As the heat of summer sunshine approaches and our need for something to do grows, many Albertans are considering turning back to the earth. Taking up gardening as a distraction through what could be a very quiet summer might save you from your own boredom! But before you grab your gardening supplies, have you thought about planting in a way that attracts bugs to your garden? We’re talking about the beneficial insects and here’s how you can invite them into your garden this summer!
Yard Clean Up – Do’s and Don’ts
First and foremost, as much as you might want to immediately clean up your yard of leaves and everything the snow hid all winter, don’t rake or disturb the leaf matter right away! Wait until the ground has thawed and you can see grass beginning to grow under the debris. The reason for this is raking too early can damage your lawn and prevent it from growing well, but it also disturbs and effectively kills all the insects who have wintered under the leaves. Butterflies, ladybugs, moths and many other helpful insects are hibernating and hiding underneath leaf piles, firewood, branches and anything else in your yard where they can find shelter. Let them wake up before you bug them!
Plant Me Baby One More Time
While you’re plotting out your garden, consider including varieties of plants and flowers that attract the kind of bug activity you want in your garden. Butterflies, particularly monarch butterflies which are an endangered species, are very fond of milkweed. This plant is essential to the growth of the monarch population as milkweed is one of the only plants that both adults and caterpillars feed on together. Be sure to plant milkweed that is native to Alberta, such as green comet, showy and oval-leaf milkweed varieties and the bees will love it too! Bees are quite easy to please and will enjoy any native wildflower that’s bright and colourful. Yarrow, marigolds, prairie sunflowers, blue giant hyssops, bluebells, wild roses and geraniums are just a few of the flowers bees will flock to and will make your garden naturally and locally beautiful. Ladybugs will join your list of beneficial bugs as they also love yarrow, but be sure to include dill, parsley and cilantro. Additionally, If you want to keep your garden aphid free, you’re going to want to attract ladybugs!
While there are many other strategies involved in nurturing the perfect garden, these are just a few of the ways you can help out the bugs that help out you. If you’re worried your gardening adventure might attract some unwanted pests, get in touch with our reliable team. We might not be able to come into your home to help you, but we’re only a phone call away! Reach us at 403-262-1666 or visit our website for more information!