Horticulturalist Duncan Cocking runs Leaf, Root & Fruit. Based in Kyneton, he provides gardening services and workshops to support food production in front yards and backyards across Melbourne and central Victoria.
At this time of the year, gardeners usually have lots of bugs coming and going in the garden.
Flushes of spring growth provide plenty of food for “pests” such as whitefly, earwigs, caterpillars, aphids and slaters. These in turn provide plenty of food for predator bugs such as ladybirds, lacewings, hoverflies, praying mantises and parasitic wasps. The result is a dynamic ebb and flow of different bug populations during spring and early summer.
Pesticides, however, pose a problem as they kill the beneficial insects as well as the targeted “bad bugs”. This means that the population of all the bugs in your garden will crash and you can’t obtain a balanced population dynamic.
This summer practise a bit of “do-nothing” gardening. Resist the temptation to use sprays and pesticides (even organic ones) and watch nature restore the balance.
My blog post on garden ecosystems gives a great overview of pest-predator dynamics.
🍎 For more gardening tips see my latest planting guide and garden update.
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