In this article we take a look at why insects are important to plants and how to attract them to your garden.

Most people, however, don’t have a positive association with insects. We tend to think of them as pests or nuisances, something rather gross and unwanted. Some, like mosquitos, can even be carriers of disease.

But the truth is that insects play a vital role in our ecosystem and that not all insects are alike. Innovative landscaping techniques are now looking to attract specific kinds of insects to maintain a healthy-looking, environmentally-friendly landscape. Beneficial insects are predatory, meaning they will reduce the population of pest insects that are destroying your garden. You’ll also save plenty of money on pest control when these insects do what they were made to do.

Bees and butterflies are particularly important to generating the pollination necessary for your garden. In fact, these insects are responsible for the growth of the vast majority of the world’s plants, including growing food. Yet bee and butterfly numbers have sharply declined across Canada. But you can take steps to hasten the return of these imperiled pollinators and develop a sustainable approach to landscape management.

Novel Ways To Attract Insects To Your Garden

In an urban area like Toronto, it may not seem easy to attract bees and butterflies. However, community gardens are growing rapidly. In fact, Toronto has its own butterfly canoe gardens that are popping up in neighborhoods across the city. Rooftop bee gardens are also becoming increasingly popular.

Knowing the right plants is half the battle. Beneficial insects—which include ladybugs, spiders, flies, lacewings, and hoverflies—need the right food and shelter in order to live in your garden. You have to welcome them into your landscape to reap their benefits.  When the following plants bloom, they’ll help boost biodiversity while keeping the garden healthy:

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

As you can see, you’ll also have a wonderful set of herbs to cook with. Planting a wide variety of plants is key to bringing in beneficial insects and supporting an eco-conscious approach to gardening. This means adding flowering plants, native and non-native plants, and a range of different sized plants. This generates many kinds of microclimates while also providing adequate protection to your insect friends.

If you want to learn more about how to design a flourishing garden and support biodiversity, Soil Advocates Inc. can help. We believe in promoting the latest tools & processes in climate change mitigation, urban green spaces, recreation and conservation. We’re at the cutting edge of everything involving sustainability education and consulting. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with everything from environmental analysis to feasibility studies to help keep your business growing.

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