Sharing Your Garden

The Harvest Farm Community Garden recently has exploded in color. In addition to veggies, with their blooms and emerging fruits, many gardeners had added flowers – a profusion of marigolds, roses, zinnias, even anise hyssop. Some herbs had begun blooming, as well. While these all add beauty to each plot and the garden overall, they also invite an array of native pollinators, essential to the pollination of much of the food we depend upon. According to the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization working to conserve North America’s native pollinators, four major groups of insects are largely responsible for this activity we depend upon: bees and wasps, flies, butterflies and moths, and beetles. When you visit Harvest Farm Community Garden, watch the individual insects that visit the flowers near you. They will vary in size, shape, even flying behavior. For the most part you will not be observing (nonnative) honey bees. Please stop to think about the critical interaction we share with these insect categories – before you use insecticides of any variety. Does a leaf on your plant have a hole or a ragged edge? Is the problem sufficient to threaten the plant itself? If not, don’t automatically apply the organic insecticide in your garden work basket.

By Carol Hassell – Harvest Farm Master Gardener