Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Can I Plant to Attract Bees and other Beneficial Insects to my Home Vegetable Garden?

We live in a society now where more vegetable gardeners then not look for natural means to grow safe and healthy food. Long gone are the days of using chemicals in the backyard vegetable garden to produce the food you want to put on the table for your family.

If you are one of those vegetable gardeners that think the non chemical means is a harder more labor intensive way to grow vegetables, you would be right. Well sort of. The labor will come from all of those beneficial insects, bacteria, worms and other creatures you are going to attract to your vegetable garden, and they will be the ones that actually do the work.

For instance, if you bury your left over supper in your ground (at least 18 inches deep), there is an underlying ecosystem beneath the soil such as microbial, bacteria, and worms that will break that dinner down into useable healthy compost. All you had to do was dig the hole, drop your left overs in, cover the hole and walk away. Not very hard now was it?

Another such way to make your vegetable gardening life easier is to attract that beneficial insect, the bee. Bees fly from one plant to the next looking for the nutrients they need for their own livelihood. While doing so a great thing happens along the way that is beneficial to your garden and that is pollination. Most of the time bees show up out of nowhere but in most gardens they don’t stay because there is not enough of what they are looking for to stick around.

There are a number of flowers you can grow that will not only attract bees to help with pollination but also are deterrents for other insects such as green flies and certain aphids and those flowers are marigolds. They come in a variety of colors and will work wonders for your garden. A perimeter of them will do the trick.

You can also plant sunflowers to attract bees (I like the Giant sunflowers that can grow as much as ten feet tall). Now of course you don’t want to over do it. Bees can and will sting if they feel threatened so plant enough to attract for the amount of bees you will need based on the size of your garden.

Butterflies are another species of creature that can be extremely beneficial to the home vegetable gardener. Lavender works well for butterflies, but if you really want to attract them, plant a butterfly bush nearby.

Round out your healthy garden by attracting some ladybugs by planting some fennel. Ladybugs feed on aphids which could be extremely harmful to your plants.

All you have to do is put in place the items you will need to attract the correct insects to your garden and they will do the rest. Then you just sit back let them take care of the garden (sort of) and pick your ripe fruits and vegetables.

About the Author
Mike is the author of the book ”Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person” and the administrator for the largest vegetable gardening group on Facebook. Mike can be reached via his website AveragePersonGardening.com.

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