Author: The Forest Pixie The feeling you get when seeing an insect munching away on your plants can be equally annoying to professional gardeners and amateurs alike. Although some insects cause damage to plant and can be disease carriers, there are other helpful critters that can be beneficial. The presence of a large number of problem bugs in a garden is a sign that the garden is out of balance. An excellent way to bring it back into harmony is to attract more beneficial insects that will eat these undesirable pests.
Knowing the right plants is vital to attracting beneficial insects. For ladybugs, spiders, flies, lacewings, and hoverflies to live in your garden, they must have access to food and shelter. To reap their benefits, you must welcome them into your landscape. These plants will improve biodiversity in your garden and keep it healthy.

• Parsley
• Queen Anne's lace
• Coriander
• Dill
• Dandelion
• Spearmint
• Fennel

Bees are the most common insect beneficial to gardens and, on a larger scale, the earth. Wildflowers and many other plants rely on bees to pollinate them, which ensures their survival. Bees promote biodiversity and play an integral role in the food chain of insects. Bees pollinate 80% of all flowering plants on earth, so it is no small wonder that we are dependent on the survival of apiaries.
Another beneficial insect that you would want to find in your garden is a ladybug.
Ladybugs are a gardener's best friend, as they munch on pesky aphids (insects that attack and feed on the leaves and stems of your plants), mealybugs, and spider mites. Lady bugs are also beneficial for their pollinating abilities. They tend to roam in the garden and feed on flower nectar. Pollen will then stick to them while they feed, fertilising the flowers.

Dragonflies are carnivorous pest control machines. They feed on flies, mosquitoes, spiders, moths and other harmful insects, keeping your unwanted garden pests culled. Not only are dragonflies useful, but they are also beautiful creatures to have flying around gracefully in between your plants.

Despite their menacing buzz, wasps are not only a necessity in your garden but also the ecosystem. They are valuable pollinators and a critical pest control method as they feed on crickets, flies, spiders, and caterpillars- all insects that damage and eat your plants.

Apart from their spiritual symbolism and reverence, the praying mantis is very useful to have in your garden. Despite their small size, these insects have a huge appetite, music to a gardener's ears, as they feed on unwanted bugs such as aphids, roaches and moths. Although they are beneficial, watch out for praying mantises, as their voracious appetites also extend to valuable insects.
As discouraging as it may be to have insects munching on plants, you've given love, time, and energy; remember that if nothing is eating your plants- your garden doesn't have an ecosystem. Avoid removing harmful insects using poison or insecticide. Planting plants that attract natural pest controllers is the way to go.

Trailblazing Partners - Issue 6


Foreword - Issue 6


Issue 6 - Cover

Issue 6 - Cultivation