Gardening to Attract Beneficial Insects | Tiffany Selvey | Skillshare

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Gardening to Attract Beneficial Insects

teacher avatar Tiffany Selvey, Passionate Organic Gardener

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Types of Beneficial Insects - Pollinators


    • 3.

      Types of Beneficial Insects - Predators


    • 4.

      Types of Beneficial Insects - Parasites


    • 5.

      Attracting and Keeping Beneficial Insects in Your Garden


    • 6.

      Easy to Grow Plants that Attract Beneficials


    • 7.

      Creating a Pest Management Strategy


    • 8.



    • 9.

      New Brand and Websites!


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About This Class

Beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies, not only serve the important function of pollinating our fruit and vegetable plants, they also include those insects which do battle against pests, such as fruit worms and aphids.

In this class I will discuss the importance of different types of beneficial insects, as well as how to attract all kinds of beneficial insects to your garden. Topics in this class include what to plant for different beneficials, gardening practices to keep these insects in your yard, and common garden practices to avoid in order to keep your yard active with beneficial insects all year long. We will also discuss how to create an Integrated Pest Management Plan that works with nature, rather than using harsh pesticides, to keep trouble-making pests at bay. Organic gardening is all about finding balance, and this class will help you learn to cooperate with nature to create balance in your garden for an easier, safer, and healthier garden for you and the environment.

I hope you will join me in exploring the insect wonders we can find in the garden!

Meet Your Teacher

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Tiffany Selvey

Passionate Organic Gardener


Some of my earliest memories take place in my grandfather's garden. We would walk around this magical place, snacking here and there on whatever was ripe at the moment, and listen to the birds sing. It's safe to say, I have loved gardens my entire life!

In 2012 I got serious about my obsession with gardening and became a master gardener. Since then, I have spent time volunteering in museum gardens as well as teaching a variety of classes including Advanced Master Gardener Training at the local extension office, and basic gardening classes at my library, the Botanical Gardens, the Flower and Nature Society... pretty much any place that will have me! I have spent a few years selling produce, but my real love is teaching others to grow their own.

