This week we have a guest post by Jakob Barry. Thanks Jacob! Mom
Garden Insects worth Keeping Around
While out in the garden you may come across a variety of bugs that are strange looking and others downright scary. Nevertheless, it’s important to distinguish between the good ones and the bad ones, as the former can positively affect the state of your crops by acting as a natural form of pesticide and killing and eating the latter.
This often means cultivating a hospitable environment for the good ones so they’ll enjoy your yard and keep fruits and vegetable plants healthy without the need for chemicals.
However, before inviting the little critters in to your organic reserve it’s probably a good idea to get to know a little about who they are:
Lady bugs: Beloved by gardeners, most are completely harmless to humans. They love eating aphids and many other small bugs attacking your plants. They are attracted to certain herbs like dill and flowers full of nectar and as long as they have plenty to eat they will be faithful to your garden.
Lacewings: They also love nectar, can be attracted by lots of flowers such as dandelions and sunflowers, and in many cases one lacewing will eat up to 100 aphids a week. Multiply that by even 50 and you have some hearty helpers!
Dragon flies: Primarily found near marshland or other moist areas their larvae are aquatic but eventually crawl out of the water and mature into these truly remarkable insects. You may find dragon flies eating some of the other good bugs but know they will mainly feast on the pest population.
Hover flies: They look like tiny bees and give off the appearance they are hovering even though the anti-gravity pose is simply a result of their wings moving very fast. Hover fly larva are an early spring savior for gardeners and <a href= http://www.landscapingnetworx.com/ > landscapers </a> killing aphids where bigger bugs can’t or won’t go because it’s still too cool for them outside.
Spiders: Garden spiders generally won’t discriminate between good and bad garden bugs but will kill larger amounts of the ones you’re trying to get rid of.
Praying mantis: They are valuable predators that will kill anything small enough to be caught but won’t harm people or pets.
Bees: They are not in the predator business like some of their insect peers but as they move from flower to flower their importance in the realm of pollination is unparalleled.
Slugs: While they are unwanted in most parts of the garden because of the destruction they will bring one place where they are welcome is in compost bins. There they are great consumers of organic matter including animal matter such as other dead slugs.
Worms: Like bees their contribution to the garden is different but no less unique. Rather, their tunneling through soil gives it composition and important drainage. As a fertilizer their feces do wonders for plant growth and pest control and provides the soil nutrients against disease. While they enrich soil they also like enriched soil so keep dumping compost in the garden and they will be happy to stick around.
Jakob Barry writes for Hometalk.com, a growing community of homeowners and contractors getting the most from their resources by sharing and monitoring home improvement projects. He covers various home improvement topics including <a href= http://www.hometalk.com/feeds?type=tabs&category=496#type=tabs&category=496 > Green Living </a> and <a href= http://www.landscapingnetworx.com/landscape-maintenance/ >grounds maintenance</a>.
Read more, great Monday Mania Posts here: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2011/06/monday-mania-662011/
Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2011/06/real-food-wednesday-6811.html