Creepy crawlies are often the last thing on your mind when venturing out to your garden — but you should be encouraging their visit! From bees, which are important pollinators of various plants and fruiting trees, to ladybirds, which feast on aphids. Together with Dobies, retailers of garden plants, we take a look at the wildlife that you should be more welcoming to and why.
Welcoming butterflies and bees
Although they can sometimes be a nuisance, butterflies and bees are brilliant for your outdoor space. They are natural pollinators, which means that they help spread your flowers around the garden and encourage growth.
If you want to attract these, you must begin planting colourful flowers. Bees are attracted to these plants, as they source their energy from sugar-filled nectar and the pollen provides bees with protein and fat.
More bees will visit at once if you put your flowers and plants close to one another. Also, plant flowers that bloom at different times of year to encourage your flying friends to come to your garden.
What insects will benefit your outdoor space?
Some insects can protect your plants from infestations of smaller creatures.
Aphids also known as the greenfly and blackfly, suck saps from plants and excrete it as honeydew. This sticky substance then falls on the lower leaves of the plant which can be harmful to its growth. Photosynthesis becomes inhibited and the plant becomes deprived of energy. In extreme aphid attacks, the insects can fully smother the plant — causing it to become stunted and weak, which leads it to die.
As well as this, ladybirds can protect you from attacks. It is the larvae from these bugs that are predators of soft-bodied insects such as aphids. Encourage ladybirds to visit your garden by providing them with a water source. Fill saucers with pebbles and water, this allows the insect to take a drink without falling in and drowning.
As for the species that you should have in your garden — think damsel bugs. They feed on aphids, small caterpillars and other irritating small creatures — helping your crop thrive!
Slugs and snails
However, there are some creatures that you don’t want in your garden. Slugs and snails for example leave holes in leaves and feast on your fresh green shoots.
If you want to stop these nuisances from entering your garden, encourage hedgehogs! They are a gardener’s best friend, as they feed on snail, slugs and other insects. To encourage hedgehogs into the garden, leave food out for them. This could be minced meat or tinned dog and cat food. Although people think that the creatures enjoy drinking milk, you shouldn’t leave this out for hedgehogs. It can upset their stomach and lead them to become dehydrated. You can also leave areas of the garden to grow wild with piles of leaves and overgrown grass to encourage hedgehogs to set up camp.