by Rob English
Do you think you might plant a garden this year? Maybe to grow some tomatoes, or colorful flowers? You won’t be sorry! The garden will get you out into the sun and fresh air and it will be light exercise. And it will reward you over time with healthy food produce or a prettier environment, or both!
For extra credit, get the kids involved. They’ll love working with a grownup to make plants grow like magic. It will teach them patience, and biology. It will affect their mood and improve their sleep (so they’ll do better in school). It will promote family closeness. For more on this, see the excellent webpage entitled, “How a Family Garden Will Improve Your Health” (1).
Whatever you plant, also plant dill.
Dill attracts ladybugs, praying mantises and many other helpful insects that patrol your garden and eat the bugs that can hurt your plants. As just one great example, tomatoes are protected when dill attracts the wasps that kill the tomato-eating hornworm caterpillar. For a list of twenty-two garden-friendly insects, see “22 Beneficial Insects to Protect Your Garden and How to Attract Them”(2).
As the clever gardeners at London’s famous Kew Gardens have noticed, plants can’t move (3). In full, they say, “Since plants can’t move, they have to employ other tactics to ensure pollen is carried from flower to flower.” Namely they need pollinators of all kinds, especially BEES.
One of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build homes and find a variety of nutritious food sources. By planting a bee garden, you can create a habitat corridor with plants that are rich in pollen and nectar. You don’t need a ton of space to grow bee-friendly plants — gardens can be established across yards and in window boxes, flower pots, and planters (4).
Whether you plant a bee garden complete with a “bee hotel” or just stake a few tomatoes, participate with your loved ones in the “magic” of growing food and beauty out of seed and soil.
You might enjoy looking over the ideas on these pages:
(1) How a Family Garden Will Improve Your Health – https://www.verywellfamily.com/family-garden-to-improve-health-4127202#citation-6
(2) 22 Beneficial Insects to Protect Your Garden and How to Attract Them https://morningchores.com/beneficial-garden-insects/
(3) The importance of bees as pollinators –https://www.kew.org/read-and-watch/the-importance-of-bees
(4) 10 Ways to Save the Bees – https://thebeeconservancy.org/10-ways-to-save-the-bees/
One of the largest threats to bees…
Rob English is a member of People for Animal Rights, a grassroots organization in Central New York. This article was translated into Spanish by Rob English.
Contact People for Animal Rights
P.O. Box 3333
Syracuse, NY 13220
Photos by Kampus Production and Gustavo Fring from pexels.com