So many little garden helpers are working for us in our gardens if we would let them. Lady bugs are one. They eat aphids which can weaken your plants and many other insects that destroy our garden goodies. The ladybug pictured above is on a potato leaf looking for its dinner but also keeps the plant bug-free and healthy. Others are not so obvious. They are so tiny that unless you are looking for them, you might miss them.
Syrphid flies belong to the syrphidae family and can consume voluminous amounts of aphids every day. They look like tiny wasps as they are only about 1/4″ to 1/2″ in size. Jessica Walliser has written a book titled Attracting Beneficial Bugs To Your Garden. After I read this book I changed my gardening techniques and started including many types of small flowering plants in my garden landscapes. Sweet alyssum plants are famous in my garden for attracting small beneficial insects. I plant alyssum in between rows of greens and under my broccoli and brussel sprouts to bring in the beneficial bugs. Another bonus – the use of organic insecticides are almost nil if flowers are abundant in your garden because the insects keep your plants healthy and relatively free of bugs. Yarrow is another that produces a small flower and the wild white has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb for wounds and nosebleed. Aromatic herbs help deter bugs too.
Basil tends to deter asparagus beetles, tomato hornworms, flies, mosquitoes and thrips and helps asparagus and tomatoes. Lavender is a welcome benefit off any deck, patio or porch because it counteracts mosquitoes plus in late spring the aromatic scent is enhanced when the buds form. Parsley occupies a spot next to the asparagus in my garden to help fight off the asparagus beetle. Also in the garden many garden babies are starting to develop.
Longfellow cucumber from Seedsavers Exchange is top left next to the heirloom Red Express cabbage – High Mowing Seeds that is forming a head. Below is Dark Star zucchini Seeds of Change, Borlotto tongue of fire bean from Baker Creek Seeds and Red Pear tomato from Seeds of Italy . Since I’m listing seed companies, another I like is Pinetree Garden Seeds which is where I’ve purchased broccoli and many other types of veggies seeds. Johnny Selected Seeds is another. Until next time.