How do you attract beneficial insects to the garden?
Over the last couple of years, I have been reading about attracting beneficial insects to your garden to help in the fight with garden pests. I garden organically, so anything that could help with eliminating the need for pesticides was worth giving a try. The problem with even organic pesticides, and insecticidal soaps, is that they don’t distinguish between the “good bugs” and the “bad bugs”. Even if all you eliminated were the bad bugs, you’ve now created even a bigger problem. The beneficial insects rely on them for food.
So what’s the answer? First identify the insect. This mean looking pupae is a ladybug! Lady bugs can eat 5000 aphids in their lifetime.
What plants attract beneficial insects?
There are several ways to add plants that attract beneficial insects to your garden. Interplant in the garden itself. In my raised bed garden corner you see sweet alyssum planted from seed in late March that attracts beneficial insects. In May, I purchased zinnia plants. Although beneficial insects eat other pest, many require plants that provide pollen or nectar. These zinnias also attract pollinators which will ensure that I have lots of cucumbers that are planted on the trellis behind them. That’s cosmos planted behind them and will bloom soon. Plant a variety of plants that will bloom at different times.
If you garden in the ground, consider planting a border of various plants such as yarrow, yellow coneflowers, sunflowers, and cosmos around the garden perimeter to attract beneficial insects. You can also plant containers of flowering herb such as chamomile, oregano and borage along with flowers such as sweet alyssum, calendula, and marigolds, and place them around your garden.
Want to learn more about creating a garden that fosters beneficial insects?
I have created a 22 page downloadable E book that profiles some of the most common beneficial insects and the plants that you can add to your garden to attract them. It includes a garden design graph that you can outline spaces in your yard to create gardens for attracting beneficial insects, and tips on planting. You can down load here for $5.00 print off and add to your garden journal.
You may also enjoy these books which I have on my garden bookshelf and have helped me learn more about attracting beneficial insects to my garden. As an Amazon affiliate anything you purchase when you click on one of these links will provide me with a small monetary compensation.
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