While it might seem counter productive to try to attract more pests to your garden when many people are desperately trying to get rid of them, beneficial insects can play an integral part in making your garden even healthier. The fact is, you can use Mother Nature to your advantage by introducing the right kind of insects to your garden. These insects will help to keep the ‘bad insects’ away, which are negatively impacting your garden plus, some will also help to pollinate your plants in order for them to start producing.
1. Be Sure To Do Your Research
You first need to research to find out which insects are beneficial for the plants that you decide to grow and for the climate that you live in. Keep in mind, some of the beneficial insects you might already be familiar with including lady bugs, praying mantis, stink bugs, and even ground beetles.
2. Provide Shade Spots For The Good Insects
While a lot of beneficial insects might patrol and help out your plants the entire day, a lot of them like to remain underground until it’s night time. For these insects, you are going to want to ensure that you provide them with good areas to catch some shade so that they can hide out from the sun. You can do this easily by adding more stepping stones into your garden. Rocks and mulch will also be effective at this. As long as the beneficial insects have safe areas to hide out during those hot summer days, they should be able to help out your garden.
3. Provide Them With Water
Just like humans, insects need water in order to survive. You want to be sure that there is a good water supply for them. If you happen to have a sprinkler system already in place, chances are that they are getting an adequate amount of water already. However, if you do not have one, you will want to try to leave out small bowls in your garden in order for them to get a good amount of water everyday. However, it is important to maintain this daily and change the water frequently because if you do not do this, you will likely attract the wrong kind of insects in your garden.
4. Make Sure That You Ditch The Pesticides
If you are attempting to bring beneficial insects into your garden, you simply need to get rid of pesticides all together. Even organic and pesticides that are marketed as ‘safe’ are going to be damaging to beneficial insects. By getting rid of pesticides all together, this will keep the good insects alive and well.
5. Create The Right Habitat
You will have to experiment with the different types of plants and flowers that you will need to plant in order to attract the right insects to your garden. You can create a habitat near your main garden to keep these beneficial insects close by, even after they have done the job on your garden. You just have to be careful that you don’t make it too good for them, otherwise, they may not want to travel to your garden for a good meal.
6. Buy Them
A lot of people might not want to spend all of the time that it might take to attract the beneficial insects and that is fine. If you want immediate results, you can purchase beneficial insects from a local garden supplier or shop, and you can even buy them online. This is a great way to get started if you cannot get the desired results on your own. However, to make sure they stay in your garden, be sure to follow all of the tips above.
As you can see, there is plenty that can be done to bring in and keep beneficial insects in your garden. It will take some time to figure out what works best for your particular garden and it may vary each year. Just be sure to implement all of the tips above for your best chance at a fruitful and healthy garden.
Jonathan Leger is a member of the Garden Writer’s Association and a gardening enthusiast. He runs a site dedicated to the history, education and care of knockout roses at KnockoutRoses.net.