Attract Beneficial Insects for a Healthy Garden
28 June 2018
When you glance out into your garden and admire the beautiful garden design you put together, you might watch the various insects fly or crawl around and wonder which ones are good for your garden, and which are bad. Well, in short, the bad ones are the ones that eat your carefully chosen vegetables and plants. These include snails, slugs, maggots, and aphids. Their mission is all about destruction (though only in order to survive we should point out - it’s not because they hate your landscape design).
Your helpful insects, on the other hand, are those that either kill these destructive insects or that pollinate your flowers and help more to grow. Your pest killers include spiders, praying mantises, and various types of wasps. And those that help to pollinate your garden include bees and butterflies.
In terms of looks, we all know that butterflies are the most attractive of the garden visitors, but trust us, if you want your garden looking spic and span, and don’t want to have to call out a gardening company to deal with your pests, then getting all of the beneficial insects into your outdoor space is important. We offer a few of our top tips on how to do it:
1. Put on a good spread
You can attract beneficial bugs by making sure that they have plenty to eat, as mentioned above this include pests, pollen and nectar, so choose flowers that are rich in pollen and nectar, and don’t pick up the pesticides straight away to deal with pests. Let nature takes its course, and you’ll get a much more satisfying result. If you’re really keen to attract the friendly bugs, planting things they’re really going to enjoy such as alyssum, sunflowers, lemon balm, and parsley will help. And don’t forget to provide plenty of water too, bugs need to stay hydrated just like us!
2. Don’t use pesticides
To get the right balance of helpful visitors to your garden you need to make it inviting and safe for them to come along and enjoy the buffet. Unfortunately, most shop-bought pesticides will kill all insects, so it’s sensible not to use these where possible. If you find that nature’s pesticides (i.e. the beneficial bugs) aren’t doing the job well enough, speak to a professional gardener about what they would recommend you use, or whether you can create your own.
3. Start your own colony
If you are really struggling to get the friendly insects to come and visit, you could cheat a bit and buy some yourself. Specialist gardening services will again be able to point you in the right direction, and also help you put them to use in the best way. Professional gardeners know how to maintain a healthy garden so they have the expertise necessary to do a good job.
4. Weed control
Most helpful bugs thoroughly dislike weeds and prefer the finer things in life, so if your garden is looking a bit overgrown, you’re unlikely to see many helpful bugs in your garden. So make weeding a key part of your gardening routine (we know it is for most gardeners anyway). And don’t forget that things like hedge trimming are also an important part of keeping weeds at bay.
5. Give them some shade
A lot of the helpful bugs and insects much prefer to stay out of the sunlight during the day, so make sure they have somewhere safe to hide away. When doing your landscaping, take this into consideration, and invest in rockeries, mulch, or water features. All of these not only look fab but make it much easier to attract the helpful visitors, who will help your garden blossom into something truly fabulous.