Posted in Bookworming, Creatures

Encouraging beneficial insects

Looking at it always makes me think of box kites.
A common whitetail or long-tailed skimmer (Plathemis lydia) in our backyard, one of many dragonflies that oft visited us last year.

I forget when I found this book, but I have a copy of Good Bugs for Your Garden [Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1995], written by Allison Mia Starcher.

It has lovely illustrations, and contains downright sensible and needed information for those who want to at least lower their reliance on chemical pesticides even if they are not willing to go full out organic with pest control.

It’s also a small, almost pocket sized book.  Easy to tuck into a backpack, tote or handbag.  Also one that won’t take up much space if you are the sort to keep reading materials in your bathroom.

Most folks think of pollinators when they first hear the words “beneficial insect”, but all sorts of creatures–not just bugs–can be good for your garden in a variety of ways.  Some bugs are predators of other bugs–and very effective ones–as the dragonfly pictured here.

Today I want to share her list of plantings that will encourage certain types of beneficial insects.  This is by no means a complete list of all the possible things to plant, nor of the possible beneficial bugs one can attract with them.  It also doesn’t list which insect(s) are attracted by such.  I’m simply sharing what she has in her consolidated list within the book.

  • Alfalfa
  • Angelica
  • Baby-Blue-Eyes
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Buckwheat
  • Caraway
  • Carrot
  • Clover
    – sweet
    – white
    – yellow
    – crimson
  • Coriander (Cilantro)
  • Cosmos (White Sensation)
  • Dill
  • Feverfew
  • Goldenrod
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lovage
  • Marigold (Lemon Gem)
  • Mustard
  • Nasturiums
  • Parsley
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Rose-scented Geraniums
  • Spearmint
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Sweet Fennel
  • Tansy
  • Thyme
  • White Sage
  • wildflowers from your area

I will be planting as many of these as possible this year, though we are fortunate that some grew here already from prior gardeners and the luck of the wind and other seed carriers that brought them.

Down the road, I’ll write more about beneficial creatures overall, focusing on one type per post.  In each of those posts, I’ll always touch on suggested habitat additions that will make them want to at least visit your yard if not set up a home there.  Those habitat suggestions will cover any plants related from the list above (or beyond), with pictures of same–hopefully pictures from my own garden.

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