I firmly believe that... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction : Hello, Welcome to gardening to attract beneficial insects. I'm Tiffany and the master gardener and obsessive organic gardener. I'm so glad you're considering this class. Beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies not only served the important function of pollinating our fruit and vegetable plants, they also had beauty. And if I could be completely honest, just a little bit of magic took our garden space. These beautiful creatures are as delightful to watch as they are functional and necessary to food production. There's something absolutely, all inspiring to watch a fat, fuzzy, bubbly buzz from bloom to bloom, and it's hard to find anything quite as stunning as a monarch or swallowtail butterfly drifting gracefully through your own personal Garden of Eden. While these air some of my favorite insects in the garden, beneficial insects do more than just pollinate and provide beauty. They also include those insects, which do battle against pests such as fruit worms and David's. In this class, I will discuss the importance of different types of beneficial insects as well as how to attract all kinds of beneficial insects to your garden. Topics in this class include what to plan for different Ben officials gardening practices to keep these insects in your yard and common garden practices to avoid. In order to keep your garden active with beneficial insects all year long, we will also discuss how to create an integrated pest management plan that works with nature rather than using harsh pesticides to keep troublemaking insights. But they or get a gardening is all about. Finding balance in this class will help you learn to cooperate with nature, to create balance in your garden for an easier, safer and healthier garden for you and the environment. I hope you'll join me and exploring the insect wonders we confined in the garden. 2. Types of Beneficial Insects - Pollinators: there are many types of beneficial insects, each of which serves a unique purpose. First, we will discuss pollinators. These insects fertilize the open blooms of flowering plants by moving pollen from the male part of a bloom to the female part of a bloom. Insects collect sticky Poland from the steam in and deliver it to the stigma below. The stigma is the pistol, which is kind of like a stem that holds the stigma away from the base of the bloom, making it easy to collect pollen from the legs and bodies of traveling insects. I can even try Paulen blown in by the winds. At the base of the pistol is the Abbeville, where seeds are made. Some plants such a squash, have separate male and female blooms. Onley, the female blooms produced fruit. Other plants, such as tomatoes, are considered self pollinating, meaning their blooms have both male and female parts. While self pollinating blooms do not entirely rely upon pollinators to produce fruit, insects moving between blooms helped to ensure sufficient pollination. These are undoubtedly the most efficient pollinator, according to the USDA. In the US alone, there are about 4000 types of bees Most of us are familiar with the honeybee, but you may be surprised to know that they're not native to the United States. European settlers brought hives from their homelands before honeybees arrived from Europe. Our native bees pollinated native crops such a squash, Cherries and cranberries. Bees alone pollinate 80% of flowering plants and about 75% of our edible crops, including nuts, fruits and vegetables. When we see bees and movies, we often think of them as angry flying mobs. But most Easler docile unless they feel threatened. And while some native species traveling colonies there, many species that are solitary, they do not swarm or live in a community. I know many people are afraid of bees, but I firmly believe if we step back and truly watch these amazing creatures in their habitat moving from bloom to bloom, we not only lose our fear to gain a sense of appreciation. Certainly those with bee sting allergies have every reason to be cautious. But for most of us, a fear of bees is unfounded. In my many years of gardening, often harvesting while bees were working, the blooms on my cucumbers, squash, okra, I've never been stung. Slow, steady movements keep the bees from feeling threatened as they go about their task. Anything that moves pollen from the statement of a bloom to the stigma is considered a pollinator. So any insect that collects nectar from open flowers fits in this category, including ladybugs, butterflies, wasps and flies, although they aren't insects, even hummingbirds or pollinators. So why're pollinators so important? They're the main source of pollination for plants that have separate male and female blooms while also increasing the yield of self pollinating plants. 3. Types of Beneficial Insects - Predators: predators help manage pests in the garden, while they don't often get the same respect as pollinators for their usefulness in the garden, predators are a major component of successful organic gardening. Who needs chemical pesticides when Mother Nature offers such a fascinating way to control pests? Ladybugs, air one very recognizable garden predator? Did you know that one of these charming little round insects can eat 50 or more David's a day While a van's air, their meal of choice ladybugs also consume scale mealy bugs and mites, some of the tiniest but most destructive garden pests in the US we have both native and non native ladybug species. The ladybugs most of us recognize and see most often in our gardens is actually the Asian lady beetle be. His non native species have not been in the States for very long. They were originally released in 1978 and again in 1981 in Pennsylvania by the Department of Agriculture As an agent of pest management, Asian ladybugs come in a variety of colors, from yellow to dark red and with a varying number of spots. It can be difficult to distinguish native and non native varieties of ladybugs. But Asian ladybugs have a distinct in on their heads, as seen in this image seen. Here's our native species without the identifying em. Ladybug larva looked nothing like the adult version. Rather, they look like tiny alligators with voracious appetites for a foods, les swings or perhaps less distinctive in the garden since they blend so well with their surroundings. They are, however, just is valuable for pest control, possibly even more so than ladybugs. Because their larva feed on a wider variety of pests. These lovely, delicate creatures consume white flies. Mealy bugs leave hoppers, mites and David's one Lee swing larva can eat up to 1008 kids each day. Lisa Millar, Va. Have a similar look and shape as ladybug larva. Only lease wings. Air greyish brown. The's level creatures air. Often referred to as a food lion's adult lee swings are easily identifiable because they're so appropriately named. Their translucent wings look like please. Adult females lay tiny eggs on stocks that look like hair attached to leaves, bark and sometimes fruits. I find a lot of thumb on my tomatoes, probably because Miley swings air feasting on the Fed's on my tomato plants. These