Nature's Garden Helpers

Mother Nature has provided the gardener with a small army of natural pest controllers. From amphibians to birds to plants, these commandos keep the enemy at bay.

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Frogs and Toads

Even a small pond can become home to a number of frogs and toads, which will help keep the slug population in check.

Song Thrush

The song thrush breaks snails from their shells, so plant a berry-bearing shrub or tree near the garden to give these helpful birds winter food too.

Adult Lacewing

The delicate appearance of the adult lacewing disguises its enormous appetite for the larvae of common garden pests.

Hoverflies

Hoverflies are sometimes mistaken for bees. Adults are great pollinators, while the larvae feed voraciously on insect pests.

Bees

The flowers of many vegetables need to be pollinated by insects in order to set their crop. Bees are excellent pollinators, so include ornamental flowers in a vegetable garden to entice them.

Ladybug Larvae

The adult ladybug is well known, but the lesser known and less appealing larvae enjoy nothing better than feasting on a juicy aphid.

Companion Plants

One of the best known plants to combine with vegetable crops is the French marigold. The strong scent of its vividly colored flowers is thought to mask the smell of surrounding crops so pests cannot detect them.

Intercropping

Working the same way as companion planting, the strong scent of this crop of onions is thought to overpower the scent of carrots, causing carrot flies to bypass the crop and leave it undamaged.

Basil

Help limit whitefly damage to greenhouse crops by planting basil alongside them. The whitefly usually attacks the tender basil leaves first, leaving crop plants relatively unscathed.

Limnanthes Douglasil

This plant is better known as Douglas' Meadowfoam or 'poached egg plant'. Plants that flower prolifically, such as Limnanthes douglasil, are ideal for attracting beneficial insects and add welcome splashes of color as well.

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