William Moss: Gardens are like aces for wildlife, especially insects. Fortunately, most of them are good guys that help us out during the summer season.
Hi! I'm William Moss, Master Gardener with the National Gardening Association, and today we're at the Historic Oatlands in Leesburg, Virginia, and we're going to discuss some tips to bring the good guys to your garden. First, there are two types of good guy insects, the pollinators and those that eat the bad bugs.
So the Dragonflies eat the mosquitoes, the Praying Mantises eat the grasshoppers, and ladybugs are really good at eating aphids. So good in fact, this become common now to actually buy them and use them on your tomatoes, peppers, roses or other plants that may have an aphid infestation.
This is a really good project to do with kids. There is a lot of fun for them to have this experience with nature-wide in the backyard; and as for as the pollinators, things like the butterflies and the bees they really help us in the fruit and veggie garden.
Most of our fruits and vegetables require pollination by some insects. So it's nice to be able to have them come in. You'll get more fruit because of their presence. So you want do things like, plant colorful annuals, also plant herbs, and then plant a lot of flowering perennials. All those things who have a lot of nectar and they will bring in the good guys to help fight against some of the bad guys.
It's also important not to use any pesticides that have harsh residual toxins, because that will take out not just the bad guys but also the good guys. So use a pesticide that's more of a contact killer. So by using those contact killers on specific bad guys and by planting lots of beautiful flowers you have plenty of good guy insects, come and help you to have a healthy garden all season. Get out and grow.