predators keep me from needing any kind of chemical pest control, and I appreciate their help as the largest insect on our predators list. The praying Mantis is hard to miss. Praying mantises are a little less particular about what they eat and can really fit into the Good Bug and Bad Bud categories because they eat good bugs to. For the purposes of today's class, though, we'll try to focus on this odd insects better attributes. Mansions air quite large, generally 2 to 4 inches at the adult stage. Of the 1800 species known worldwide, only 11 live in the United States. These beasts are generally warm weather creatures, but Chinese Mantis and European matches have been introduced into cooler regions, including the North East for insect control. And, boy, do they do their jobs. Mangan's love to eat, and they eat almost anything. Their prey includes caterpillars. Good guys like butterflies and bad guys like to make a horn. Worms flies, wasps, bees and moths, even beetles, including the incredibly destructive Japanese beetle and tropical regions where larger praying mantises live, the lizards, humming birds and small frogs. When there's a lack of other prey, they will even eat each other. You can see how this constant feeder can fall into the Good bug and Bad Bud category. Although they're big, they're natural color, which ranges from green to brown, helps them blend into their surroundings. Overall, thanks to their voracious appetites for pests, praying mantises are good toe have in the garden. 4. Types of Beneficial Insects - Parasites: the word parasite is something that generally has a bad connotation. No one wants parasites. Well, if you have some large pests in the garden than you do want parasites, a few of them anyway. The defining factor for parasites is that they kill their hosts. But unlike predators, parasites kill their hosts slowly living off of them until they've gotten what they need, at which time the host eyes. There aren't a lot of beneficial parasites in the garden, at least not that you can see with the naked eye. But there is one that feeds primarily on one of the gardens. Most destructive pests. The tomato horn worm. If you've ever walked out to your garden one morning and found half a tomato plant defoliated, then you know the frustration of having a tomato horn worm. Although there large pests at nearly four inches long, they're difficult to see until they have caused major damage. Nature solution to these big pests is the bracketed wasp, which praise upon the tobacco and tomato horn worm. There are over 15,000 different species with different physical characteristics, but most are dark with four transparent wings and are generally half an inch long or smaller. Most species are not able to sting humans, and those that can only do so when threatened and their stings pose no danger. While they pose no danger to humans, they pose a great risk to horn worms. In one of the most gruesome and fascinating ways, female Barack need wasps lay eggs just under the skin of her host. As the eggs hatch, the larvae eat the horn worm from the inside out. After the larva make their way to the outside of the horn worm, they create white, elongated cocoons seen here in the second image. When they have made their transition, they leave the cocoons in the horn. Warm dies. Not only has the bracketed wasp killed this one horn warm, she's sent many more bracket wasps out into the world to replicate the process for many, many generations. If you see a horn warm in your garden with these cocoons, it may be tempting to pluck it off and destroy it. But the best thing you can do is leave it in place for the hatching process to complete filling your garden with hormone um, pest control 5. Attracting and Keeping Beneficial Insects in Your Garden: Now that we know the different types of beneficial insects, it's important to know how to attract and keep them in your garden in the spring. Way to mow your yard until there are plenty of sources for nectar for been officials. Common spring weeds, including chickweed, him, bit and clover are some of the first food for insects after they over winter, provide a source of water for bees and butterflies, such as a shallow dish filled with pebbles and water. Be sure to leave some pests such as aphids, asparagus beetles and caterpillars for predators to eat. Also Leven untouched area in the yard with some brush. Taller grasses. Clover wildflowers leaves unbroken ground etcetera for protection from the elements you could also make or buy a bug hotel like the one shown here. Now let's talk about some tips for helping you select plants that will attract beneficial insects. Select native plans and avoid invasives such as Japanese honeysuckle. Include a variety of plants because each insect has its own favorite, include plants in your landscape with large blooms, as well as those with smaller blooms, edibles such as okra and squash, or some of the best pollinator attractors. If you plan to harvest, cut flowers or herbs, plants extra and leave some untouched for insects to feed on include plants that bloom all season or use plants that bloom a different times to offer a steady source of food at host plants for desirable pollinators, for example, dill weed is a host plant for the black swallowtail butterfly. Passionflower is the host plant for the Gulf, Friddle, Larry and others, and milkweed is the host plant for monarchs. Butterflies only lay eggs on the plants they're larvae can feed on, so host plans are important if you want to attract certain types of butterflies. 6. Easy to Grow Plants that Attract Beneficials: If you're a true plant lover at heart, then this will probably be your favorite section. Now we're going to talk about some easy to grow plants that attract been officials. These are all photos from my garden over the years. Our first flower. This is the passionflower, also known as theme a pop. Big bumble bees love to spend hours upon hours collecting the nectar from these beautiful blooms. Later, they produce fruits. This is a black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on dill weed in my garden several years ago, Dill weed is a host plants for the black swallowtail. Sometimes it's hard to tell the black swallowtail caterpillar from a monarch caterpillar, but you can always tell because they do have different host plants. Since this one is on my deal, I know for sure that it's a blacks waters swallowtail butterfly. If it were on milkweed, it would be very clear that it's a monarch. Euro is a favorite of ladybugs in my garden. They love the dense plantings where they can hide safely, as well as the nectar provided by the small blooms. Yaro comes in a variety of colors, from yellow to pink to red and white. I believe we have here in this particular image and native ladybug. This is comfrey. It's a medicinal herb. As you can see, it is a big a tractor of big, fluffy bumble bees, which are my favorite. And if you look closely at this one, you can see the pollen of this bumble bee has already collected. Another favorite of the big bumble bees is borage, a super easy to grow flower from seed. The entire plant is edible. The leaves can be cooked, Um, and the