Usually when we think of insects what comes to mind is scary, annoying, biting bugs that we don’t want anywhere near our yards or homes. We rarely give a second thought to the many beneficial insects that we depend on to balance our ecosystem. Every plant, flower, and vegetable we grow depends on these beneficial insects to pollinate them.
Attracting pollinators to your garden is a great way to make sure that your plants and vegetables succeed. Here is a list of tips to help you attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to your yard.
Use a Variety of Flowers
As we all know, bees and butterflies love flowers and if you want to encourage these beneficial insects to visit your gardens then you should plant a variety of many different flowers. Each species of butterfly and bee prefer different types of flowers. Some like deep flowers, some can only reach shallow flowers. So by planting a diverse variety of flowers you can attract a variety of different species.
Butterflies prefer fennel, milkweed, and dill so that their larvae have something to eat when they hatch. Other plants that can attract butterflies are: goldenrod, butterfly bushes, lavender, marigolds, zinnias, and Queen Anne’s lace.
Pesticides Don’t Just Kill Pests
We should all know by now that pesticides don’t just kill the bad insects. They can kill any insect, good or bad. So when you see that your plants are being devoured by pests, keep in mind that any pesticide you apply could potentially kill any bee or butterfly that visits in search of nectar and if insects cannot pollinate your vegetables and flowers you’re not going to have much to show off. There are alternative ways to discourage insects from chewing on your plants such as spraying soapy water on the plant or intruding ladybugs and praying mantises to cull the bad insects.
Keep Birds and Pollinators Separate
We love watching birds visit our feeders as much as we enjoy butterflies in our gardens. But these two species are natural enemies. So be sure to keep your gardens away from your feeders so birds don’t devour and scare away your beneficial insects. A good way to plan for this is to put your feeder in your front yard and your flowers in the back.
Putting up butterfly houses near your flower gardens will encourage them to move in, providing you with a constant source of pollination and an enjoyable view. Butterflies can travel long distances in search of flowers. They will thank you for making their lives a lot easier.
Bees Need Homes Too
Bees also are beneficial pollinators but they also strike fear into most people. Bees are the number one pollinators on the planet and because of human fear, their numbers are on the decline. That’s why many homeowners have decided to install private apiaries to make sure they have a constant source of pollination as well as their own homegrown honey. Did you know that the flavor of honey depends on the types of flowers you have in your yard? You could have a lot of fun trying to create your own unique flavors.
Hire a Professional Lawn Care Company
At Emerald Island Lawn Service, we know Tennessee lawns more than anyone. Our lawn fertilization program is designed to feed your grass the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong to prevent weeds and disease.
Our tree and shrub program provides protection and nutrition for your trees and ornamentals so that they can thrive for generations.