I found this online. My new goals:
Creating an ecosystem
However small your garden or vegetable plot, it should have a self-regulating ecosystem in place to control pests and keep your plants healthy. The simplest way to create this ecosystem is to plant a range of plants which attract natural predators that feed on pests. Ideally, these plants should provide food (in the form of nectar, fruit and pollen) and shelter for predators and sacrificial crops to maintain pest colonies. A sacrificial crop could be a clump of nettles. This will harbor aphids which will feed predators such as ladybugs and lacewings. If any aphids then attack your crops, the ladybugs and lacewings will be on standby to clear them up.
If you have room, a pond (even a very small pond) is useful for keeping pest numbers down. It will encourage frogs (which eat slugs) and bats (which eat mosquitoes and other flying insects).
The following common predators keep pest numbers in check:
- Birds eat slugs, snails, grubs, wireworms, caterpillars and insects
- Frogs eat slugs and snails, beetles and insects
- Ladybugs and lacewings eat aphids such as blackfly and whitefly
You can attract various predators to your plot with a few simple planting techniques. A few bird feeders will encourage more birds on to your plot. A pond will encourage frogs. Lacewings and ladybugs can be encouraged to visit by planting candytuft, sunflowers and marigolds.