I posted some simple improvements for the garden, and a reader responded about his efforts. He had some comments about beneficial insects, so I am going to concentrate on them and their allies.
This concept, whether called Creation Gardening, organic, regenerative, Carbon Cowboys, cover cropping, no-till, or another name - is to do as little as possible, simply letting the divine design of each living thing accomplish its purpose.
The wise gardener is one who reads more and pays attention to an abundance of YouTube videos on the topic. The social media will conveniently note our interests and associate videos, books, and products together. One leads to the other.
Beneficial Insect Attractions
Here are some plants that will definitely attract and nurture beneficial insects. Not to be missed - when roses get attacked, they are actually feeding the young beneficial insects, eggs laid near aphids to devour them. Damaged roses lead to perfect roses later.
The Mint Family - Clumping mints are attractive and will not spread riotously. They include Mountain Mint, Cat Mint, and some Bee Balms.
The Carrot Family - God seems to have designed this family as one of the best in attracting beneficial insects:
- Queen Ann's Lace
- Poison Hemlock is loved by ladybugs - but not recommended.
- Wild Parsnip - avoid all contact. Horrible stuff.
Sunflowers are the aircraft carriers of the plant world. They grow roots deep into the soil, form nectar early, and have hundreds of tiny flowers that appeal to many insects.
Shasta Daisies are easy to grow, generating a cheerful area where beneficial insects will gather.
| Dill can be used as a cover crop or a |
border beneficial insect haven.
Habitat for Insectanity
An easy way to encourage the beneficial bugs and spiders is to have a wild area of the property. It is better to have a higher, drier area, which helps the bugs have a safe haven and place to overwinter their young
Logs and stumps are modular tools for the garden, and they do so many things. They are perches for birds and squirrels, weights for new cardboard mulch, decomposition zones for all creatures. Wood plus soil means fungus and various soil creatures will gather to feed on it, and larger creatures will feed on them.
Let pests be pests. Except for Japanese beetles, they all have enemies. Letting their enemies feast on them establishes nearby beneficial insects.
Bird Is the Word
Creation Gardening is exponential. Growers should be ranchers of many, not just shepherds of a few. Exponential not only multiplies, it doubles, quadruples, etc. I borrowed the language from the Fulleroids like Kudu Don Patterson, who are not content to convert by the Word, as Jesus always did, but must always brag about their great numbers.
But Creation is exponential. What benefits the bugs will benefit the birds, and multiple species will overlap their work.
Birds are habitual. They go to the same places for food, water, shelter, and nesting. If food and water fail, they move on. Using no toxins will increase all bugs and spiders, food for birds. But eating the beneficials will not end their residence, only make room for more. Most beneficial insects will also eat their own, as the praying mantis shows, waiting outside the egg-case to devour its siblings.
The birds and bugs are looking out for themselves, but God has designed them to benefit our crops. Some damage will call out the beneficial bugs and birds to limit the damage.
| After I get something new, like fennel,|
I study it and discuss it with gardening friends.
A Little Pot Is Worth Trying
Every so often I get a little pot of flowers I have never grown before - or do not have in this garden:
Lantana - clearance price, almost free.
Parsley - good for us, good for butterflies.
Coriander - flavor plus beneficials.
Zuchini - to grow on the fence and conquer the world.
Fennel - sounds good, beneficials.
Helianthus - permanent sunflowers? Yes.
| Grows like a weed, colorful, and comes back -|