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Garden Ecosystems

August 10, 2010

Butterflies, welcomed into organic gardens!

Organic Gardens, which rely on healthy soil and garden beds planted with a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers, as opposed to chemical sprays and rows of monocultures, support diverse insect and animal life.  These gardens are ecosystems unto themselves.  The closer a garden can represent an ecosystem, the healthier it will be, able to prevent and balance most pests and disease.   

A variety of plants will be able to attract a variety of insects, both wanted and unwanted.  Yet, like an ecosystem, organic gardens are able to reach a balance. 

Ladybug larvae, a hungry little critter!

For example, when you notice aphids or other unwanted critters, you may want to wait before you spray an insecticide that could kill both pests and predators.  If your garden has a variety of flowers, herbs and other host plants, it is likely that natural predators will be living in your garden.  Those aphids left unsprayed, will make wonderful food for adult ladybugs and their larvae. 

Diverse plantings will also attract valuable pollinators to your garden.  Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees are all beautiful garden visitors.  Not only do these visitors bring beauty and enjoyment to gardening, they are also important in pollinating many flowering vegetables. 

Sunflowers bring beauty and birds to the garden!

Seeds from spent sunflowers and other flowers such as purple coneflower and black-eyed susan will attract birds to your garden.  Instead of deadheading, or removing dead flowers, you may want to leave them for the birds!  Birds visiting your garden will also feed on insects and caterpillars.  They can help to keep pest insect populations down.  A diverse garden will attract a variety of wildlife to your garden.  This diversity will help to create a healthy, balanced ecosystem.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 23, 2011 7:58 pm

    Organic Gardens are fun for the whole family, the kids like to get their hands dirty when planting the seeds. Of course they know we water in the morning to avoid fungus. Come harvest time I always look forward to taking a bite out of my first tomato off the vine. You guessed it, someone done swiped it, those kids they beat me to again, go figure,,,its their harvest too.

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