|Black Swallowtail Caterpillars in my dill|
It's amazing how fast caterpillars grow and how fast they eat up plants, though. They have enormous appetites. If I needed that dill, these caterpillars would be history, pretty as they are!
|Sunflowers attract beneficials|
The first rule to attracting predators is not to kill them. This is one reason why I use pesticides and other "-cides" very sparingly. "-Cide" is Latin for "kill." Pesticides on the vegetables I am going to cook and eat are not only bad for the health of my family, but they can easily kill off the "good bugs," birds, and other creatures I actually want to attract to my vegetable beds. If I must use a pesticide or other chemical, I use it sparingly and according to the directions on the label. I spray in the evening, after the bees and other pollinators have mostly gone to bed for the night.
|Birds need water!|
Place your birdbath away from bushes or anything that can hide cats; birds feel vulnerable when their wings are wet. But try to put the birdbath near some low-hanging tree branches, fence posts, or other locations where the birds can shake off the excess water, look around, and preen themselves for a bit once they've finished their bath. Robins really like to visit my garden and birdbaths, and I like to see them, since they and their young have a huge appetite for caterpillars and other insects.
Speaking of insects, be sure to dump out the stale water in your birdbath every couple of days in the summer, and replace it with fresh water. This prevents mosquitoes from breeding in your birdbath. Be sure to check it frequently and replace water as it dries out, too. A dry birdbath does the birds no good! Keep the birdbath full so the birds keep their habit of stopping there frequently. Keep it clean so the birds don't get sick from the water.
|Spicy Nasturtiums are not only flowers, but edible too!|
|"Cottage Red" marigold|
|Wasps love mint flowers|