It might seem counterproductive to be attracting bugs into your garden instead of trying to steer them away, but we’re not talking about pesky bugs like aphids, wasps or other insidious creepy crawlies. We’re talking bees, butterflies, garden spiders and ladybugs! These insects are the ones you want around to help your garden in more ways than one this summer. Here’s why you want these bugs in your garden and how to attract them!
Bees & Butterflies
Pollinating is the name of the game for these little guys and having them around means your garden will flourish and the pollination cycle continues! Plant big patches of lavender, milkweed, yarrow, marigolds and prairie sunflowers to attract these helpful little pollinators. Monarch butterflies, which are an endangered species, are especially fond of milkweed and to attract these beauties, try planting oval-leaf, green comet and showy milkweed to invite them to your garden! Planting beneficial plants for our pollinators is the least we can do as their numbers diminish every year. Let’s help the bees and the butterflies by filling our flowerbeds in blocks of colour! They especially love purple, yellow, and white!
Flowerbeds and gardens are obviously going to attract the pesky kind of bugs too, but along with those pests comes a special little helper – spiders! We’re lucky that Alberta has only two nasty spider species, so you don’t have to worry about sending out an invite to neighbourhood spiders that your garden is the place to be! Plant bushes for web-spinning spiders and plenty of perennials. These handy eight-legged friends act as free pest control and will help keep down the population of pests such as mosquitos, beetles, flies and wasps!
Another terrific form of natural pesticide comes in the shape of a ladybug. Their favourite snacks are aphids which coincidentally are a terrible nuisance to flowering plants and vegetables. Ladybugs love herbs, like cilantro, fennel, dill and caraway, and they’ll also go nuts for geraniums, cosmos and marigolds as they consume pollen as a food source! Add these plants to the mix and you’ll be sure to invite in ladybugs in no time!
As we move away from using chemicals and pesticides in our day-to-day lives, a terrific way to keep your flowers and veggies chemical-free is by inviting all these insect friends into your backyard gardens and balcony flower beds. Make sure to plant for the good bugs this year as they’d be happy to help our gardens flourish! If you’re worried you might need a little more backup, give us a call at 403.262.1666 and we’ll help you with any pest problem the good bugs can’t handle!