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Now you might be wondering what on earth do native plants have to do with the quality of my fruit and vegetables? But it is only when we take a trained eye or magnifying glass or microscope if that is even possible to see what is happening on our edible plants.You see when you have good plant diversity you are encouraging beneficial insects and birds into your very own backyard. It is when we create monocultures such as tomatoes only that we are creating havens for the pests and disease that cause us headache and eat our edibles. These pests and diseases build up to high levels that can only be controlled by the use of expensive and quite often harmful chemicals that don’t discriminate and kill the good insects to and what if the birds eat these poisoned insects ?
For a chemical free option just plant many different WA native plants with insect and bird attracting flowers. With natives the flowers will attract either birds, insects or even both for pollination. When these insects lay eggs on the leaves of your edibles the larvae hatch and they are very hungry. They love to eat pests like caterpillars or aphids, and they will quickly control them to numbers that are not harmful. I personally don’t use any chemicals on my edibles and have learnt to live with slight blemishes that have no effect on the quality of the produce but may mean that occasionally the leaves aren’t perfect looking but with good watering and nutrition and the low levels of pests they bounce back to full health.
We encourage responsible gardening here at Ben’s gardens and want to share our knowledge with you. For consulting and garden design help please contact us as it is our passion.