blooms could be harvested in frozen in ice cubes for fancy cocktails. Overall, a very useful plant, and it freely recedes so you don't have to buy new seeds every year. This is an okra bloom and my garden a couple of years ago. This is red okra, which is my favorite because it's beautiful. It's got red stems, these yellow flowers and the bumble bees just love it. But not only bumble bees and these images. We have three different kinds of bees flocking to these blooms. They happen. Teoh, open up about 10 o'clock in the morning when it's hot, which is wind bees begin to get really active for the day collecting nectar and pollen. This is, um, native elderberry. Obviously, um, this is when it's in full bloom. It does produce elderberries, which are used very often and in syrups for immune support. These plans air super easy to grow, although they do. They do get quite large, um, about 10 feet tall, in 10 feet around at maturity. But they don't require any kind of special conditions. They'll grow in partial shade, although they won't bloom quite a smudge overall, a beautiful plants and a favorite of honeybees. And I guess I just had to throw in a few more images of my favorite ladybugs, Um, thes air, some ladybugs that were collecting water from corn that I grew in my garden a couple of years ago. 7. Creating a Pest Management Strategy: as we plan and plants are garden, it's important to know what gardening practices to avoid To keep Ben officials around. People often consider organic pesticides safe, and they are safer for human consumption. But it's important to know that all pesticides, even organic, are indiscriminate. They kill bad bugs and get bugs alike. If you must use a pesticide, fungicide or herbicide, always avoid blooms when purchasing plants, especially at big box stores, always read the labels. In this example, these miracles were treated with a harsh pesticide that is known to be fatal to bees and for which there is growing evidence that it plays a major part in colony collapse disorder . A troubling and potentially devastating problem. In order to avoid having your garden taken over by pests as you go chemical free, it's important to create an integrated pest management plan. With Ben officials in mind, there are four types of pest control methods. The first and simplest pest control method is called cultural control. This involves simply providing plants with sufficient light nutrition and water Plants that are stressed send out stress chemicals, which signal to pest that the plant is weak and an easy target. Be sure to plant the corrects plant for your lighting conditions rather than trying to grow something not well suited to that space. For example, tomato plants need full Sutton at least eight hours a day if you try to grow tomato in an area that gets closer to four hours of sunlight a day, that plans will be constantly stress. That space is better suited for plants with lower light demands, such as lettuce or herbs. Getting a soil test, which is often free from your local extension office, will help determine any significant nutrient deficiencies, which may impact your plants when you do fertilize, especially if you haven't had a soil test. Never use more than the recommended amount listed on the package. Too much fertilizer can cause as many problems as too little, and it's much harder to get excess nutrients out of the soil once it's in there. Visit extension dot org's To find your local extension office, the second pest control method. We will discuss this physical control, which means adjusting the environment around plants to make them unappealing or unavailable to pests. Physical controls include the use of floating row covers. This light fabric allows sun and rain in, but has a tight enough. We've to keep pests out. One example of using floating row covers is covering young eggplants early in the season to protect them from hordes of flea beetles. Another example of physical control is companion. Planting onions and garlic. Help tutor cabbage worms, while Mr Shin flowers help deter squash bugs. These are just a few of the many pairings. Companion planting really should be a whole class on its own. Whenever possible, it's best to grow violence like winter squash, cucumbers and small melons vertically. Keeping them off the ground helps avoid problems like rots as well is making most of the plant inaccessible to ground drawling pests. For most of this class, we've been discussing biological pest control. This means providing a favourable environment toe let nature take care of pests. Biological controls and chemical controls, which will discuss next, do not often work well together. Attracting predatory insects, as we have discussed in other sections, is practicing biological pest control. Another example of this type of management is using spiky sweet gum bumps around plants for which slugs air a problem such as cabbage and hostas. this is using something creating in nature to defeat pests. Our fourth and final type of pest control is chemical control. Chemical controls should always be used according to package instructions, and only as a last resort. This type of pest control is the most damaging to the environment. Some examples of natural pest controls include neem oil and insecticidal soap. While these air safer options to use in case of major infestations, they may still harm beneficial insects, so use them sparingly. Most pesticides found in garden centres such a seven dust or not approved for organic gardening. But remember, just because it's organic doesn't mean it's good for Ben officials. 8. Conclusion: by attracting beneficial insects to your garden. You not only get the benefit of free and environmentally friendly pest control, but you also get to enjoy said that the most fascinating creatures Mother Nature has to offer. Understanding the different types of beneficial insects and how to attract them reduces the amount of labour time and chemicals needed to maintain your garden, leaving more time to simply enjoy the space. I would love to know what steps you plan to take first to attract more beneficial insects to your garden. Are you planning to add more blooms? Perhaps you're ready to ditch the chemicals, however you plans begin. Please leave a comment and let me know. Also, please leave a comment with any questions you may have. I'm always happy to answer gardening questions. I hope you've enjoyed learning about attracting beneficial insects as much as I have enjoyed teaching about them. Thank you so much for taking this class. And don't forget to post any questions you may have. I hope you'll visit my website at the restoration garden dot com, or you can find me on Instagram at Restoration Garden and Facebook at facebook dot com slash the Restoration Garden. Don't forget to set aside some time today to find joy in the garden. Thank you for watching. 9. New Brand and Websites!: Hi students. I just wanted to let you know that my brand has changed. So instead of fighting me at the restoration garden, you can find all new content on my website at simple gardening Ws. You can also find me on Instagram at slash symbol gardening and WA and slash symbol learning in WA.