Beneficial Bugs in Your Garden

Beneficial Bugs in Your Garden

If you're an avid gardener, there are a few things you should know about gardening in the summer.

If you've never even considered gardening (but maybe you're considering it now) you should try it! It's a fun hobby that can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve your memory, and even burn some calories.

 

Warmer weather means more bugs, but not all bugs are bad for your garden. There are some beneficial bugs that can help your garden thrive, and it's important to understand how to attract them and keep them around.

 

Diversity in Your Garden

You want to maintain a diverse garden - the more diverse your garden is, the more beneficial bugs you're likely to have.

Nectar and pollen are essential for beneficial bugs, like bees and butterflies; not only does it attract them to your garden, but it also provides the bugs with a main source of food. Some great sources of nectar and pollen include borage, dandelions and native wildflowers.

Dill and different types of perennials are also very beneficial as they attract a multitude of different bugs - ladybugs, tachinid flies, aphid midges, wasps, ground beetles, and soldier bugs are just a few.

It can be very advantageous to choose some early bloomers that will attract beneficial bugs at the start of the season, before your crops have been pestered by any unwelcomed guests. Some early blooming plants include peonies, poppies, daffodils, and snowdrops. By planting these flowers early in the season, you will essentially be inviting pollinating insects and other beneficial bugs into your garden.

 

How to Keep the Good Bugs Around

If you want your beneficial bugs to stick around, you'll also need to provide them with a source of water; without it, bugs are likely to leave in search of one. You can make a simple watering hole by using a saucer and a few rocks. Remember to replenish it when necessary.

Many ground insects, like ground beetles, typically search the soil at night for their food instead of climbing foliage. Putting mulch in your garden will allow ground beetles and other ground-dwelling insects a haven and easy access to shelter. The mulch will also help keep your soil moist, making it so the ground insects do not lose hydration.

 

More Plants That Attract Beneficial Bugs:

  • Aster Family: Marigold, Cosmo, Dahlia, and Zinnia.
  • Carrot Family: Carrot, Celery, Cumin, Fennel, Parsley, and Parsnip.
  • Pea Family: Green Bean, Chickpea, Soybean, Fenugreek, Lima Bean, and Scarlet Runner Bean.
  • Mustard Family: Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Wild Radish, and Cabbage.
  • Verbena Family: Lemon Verbena, Blue Vervain, Lollipop, and Texas Road.

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