reasons, it’s the gold standard for cannabis aficionados who love art!
I reference the print nearly everyday. So far, it’s helped me identify a few beneficial bugs in my organic garden, which I’ve made sure to keep around and to embrace instead of fear. Plus, I’m proud to display it.
Overall, it’s pretty. It’s useful; it’s pretty damn useful.
For that reason, it earns 4.8 stars from the Emerald!