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How Can Beneficials Benefit Your Garden?

by The Big Tomato

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Bok Choy looking pretty big in my raised bed

Whether gardening outdoors, indoors, in soil, or in water, there are beneficial organisms that can be beneficial to your garden. Some of these benefits can include healthier soil, pollination, and pest control. Obviously the opposite of the beneficial organisms would be labeled pests. These pests are identified by which organisms hinder your plants health or growing process. Defining the difference between beneficial and pest is subjective as it is determined solely by studying the effects that a specific organism has on your garden for your specific growing environment.

Besides providing the proper light and nutrients to your garden, providing beneficials to your plants are some of those extra things you can do to assist your plants with nutrient intake and overall plant health.

Here are different categories of beneficials:

  • Animals
  • Insects
  • Microorganisms
  • Nematodes
  • Plants (Companion Planting)

Plants will create natural relationships with beneficials to assist with better growing conditions. 

Examples:

Most soils contain bacteria and fungi known as bacillus, mycorrhizae and trichoderma, which form a relationship with your plant’s roots. As a result of this relationship your plant receives assistance in breaking down nutrients and organic matter allowing them to have more nutrition available to them for plant growth. Your plants also will receive assistance keeping pathogens to a minimum also as a result of this relationship.

Another example would be the use of nematodes (worms). Earthworms are a common beneficial used in controlling larvae populations that can be deadly to your garden.  It is very common to use earthworms in organic gardening because of their natural ability to kill various types of larvae harmful to plants.

Tags

beneficial insects, pest control in garden

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