Ligaya Gardening Tips #11 Let ’em flower

We often get asked for gardening tips, so have decided to do a weekly post describing things we do to keep our garden going well with little effort.

I’ll collate them on this page.

Flowers are a beautiful part of everyone’s life, especially the lives of gardeners.

They bring joy to our world as well as the promise of fruit.

The most important role that flowers play is a little more subtle. They provide food for insects and, as we know, insects are declining in numbers globally.

Letting your veggies flower and go to seed can help the rest of your garden by attracting insects who perform amazing services for us so we don’t have to.

There are two kinds of insects we’re interested in for this gardening tip. They are pollinators and predators.

Pollinators come into our gardens and get right down into the flowers, to get at the sweet stuff inside. In doing so, they either pick up pollen as that best loved pollinator, the bee, does or they get themselves covered in it.

When they move on to the next flower, the pollen gets brushed off onto its reproductive parts and viola! The flower is fertilized. That means that it will, all being well, produce a seed or fruit.

Predators, on the other hand, eat other insects. They are a boon to gardeners because they love to eat our pests. Probably the best known garden predator is the Ladybug. These voracious eaters can chew through that mass of aphids that are eating your Kale as quick as anything.

Ladybugs or Ladybirds come in two two main beneficial varieties. There’s the red with black spots variety that we’re all familiar with. Then there’s a tiny black variety that often goes unnoticed. The larvae of both kinds are very aggressive predators of aphids and mites.

If you see a Ladybug in your garden, say ‘Hi and Thanks’!

We use white flowers as another pest deterrent. Pansies, Brassica flowers, anything white in fact, helps to deter the White Cabbage Moth. They’re territorial and if they see anything white and vaguely Cabbage Moth shaped, they will move on and find somewhere else to lay their eggs.

Brassica flowers

There you go, great reasons to let your garden bloom!

A family with a garden near Gawler where we experiment with sustainability.

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