About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Get to Know the Good Guys

One of the wonders of nature is its ability to create balance. And a prime example of this can be found in the insect world. Beneficial insects are a welcome addition to any garden. The only problem is in knowing who is good and who is bad. The University of Florida Extension Service provides descriptions and photos of 11 common "good guys" online in their Beneficial Insects Sheet 1 and Beneficial Insects Sheet 2.

You can attract more beneficial insects to your yard by providing a wide variety of food (both nectar and pollen) sources. Planting a variety of perennials and native wildflowers is effective. Weeds are also a good source for beneficial insects, so don't be so quick to remove them all. Good plant choices include: goldenrod, yarrow, daisy, milkweed, scented geraniums, cosmos, fennel, dill, parsley, thyme, marigold, nasturtians and sunflowers.

Many beneficial insects can be purchased from mail order sources such as Gardens Alive and Gardener's Supply Co. When releasing purchased insects follow the enclosed instructions for best results.

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