How to Attract Beneficial Insects in Your Garden
There is one aspect that helps the very practice of gardening a lot. It is the aspect of pollination. And when it comes to discussing pollination, insects play a crucial role in that. In fact, there are a few beneficial insects that help in pollination. Thus, it is imperative that you try to attract these beneficial insects into your garden. I had succeeded in doing so and I am sure with a little practice and application of thought and imagination you will be able to do the same as well. Let us look into some of the ways to attract these beneficial insects.
- Frankly speaking, attracting beneficial insects entirely depends upon planting of plants or flowers that attract insects. Some of these insects are very small and they would like to be attracted by smaller flowers like alyssum.
- You need to allow the plants to grow adequate flowers and that also as fast as possible to attract the insects and hence you would like to create situations conducive to fast growth of the plants and appearance of these flowers.
- Bees are another variety of beneficial insects and in order to attract bees you need flowers like foxglove. The lip of this particular flower acts as the landing pad for bees and provides them all the chance to collect the nectar. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that bees do not see colors as we do, though they are attracted towards blue and yellow flowers.
- You need to include a balanced combination of plants in your garden, which will bloom at different times of a year. This will help in pollination and germination throughout the year, helped by the beneficial insects that will flock your garden all throughout the year. In the yearly spring, I would suggest you to opt for the hazel shrubs and early crocus for that is the time when these two varieties bloom seamlessly. You will surely spot a handful of bees come out of their hibernation pretty early and get themselves engaged in pollination.
- Other plants that will attract other varieties of beneficial insects include Cornelian cherry, Winter Aconite, Oregon Grape and the like. As you approach the end of the season, you can add Michaelmas daisy, purple coneflower as well as goldenrod for serving the bees as well as other insects before they die or hibernate.
- You can include the plantings of small trees as well as shrubs for providing the songbirds with adequate cover, nesting sites, water and food.
- You need to opt for a berry-producing shrub, vines that grow fruits with berries that will last the entire winters.
- You can also plant a patch or two of native wildflowers in your garden as this will invite the beneficial insects, which can use these plants as their shelter while they search for their food. I did this and I was immensely benefited.
- Another very important step that you can take is making provisions for shelter and water deliberately for the insects. You need to use a thick mulch layer, which will surely attract the ground beetles, spiders (spiders are good for a garden) as well as frogs and toads. All these species are considered beneficial to your garden. They help you to cut down on the weeds and conserve the water in the soil.
- Butterflies and moths are considered to be two of the most beneficial apart from being catchy. They do not eat once they have reached the adult stage. However, they drink the nectar and thus help in pollination of the flowers as they fly from one flower to another. Moths do the same thing, though at nights, and are attracted towards the pale or mostly white flowers.
- Refrain from using chemicals if you are looking forward to attract the beneficial insects and pests. These chemicals cannot distinguish between the good and the bad insects, and thus kill all of them.
Thus, if you are looking forward to help the beneficial insects you need to follow a certain methodology. Remember, building a suitable garden is not that difficult. However, maintaining it and helping it to be in the pink of health is quite a bit of challenge, and inviting beneficial insects is a part of that age old practice.