Good Bugs vs. Bad Bugs. Know Who is in Your Garden.

Finally, I’ve been getting the in the last of the tomato plants, putting up the green bean lattice and cucumber tower, and removing the last bits of winter straw to finish planting seeds and seedlings for this summer’s hopeful bounty. I spent yesterday harvesting some early spring vegetables, collards, mixed salad greens, spring onions, potatoes, asparagus, and a ton of parsnips!

I’m so excited about summer’s veggies that are lurking just around the corner…eggplants, peppers, squash, green beans, and my favorite the many shades of tomatoes that are happily growing in my garden as we speak. There’s nothing better than heading out to the garden before dinner and picking perfectly ripe, warm tomatoes off the plant to be sliced with fresh creamy mozzarella and basil and the best olive oil and tangy balsamic vinegar I can find. Until, you get out to your garden one afternoon to see the damage the horrible pests have done to your prefect garden that you’ve literally poured blood, sweat, and tears into. So, I thought I would write about the good bugs that we love to see in the garden every day and the bad one’s we so desperately hate to find.

Good Bugs: There are many good bugs that only offer benefits to your hard work, here are a few to notice in the garden and find ways to keep them there for the growing season.

  • Lady Bugs/ Lady Beetles- We all love them! They feed on nasty aphids and most soft-bodied insects. They are attracted to flower nectar and pollen so make sure to plant some flowering annuals and perennial to keep them around all summer long. You can even buy them at farm and garden supply stores or mail order catalogs and release them into your garden.
  • Hover Flies-These guys look like small bees with stripes. They are also attracted to flower nectar and pollen. They also pollinate strawberries and raspberries, causing them to produce larger fruits and higher yields. Using companion plants to help attract hover flies.
  • Dragonflies- We all know what the look like, but bet you didn’t know they eat mosquitos, aphids, and other pests. There are over 80 species of dragonflies but they are dramatically decreasing as our wetlands continue to disappear.
  • Honey bees- One of the most important pollinators. They help keep gardens healthy. But the bee population has been decreased by 30% due to pesticide use, loss of habitat, and imported disease. When there are no bees, there is no food. Remember the more bees you have the more fruit on your plants! I plant sunflowers every year to bring in as many bees as I can.

Bad Bugs: Here are a few to keep your eyes out for this summer!

  • Aphids- They can destroy your garden in a matter of days and they cause tens of millions of dollars in damage every year. They are small and soft-bodied and range in colors from pink and green to black. They feed on the sap from shoots, leaves and flowers.
  • Japanese Beetles- They are very prominent in our Mid-Atlantic region. They feed on roots, flowers, and foliage. They are usually metallic green and copper in color and they congregate in large numbers.
  • Leaf Miners-They are the larvae of beetles, flies, and moths. They leave squiggly transparent lines in the foliage of plants and can even cause complete devastation of the plant, especially vegetables and greens.
  • Hornworms- Larvae of a large moth, the size of a hummingbird. They are pale green in color, grow to be almost 4 inches long and have horns. They feed on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. They can eat all the leaves off a plant in only a few days!

Hopefully this little bit of knowledge will help you keep a pest free garden this summer as well as the good guys to look out for and lure back into your garden for higher yields. Happy Gardening!

Let me know your gardening experiences with good and bad bugs or if you have any feedback, I’d love to hear from you.

For more information on good and bad bugs for your garden visit.

Top 10 Good Insects for your Garden- www.mama-knows.com/gardening-tips

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About Farm, Foodie and Fitness

Kelly Roberts is a Healthy Living Advocate. She is the owner and CEO of Beach Pilates and Wellness and Farm Foodie Fitness. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Fueled by passion, she founded her holistic health practice, Farm Foodie Fitness. She educates and teaches her clients and the community the life changing benefits of nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Her practice consists of corporate and private clients from all across the country. Kelly is also the owner of Pilates on the Beach in Ocean City, Maryland and Bethany Beach, Delaware. She offers classes out on the beach for locals and visitors from May to September. She is a Certified Pilates instructor by world renowned Body Arts and Science International. BASI Pilates ®. For the past ten years, she has specialized in Pre and Post-Natal, athletes, rehabilitation, and clients with chronic illness. Kelly also offers private one-on-one sessions, as well as semi-private sessions. Kelly first discovered Pilates twelve years ago after a serious car accident left her with debilitating back and neck pain. She incorporates the Pilates method into her teaching and daily practice to maintain movement, a healthy lifestyle, and to live pain free. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Salisbury University with a concentration in Mass Media. Her passion for nutrition and food lead her to Alissa Cohen, where she studied to become a Certified Raw Chef. She enjoys incorporating raw foods into her diet and sharing her knowledge with her clients, friends, and family. She offers private and group cooking classes, food demos, and has also been a private chef to a number of families. Also a Certified Master Gardener, she understands the importance of fresh, local foods, and knowing where your food comes from. Kelly offers gardening knowledge, advice, and hands on training through community gardens. She also teaches elementary children the benefits of nutrition and how growing your own food through edible school yards. Kelly is also a published author; her fiction novel, "The Road to Chianti" and her summer and winter cookbooks, "Farm Foodie Fitness Homegrown.” She has been featured in Mind Body Green, Charleston Home Magazine, and many other publications. Kelly recently released her first fitness DVD "Beach Pilates and Wellness, Pilates Mat Workout." She also has a successful health, nutrition, fitness, and organic gardening blog. Make sure to check it out! www.farmfoodieandfitness.com. When Kelly is not running businesses she's chasing her two little ones. Contact Kelly to book seminars, demonstrations, book signings, or speaking engagements.

7 thoughts on “Good Bugs vs. Bad Bugs. Know Who is in Your Garden.

      • I have a program that is called Project Sweet Tomato that helps to put in community gardens at public schools in Detroit. I sent your story to all of my administrators asking them to get it into the classrooms. It will be very helpful. Thanks again for sharing the information in this easy to understand format.

      • Aww that is so sweet of you and sooo great! Thank you sooo much! It is incredible what you are doing!!! I am a Holistic Health Coach and Raw Food Chef also so I am always trying to help the younger generation and their families make better food choices, grow their own food and life a better lifestyle. I’ve thought of trying to help our schools around here do the same thing, just not always easy when people aren’t open-minded and don’t see all the benefits. Good Luck Arthur! Thank you again and keep me posted on how things go!

      • Thanks for checking out the Project Sweet Tomato site. I am glad that you enjoyed the story. You might enjoy reading about one of my schools. The blog is called “Planting The Seeds” and can be found at http://beculturallyexposed.wordpress.com/. Also, I just added a new school to my program. Making it work one school at a time…lol!

  1. Pingback: Adventures In Gardening Volume 2: Seedlings, Potato Bugs and Liquid Fence « How to Plumbing and Home repair from LeVahn Bros. INC

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