Updated: Feb 14, 2022
It’s easy to become an organic gardener. Instead of spraying toxic chemicals on your yard, try applying these three basic techniques:
1) Add beneficial insects to your garden by purchasing them for release
2) Use companion planting, and
3) Treat with organic insecticides
Lady bugs deposit bright yellow eggs in clutches, or bunches, on the undersides of foliage.
When first hatched, lady bugs look like tiny alligators.
Ladybugs are also sometimes called “aphid lions” because of their dietary preference for aphids.
You can buy certain types of beneficial insects from Marshall Grain for release in your garden. We sell Ladybugs, Praying Mantises, Trichogramma Wasps, and Beneficial Nematodes. Ladybugs and Praying Mantises feast on a wide variety of garden insects while Trichogramma Wasps salivate over caterpillars such as Tent Caterpillars, Webworms and Tomato Hornworms.
Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic creatures that live in the soil and eat the eggs and larvae of fire ants and other ground-dwelling pests.
You can also attract beneficial insects naturally by companion planting. Companion planting is a gardening technique that pairs plants together to achieve some short of mutual benefit. There are hundreds of different combinations that either attract beneficial insects or repel harmful ones, and at Marshall Grain, we can help you choose the right plants for your needs.
A classic example of companion planting is “The 3 Sisters.” Native Americans used the practice of planting corn together with beans and squash. The corn provides a trellis for the beans, while the squash provides a living mulch for the soil that protects the roots of the three plants.
Finally, you can use organic insecticides. Most are safe to use around pollinators because they are formulated to target only one or two specific insect types. You can further reduce the potential for harming bees and butterflies by applying insecticides early in the morning or late in the afternoon when bees and butterflies are less active.
So the first step is to stop using products that might be toxic to your beneficial insects so that they can thrive. Attracting beneficial insects can go a long way toward helping you control sucking, chewing, and boring insects in your garden. You can help attract them by companion planting. And when necessary, you can use the least harmful organic insecticide.