If by insects the first thing that comes to your mind is those humungous bugs in Starship Troopers, well I wouldn’t say you are totally wrong in thinking about them. But we are talking about the smaller version of those bugs. Those type of insects that you see every day; in your garden, on your trees and in your flowerbed.
You probably have heard of the term pollination and why it is necessary for the environment and for mankind too. You are also aware that certain insects help in growth of plants and vegetables. How do you attract these beneficial insects?
If you want beneficial insects in your garden, one of your first steps should be to understand which insects are helpful and which ones are not. This way you have some sense of the ratio of good-to-bad bugs in your garden. Lady bugs, ground beetles, praying mantis, and stink bugs are some of your best garden friends!
Create Hiding Spots
While some insects will patrol your plants all day along to eat up the pesky insects, others like to just lay around during the day and be active at night. Make sure to give your nocturnal garden helpers some shade to hide from the sun. You can do this by using stepping stones, rocks, or mulch. As long as you give your new friends a place to stay hidden during hot summer days, they should be fine.
Water for your Little Helpers
If you have a sprinkler system in place, the puddles that form from the water coming out of them should be sufficient. Otherwise, you might want to leave a small bowl or saucer nearby for your new found friends to drink from. Just make sure not to leave any bowls of water out for an extended period of time without changing the water, or you will attract mosquitoes and all wrong kinds of insects.
Grow trees or plants that attract insects beneficial to the garden ecosystem. These kind of plants are called insectary plants. Some great choices are things like alyssum, sunflowers, lemon balm, and parsley, but there are many more as well. By planting these plants alongside your regular garden plants, your superhero insect friends will gather in a jiffy!
Don’t Pluck all the Weeds
Make sure that you do not pluck every single weed. By leaving behind a few weeds in your garden undisturbed, you can attract a greater diversity of plants to your garden which increases the chances of hosting beneficial bugs.
If you keep these things in mind you can possibly attract insects that are really beneficial for your backyard ecosystem. If nothing works, you can always buy the insects you need from an online supplier or a local garden shop. Those of us at Ecoground Works will can help your garden thrive.