Being a master gardener means –sharing gardening wisdom—sometimes thats easy:”No you really should not order grass seed from the Sunday supplement magazine.”
But other times its not so easy. And that brings up the question of the moment: “Is this bug good or bad” Or worse, “friend or foe”?
First ask your questioner “what makes a bug ‘good?” Of course–they eat “bad” bugs–everyone knows that. But this is the thing insects are most often specialized in is their eating. You, for example, might have a great wish to eat ice cream–but if there is no ice cream–carrot sticks or even–chocolate cake–might do. Most insects are not like that. They eat what they have, over a very long time period, been designed to eat.
So, that means if you want the so-called good bugs in you garden–what do you also need in your garden?? Oh no–its bad bugs!!! Yes its true and its the only way. You really must rethink the whole situation.
Balance is what the garden needs. That isn’t something that happens overnight or even stays that way once its achieved. Remember playing on a seesaw? It took awhile to get the perfect balance–and then someone jumped off!! Thats how it can seem.
But with healthy soil, a diversity of plants, as many native as possible, and reasonable maintenance you will have some amazing experiences of natures ability to make what first seem like problems into beauty. Oh yes–watching ladybug larvae eating aphids –well its beautiful in its on way. The wasps that eat some monarch larvae also eat those caterpillars that love the broccoli.
So, When you are asked “friend or foe?” Well ask you questioner to pull up a chair–it may take awhile.
Pictures by Starla