Predator insects can do our pest control work for us by controlling the numbers of pest insects in our VEG bed.聽 Therefore, the more predators that we can attract to our VEG beds, the less pest problems we will have.聽 And it’s so easy…

Flowers to attract predators

Biodiversity is the key to organic pest control.Most predators like flowers that are high in pollen and nectar, and with short pollen tubes.For many predators, the more nectar and pollen they eat, the more eggs they will lay.

The daisy family (asteraceae) and parsley family (apiaceae/umberlliferaceae) provide nectar and pollen for predatory insects.These flowers聽contain high protein and聽high sugar foods which are聽accessible via shallow pollen tubes.There are also some great wild flowers and ornamental flowers that are great for predator attraction.聽 We should aim to have at least one flowering predator attracting plant in or near our vegetable patch at all times of year.聽 The following table will be useful in making this possible.

Name When it flowers
Umberlliferaceae:
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Parsley
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Yarrow
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Carrot
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Turnip
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Dill
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Fennel
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Celery
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Chervil
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Cumin
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Caraway
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Coriander
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Angelica
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Queen Anne鈥檚 Lace
Asteraceae:
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 See http://australian-insects.com/lepidoptera/plants/aste/asteraceae.html
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Feverfew
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum)
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Echinacea
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Chamomile
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Gazania
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Calendula – Marigold
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Pyrethrum
Wildflowers:
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Clover
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Dandelion
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Nettles
Other:
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Cornflower
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Alyssum
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Queen鈥檚 Anne Lace
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Buckwheat
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Convovulus tricolor
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Californian poppy
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Golden rod (Solidago spp.)
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Echium (but they鈥檙e big)