Each year Garden Media Group comes out with their top list of landscape trends for the upcoming year. Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting these trends. Next up? “Silence of The Insects”
We all know that there has been steady decrease in pollinators for years. For many reasons the number of beneficial insects is decreasing. A German study of the past 30 years found that flying insects are down by 75%. A similar study in Alabama came to a similar conclusion. The UN found that 40% of pollinators are at risk of global extinction, particularly bees and butterflies.
Photo credit: rachaelbonoan on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC
Despite this, the number of invasive insects are up. This is because of the lack of natural predators. 42% of threatened or endangered species are at risk because of invasive species. But what can we do? How can each person make a difference?
Our best defense is early detection and rapid response. Educating ourselves to be able to identify invasive species and reporting it to the correct authorities is our best chance to slowing some of these invasive species down. That is why as horticulturalists, our best defense is to educate ourselves.
Photo credit: chesbayprogram on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC
Some simple actions we can take to turn things around include breeding, planting, selling and buying native species of plants. Those plants are what the native species need to survive. We are creating both habitat and food source when we plant native species.
Being mindful of the pesticides we are using is also important. Using organic means whenever possible, and only using non-organic chemicals when and where, and at the correct rate, in the correct way as necessary. Other ways to help out pollinators? Stop mowing everything in sight. If you want to mow a portion of your lawn that is fine, but think…do you really need to mow the whole thing? “Wild” native plants are looked at as weeds by most of our culture. Those “weeds” may be a home and a buffet to beneficial insects. We need to protect them whenever possible. A few small changes equal a world of difference.
For a full list of the trends visit https://www.gardenmediagroup.com/trends