Useful insects for the vegetable garden, what they are and how to attract them to improve soil fertility and protect the garden from harmful insects, better defined asgarden parasites.
Cultivate a vegetable gardenit is no small task, there is a balance to maintain, plants to care for and a soil to preserve. There are many things that can go wrong and almost all of them cause serious damage to the crop: wrong intercropping, poorly fertile soil or nutritional deficiencies, drought, parasite attacks, mold, water stagnation…. In short, taking care of a vegetable garden is difficult and for this reason it is better to get help from nature's most faithful allies: theuseful insects for the vegetable garden.
The flowers in the garden
Do not underestimate the idea of growing flowers on the edge ofvegetable garden. Flowers attractuseful insects for the vegetable garden and in addition to being beautiful, they help us keep parasites away.
Weeds in the vegetable garden
Weeds can also help us in the garden. Warning! We are not saying that they are useful but only that they can help us to understand more about the type of soil we are cultivating.
Useful insects for the vegetable garden
There are many insectsservantsof the vegetable garden. Too often we point to insects as "ugly"or even"Harmful", however, we must recognize that insects play an important role in maintaining the balance of particular ecosystems. Furthermore, many insects can also serve our cause and help usgrow vegetables. We are not just referring topollinating insectssuch as bees, butterflies and bumblebees, but also other insects that are voracious predators of aphids and other insects that would otherwise damage our crops.
Useful insects for the vegetable garden
Let's start with the aforementioned pollinating insects such as the honey bee, osmias, bumblebees or the lesser knowndiptera hoverflies. When you hear the term "diptero" in botanical or biology, you should know that it refers to an insect with two wings ... yes, so even the fly is a diptero! Diptera Hoverflies are small flies that have the same colors as wasps (but are much smaller and do not pinch) and provide for the pollination of tomatoes, peppers, blueberries and whatever else we grow in the garden. Diptera hoverflies, at the larval stage, feed on aphids, doubly protecting our crops.
Aidiptera hoverfliesseveral very popular insects belong, it is the case ofladybugs. In nature there are more than 6,000 species of ladybugs and the red one, with dots on its back (the best known and most loved) is a perfect aphid predator. Ladybugs feed on aphids both in the laval stage and as adults.
As for butterflies, the debate is always heated as the adult butterfly is a perfect pollinator, it is beautiful and we do not hesitate to photograph it if we see one in the garden! Conversely, caterpillars can cause various crop damage and not everyone appreciates them.
A family of very useful insects in the vegetable garden is represented by the Chrysopids. In the photo above is shown theChrysopa oculata, very common insect invegetable gardensof Italy. Chrysopids are a family of insects that includes a large number ofpredatory species of strong interest in the field ofbiological struggle. They have nocturnal habits and if we have a street lamp in the garden, we have certainly seen some specimens (they are very attracted to the light). Both adult and larval predatory insects feed on mites, parasite eggs, aphids, larvae and rhynchota eggs (such as green bedbug) ... in reality they feed on any larva so they can also attack the larvae of lepidoptera (including caterpillars / butterflies).
They belong to the god familyChrysopidseven the very commonscissors. Of course, earwigs are not very popular (they look disturbing!) But they are very useful for sweeping away mites, aphids and other parasitic insects in the garden. Earwigs are not harmful in the vegetable garden, we often find them in the pit of a fruit or inside freshly picked artichokes (it always happens to me) but they are there to take refuge and defend themselves from hedgehogs, insectivorous birds and lizards, certainly not for feed on our crop!
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