Welcoming Beneficial Insects and Warding Off Pests

Depending on your experiences, you may think insects add fascination, color and balance to gardens or you may want to avoid them altogether. Of course, the second choice is impossible to achieve.

Learning how to encourage and appreciate helpful insects is important for fostering healthy gardens. Growing lots of nectar-filled flowers is helpful. Emily Dickinson (yes, she's in this issue) called nectar a "liquor never brewed."

Beneficial insects are allies in helping gardeners to minimize insect plant predators. But if you catch a generally helpful preying mantis hanging from your hummingbird feeder, you may say "enough's enough" and knock it from from its perch. And, if you experience persistent throngs of ants in your home, it may be time for something stronger than soap and water.

So this issue is all insects. We link to an unbelievably beautiful endangered butterfly and late summer choruses of Katydids. We suggest commonsense ways to control stealthy snails and miniscule spider mites that are worse than Dracula for draining the life from plants. And we bug you once again to please mention our free subscriptions to friends and family.

That's all, except that we do want to credit artist and writer Edward Lear for his buggy bit of silliness published in 1894 and pictured here.

Salvia Guru

How-to ArticlesHow-to Articles




People and PlantsPeople and Plants