Beyond Butterflies

Bumblebee on a Salvia

This is a list in honor of everything else in the garden that makes it all work. Everything that eats something is eaten or used by something else. Aphids eat plants, Lady Bug larva love to eat aphids, and Lady Bugs are eaten by birds. Pill bugs eat some seedlings but mostly decaying matter and they also eat the larva of stink bugs which eat a lot more living plants than the pill bugs themselves. We have found in the nursery that when one kind of plant is under attack by some creature, as when the oak moth larvae begin to eat our oak tree, something else comes in to eat the new abundant food source, birds in the case of the oak moth larvae.

If you spray for one particular pest that you see as harmful you are probably upsetting the balance of the garden and depriving someone else of their next meal. By growing a variety of plants there's a good chance you already have a solution nearby. The more diverstiy that you have the more the insects and bugs can develop their own balance and save you the problem of spraying. One of the basic premises of organic farming is diversity and this applies also to the home gardener.

The next time that you see a bug or insect in your garden don't head for the pesticide, sit back and watch for awhile. It's free entertainment and educational besides.

This is a list of some of the plants that are particularly attractive to beneficial insects.

Attracts Beneficial Insects