Growing Native Plants Vs. Non-Native
One thing that professional gardeners suggest to control pests is growing a diversity of plants, which creates diversity in the insect population. This usually takes care of most of your pest problems, as the ecosystem created comes with natural predators of those pests. There’s one other factor, however, to consider when trying to create a diverse garden that takes care of its’ own pests. Scientists recently did a study on the diversity of insect population in regards to whether the plants are native to that area or non-native. They found that when you plant non-native plants, you actually lower the diversity of your insect population, bring back the problem of pests without natural predators to take care of them. Planting non-native plants also reduces the number and diversity of herbivores that serve as natural predators in your garden. Both insects and their predators avoid non-native plants. One good way to tell if your plant is closely enough related to native plants so insects and herbivores will take care of it is by seeing whether the plants is being visited by young insects. The number of adult insects doesn’t make any difference, but if you see young insects on the plant then it is safe to include with you native plants.
Do you consider whether a plant is native or not when planning your garden? Did you know that it makes a difference with pest control?