Beneficial insects for your garden.
As winter slowly draws closer to an end you may have noticed some animals, birds and even insects returning back to your garden. And if you’ve been watching your fruit trees you would also have noticed little green leaves or even a blossom or two. What a wonderful feeling to see all these changes in your garden as nature starts preparing for spring.
With that in mind you shouldn’t take some insects lightly, as your garden can truly benefit with certain insects as your guests. Planting a diversity and variety of different plants will allow you to attract these beneficial insects which can ultimately help control the unwanted insects.
The most effective and natural pollinator are bumblebees. Having plants available which are high in nectar and pollen will certainly attract these bees.
Most berry plants will provide this as well as borage, bellflower and even geranium.
One ladybug will consume up 5000 aphids in its lifetime. They even help in controlling asparagus beetles. These are insects you truly need in your garden.
To attract more ladybugs to your garden, you should plant fennel, dill, coriander and even tansy.
Adult lacewings and their larvae eat aphids, caterpillars, mealybugs, scale, thrips and even whiteflies. To encourage more of these pretty insects you should incorporate angelica, cosmos and sweet alyssum into your garden.
The green lacewings are an absolute must for all gardens as they take care of those unwanted insects in the most natural way possible, as nature intended.
Trichogramma parasitic wasps help to control asparagus beetles and cabbage worms. No need to worry about your barbeque while having these wasps around, as they do not sting and won’t bother you.
Plants to encourage these wasps are dill, carrots, lemon balm, orange and even parsley.
Another natural hero against unwanted insects are damsel bugs. These bugs feed on aphids, small caterpillars, thrips and even leafhoppers.
To encourage them to return year after year, plant alfalfa over winter. Other plants that will also help attract these bugs include cosmos, fennel, spearmint and marigold.
The nocturnal ground beetle is a voracious predator of slugs, snails, cutworms and cabbage worms.
Planting white clover, which is useful as a groundcover in orchards, will help attract these insects into your garden.
Minute pirate bugs (Orius) may seem like a name of an unwanted insect, yet they are extremely beneficial to any garden.
These bugs will attack almost any insect including plant lice. To attract these predators plant daisies, goldenrod or alfalfa in your garden.
Soldier beetles are also beneficial to your garden as these insects feed on aphids, caterpillars and other insects.
Just be careful with these insects as they may also eat harmless and beneficial insects from your garden.
You can attract these beetles with hydrangea, catnip, milkweed or wild lettuce.