From an incredibly early age I’ve been aware of the importance of biodiversity and the need to encourage wildlife in the garden, not shy away from it. It was a chapter of horror in ‘The Animals of Farthing Wood’ where the troupe of travelling creatures came across a pesticide filled farm that opened my eyes to the dangers of insecticides. Even here, at age six or seven, I became aware of the threats that nature faces if we continue to throw chemicals into our garden and to such young eyes it was a scary future.
Avoid chemicals and attract friends like this female red mason bee
There really is no need to use chemicals in the garden and in my eyes it’s only lazy gardeners or those who don’t know better who use them. There, I said it. I fully understand that many people don’t have the time that I do to pull every weed, trowel out every patio, and rid greenfly by squashing instead of spraying, but by using chemicals we’re destroying the planet. And don’t think that if you stop using chemicals your garden will suddenly become a hive of pests…it won’t, nature will take its course.
Make bee hotels as a home for friendly insects
If you see sawfly’s on your roses and its too late to stop them laying eggs, simply snip off the wound where the female laid. Alternatively, let the larvae hatch and you’ll soon notice small birds taking these juicy morsels away for their young. Snails and slugs might be rife in your garden but, lets be honest, even slug pellets aren’t a long term solution. Instead, create a log pile to encourage amphibians and take joy in the nightly mollusc drive as you do a quick whirl around your garden plucking these pests from where they munch. Encourage ladybirds and lacewings to snack on greenfly, and build red mason bee homes to attract these wonderful pollinators. Help your garden frogs out by giving them a place to bathe and a place to spawn…and do all you can to help those little tadpoles along.
Encourage frogs and protect their tadpoles
Chemical use is easy, and I can see why many people may use them to make life a little easier. But it certainly isn’t easier for the creatures whose home your destroying by filling it with toxins. I’m not saying do away with every chemical practice, but perhaps, now we’ve entered the new financial year you can cut out a few garden chemicals, better then enviroment, and save some money whilst you’re at it.
*Article originally posted at The Guide to Gay Gardening*