|Raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries, blackberries, and many more plants|
are growing to feed us and the birds.
Our helper brought his son to assist in some new projects. Weeds burst through the mulch in Mrs. Gardener's roses. They were dandelions and unusually robust. Our helper and his son were waiting when I finished a front yard chore, then he said, "Your yard is a wildlife sanctuary now. It was nothing when you moved here. All the birds flew up when my son and I opened the gate and came back here." He was quite excited and happy, which is one of the benefits of having help in various ways. Many have some ownership in the efforts.
Sassy and I went to Lowe's for the mulch. They know her by name and called out to her. Of course, when a woman makes a fuss over Sassy and kneels down to pet her, Sassy responds with a big show of love.
Today we waited a bit in the dentist's office, so I brushed up on plants to grow for beneficial insects. I was glad no insecticide was around when I looked over the roses at night. I saw many creatures that were probably enemies of the pests. It is so easy to wipe them all out and then spray even more when the pests return in triumph.
Sunflowers and coreopsis are two flowers that host beneficial insects. Sunflowers are more like aircraft carriers for beneficial insects. They have so much nectar and pollen that many can varieties dine there while waiting to attack the pests - often by letting their eggs hatch on or near the destructive insects.
|Walliser thinks my Queen Ann's Lace, imported from Lowe's empty lot,|
belongs near semis on the Interstate.
The plant, from which all edible carrots were cultivated, is a native of Europe that has naturalized in every part of the continental United States and Canada, a biennial whose seeds are readily dispersed. Its tough nature makes it perfectly suited to disturbed sites, but it is now listed as a noxious weed in several states and the sale and import of its seeds are prohibited in others. Ammi majus and D. carota were found to attract an equal number of minute pirate bugs in field studies, so I suggest you introduce A. majus to your insectary border and leave the D. carota next to the semis on the interstate. [GJ - Haha. Garden writers can be so caustic.]
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 1821-1825). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
|Coreopsis is an easy bloomer -|
mine bloomed the day after planting.
Called tickseed for their buggy-looking seeds, these North American natives may already have a home in your garden. Several dozen species of coreopsis exist, and quite a few of them are common garden perennials. They have become so popular because of their ease of growth, long flowering period, drought tolerance, deer resistance, and all-around good looks. Nearly all coreopsis are attractive to good bugs of all sorts, including minute pirate bugs, parasitic wasps, soldier beetles, syrphid flies, lacewings, and spiders.
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2075-2079). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
|Cilantro for eating and for beneficial insects.|
Cilantro does best in full to partial sun and average garden soil. Because cilantro production is best in cool weather, plant seeds in early spring or fall in northern climes, and in fall or winter in the South. Once the plant begins to send up a flower stalk, stop harvesting and allow the flowers to open. Soon the plant will be buzzing with lacewings, ladybugs, syrphid flies, parasitic wasps, tachinid flies, soldier beetles, minute pirate bugs, and lots of other natural enemies and pollinators.
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2127-2128). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
|Easily sown, fasting growing, buckwheat.|
Some are perennials or shrubs, while others are annuals. However, most are resistant to drought; thrive in hot, arid climates; and are magnets for butterflies and natural enemies, including lacewings, ladybugs, syrphid flies, parasitic wasps, tachinid flies, big-eyed bugs, damsel bugs, and minute pirate bugs. I’ll mention just a handful of the many valuable insectary species here. Eriogonum annuum, annual native buckwheat, has a very broad native range...
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2192-2196). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
|Each sunflower is an aircraft carrier for beneficial insects,|
not just the bumblebees seed in this photo.
Sunflowers are a pollen and nectar source for a large diversity of natural enemies. In addition to their flower-based nutrition, sunflowers also provide natural enemies and other insects with extrafloral nectar produced via glands on the undersides of their leaves. The presence of sunflowers in cropping systems is known to significantly increase the population of many natural enemies, including lacewings, big-eyed bugs, assassin bugs, spiders, predaceous stink bugs, minute pirate bugs, robber flies, soldier beetles, and parasitoids of all sorts. Hundreds of species of pollinators also find them highly attractive. The blossoms of sunflowers are not a single large flower but rather a grouping of thousands of tiny individual flowers organized into a central disc shape. Careful examination shows a pattern of two opposite flower spirals in each flower head (fabulous Fibonacci!). These small disk flowers are then surrounded with one or more rows of ray flowers (petals). Each of the tiny disk flowers requires pollination to produce a seed, and the nectary within each flower is fully concealed at the base of the style (the tube that separates the ovary from the pollen-receiving stigma).
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2320-2329). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
|Shastas and other plants for beneficial insects.|
Shastas are classic-looking daisies—a central core of tiny yellow disk flowers surrounded by white ray flowers. Each of these inflorescences measures 2 or more inches (5 cm) across. The plant’s glossy dark green leaves have small teeth on their margins and create good habitat for predatory bugs like assassin, damsel, and spined soldier bugs. The nectar and pollen from the flowers is preferred by some species of parasitic wasps, minute pirate bugs, lacewings, soldier beetles, ladybugs, and syrphid flies. I propose that you plant this daisy instead of the oxeye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, syn. Leucanthemum vulgare), which is often recommended for insectary plantings but is also on the noxious weed list for many states. Oxeye daisy does, indeed, support beneficials, but it is an aggressive grower that overtakes pastures and displaces native plant species. Although the Shasta daisy, too, is a European introduction, it is far less assertive and is also an attractive garden plant and cut flower.
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 2382-2390). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
|Scarlet Runner beans need to be ordered early in the season.|
They sell out fast because they attract hummingbirds.