Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beneficial Garden Insects

Most people view insects as pests. But for growing vegetables organically, some of them are our best friends. Beneficial garden insects are are the ones that are helpful in a garden They help to keep the garden from being overrun with other pests. It is important to us, as gardeners, to recognize our beneficial garden insects and make them feel welcome in our garden.

You should provide alternate sources of food for the beneficial garden insects. While these types of insects do like to eat pests, they also realize the importance of the balance of the bug ecosystem. It's amazing how they do that. They know that if they were to kill all of the prey, there would be no reproduction, thus there would be nothing to eat. A good source of alternative food for beneficials are plants that produce nectar and pollen.

You should also provide them something to drink with there food as well. Place a few small bowls of water around the garden area, or perhaps a birdbath. Change the water every 2-3 days in order to keep mosquitoes away.

Be sure to have shelter for these insects as well. This is where flower beds have a dual role. Not only can the beneficials use this supply of food, they can also use these beds as shelter. Another alternative is to place rocks within the garden or around the borders.  You can also get information about beneficial garden insects here.

Examples of beneficial garden insects are ladybugs, bees, and praying mantis. These insects will help you have a healthy garden. They will also save you money on other types of organic pesticides. If you are just beginning with organic gardening, two books I recommend are My Organic Food Garden and Organic Food Gardening Beginners Manual.  Happy gardening!

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