A simple how to guide to create a butterfly garden. Environmentally friendly herb gardening to attract bees and butterflies. Insect pollinators are in serious decline.
Bees and butterflies are dying. They have been in decline for some time, but recently the honeybee crisis, the disappearance of swallows from London, and the decline of butterflies has attracted international attention.
While you couldn’t possibly single-handedly replenish the dwindling supply of insect pollinators and the plants they pollinate, you can do something in your own garden or neighborhood to save a few.
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Firstly, don’t plant genetically modified plants – choose heirloom varieties. This is being considered as a possible culprit in the bee and butterfly plight. The theory is that the GMO does not produce the same pollen as a natural plant. It sounds logical, doesn’t it?
Secondly, use organic and natural methods of gardening pest control instead of commercial pesticide. The problem with commercial pesticide is that it kills beneficial insects as well as the pest. It also seeps down into the soil and contaminates it.
Thirdly, use natural and organic gardening tips to increase your garden’s output and improve your soil, without having to use chemical fertilizers. The problem with manmade chemical fertilizers is they seep down into the soil and runoff to the waterways and eventually to the ocean, contributing to several current miles-wide “dead zones” where nothing can live. Nothing.
Finally, here is a simple herb gardening plan to make your habitat hospitable to birds, bees and butterflies:
In addition to its lovely scent which women have used for centuries, Lavender attracts butterflies.
Put lavender in little cloth bags and hang them around to repel moths, ticks and mice. People often plant lavender near the door for its scent.
Attracts bees. It’s also great in a variety of dishes.
#4. Purple Coneflower/Echinacea Purpurea
Attracts butterflies. It also makes a pretty show piece and grows very easily with little care.
#5. Lemon Balm
They are a good food source for beneficial insects.
Generally, the adult butterfly will love plants with red, yellow, orange, pink or purple blossoms. Remember the butterfly is first a caterpillar and while caterpillars are unwanted in the vegetable garden, you can always hand pick them and remove them. Also, learning to differentiate between the butterfly and the more harmful moth caterpillar is important.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, “Even “benign” insecticides, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, are lethal to butterflies (while caterpillars).” Cakes of Bacillus thuringiensis are often put in garden ponds to control mostquito larvae.
Of course, poison dust for insect control is deadly to butterflies, bees and caterpillars of all kinds. It is broad spectrum, which means it kills beneficial insects AND pests.
Butterflies feed in the bright sunlight so plant your butterfly / bee garden so it gets full sun from mid morning to mid afternoon.
This butterfly and bee garden may be little, but it can bring you great satisfaction and joy in watching nature respond to your handiwork. If you help save one butterfly or bee, won’t it be worth it?