Does organic fertilizer attract insects?

Organic fertilizer will attract good insects including ladybugs, bees and dragonflies that will eat pests like aphids to your garden. This creates a balance of insect life in your garden. Well-aged organic fertilizers like compost, aged cow manure and pelleted chicken manure won’t attract flies.

Growing an organic garden will help to increase the biodiversity in your garden attracting a range of insects which will find balance over time.

Adding organic fertilizers will help good soil microbes and fungi to grow, which will also attract worms.

Larger predator insects will be attracted to your garden like dragonflies, ladybugs and spiders which will eat pest insects like aphids. Although you may not completely remove pests, other insects will quickly move in to eat them and stop them eating your plants.

Here are some great insects for your garden

Organic fertilizer will increase pollinating insects

Organic fertilizer helps to create a balance of insect life in your garden including pollinators. Pollination is an important factor in successfully growing fruit in your garden. In this study, adding organic fertilizer attracted more pollinators to raspberry bushes. Increasing the number of pollinators in a raspberry farm led to an 11% increase in raspberry weight and 33% increase in the number of raspberries. 

Are insects good for my garden

The balance of insects that will come to your garden when you use organic fertilizers will increase over time. As you create your own ecosystem in your backyard the diversity of insects in your garden will increase starting from the soil microbes all the way up to top insect predators like dragonflies.

Dragonflies will come to your organic garden to eat black flies

Does organic fertilizer keep pest bugs away?

Organic fertilizers have been shown to help to keep pest bugs away that want to eat your plants. In this study, adding worm castings or ‘vermicompost’ reduced the number of aphids and mealy bugs on peppers and mealy bugs on tomatoes. Adding the worm castings also reduced the amount of cabbage leaf eaten by cabbage white caterpillars.

Worm castings are a great organic addition to your garden

Attracting worms with organic fertilizer

Adding organic fertilizer to your garden is a great way to attract worms. In this study in the journal of Soil Biology and Biochemistry, organic farming has been shown to improve soil, increase the number of good insects and microbes and improve pest control.

Gardening organically in your own backyard can help to balance good insects and soil microbes which will help to control pests that want to eat your plants.

In this study, farms that were adding manure had soil with more fungi and bacteria and more earthworms, which could feed on them compared to farms that used pesticides. In organic farms, there were more predators such as spiders and less pest insects like aphids. It is likely that the predator insects were eating the aphids and keeping their numbers low.

To keep insect pests down, using organic fertilizers like aged animal manures and worm castings helps to improve the soil, increase microbes which supported the natural enemies of insects that would eat the plants.

Best organic fertilizer to use in the garden to attract insects

The best organic fertilizers to use in your garden are compost, worm castings and aged animal manures like pelleted chicken manure and cow manure. These organic fertilizers contain a range of nutrients and will help to condition the soil in your garden. This will encourage the growth of good bacteria and fungi in the soil, worms as well as growing healthy plants.

I add pelleted chicken manure to my soil before planting

When you are not using pesticides, insect species will start to find balance. Over time the predators will balance out the insects that plan on eating your plants. Recently I had some aphids gather on the growing tips of my Star Jasmine and within a few hours, ladybugs had come along and taken care of them.

Adding home made compost is one of the best organic fertilizers you can add to your garden beds. Dig it into the soil before you plant or add it to the top of the soil under fruit trees, flowers or your vegetable garden.  All of the studies on farms can help us to understand the importance of organic fertilizers in our home gardens.

Organic Fertilizer Attracting Insects – FAQ

Will aged cow manure attract insects to my organic garden?

Aged cow manure has not attracted any visible insects to my vegetable garden or backyard that I can see. Adding aged cow manure to garden beds or layered under mulch increases soil microbes which are great for feeding worms. Aged cow manure doesn’t smell and adds valuable carbon, nitrogen and microbes to your soil.

Will organic pelleted chicken manure fertilizer attract insects?

Organic pelleted chicken manure used as a fertilizer will not attract any problem insects to your garden. Pelleted chicken manure usually smells quite strong but does not attract visible insects. It will add good bacteria, water holding ability and help your worm population to grow. I add organic pelleted chicken manure to my soil before I plant fruit trees, vegetables, annual flowers and fruit trees. If it is left on the surface it will smell strong for around 1-2 days but faded after that.

Will organic worm castings used as fertilizer attract insects?

I have noticed insects such as ants and vinegar flies attracted to my  worm farm if I add fruit or too many vegetable scraps to my worm farm. To stop this, I simply mix the fruit and vegetable scraps into the top of my worm farm and cover it with sugar cane mulch. This stops the insects and the worms happily eat the buried scraps.

Once the food scraps have been turned into worm castings by the worms, these do not attract insects to my garden. The addition of worm castings to my garden bed has definitely increased the number of worms in my garden bed. There are no ants or flies attracted to the worm castings.

Worm castings are full of good bacteria and fungi that the worms are feeding on so this will help my garden worm population too. I try my best not to transfer worms from my worm farm to my garden beds as they won’t survive well in garden conditions because it is often too dry.

Will organic seaweed tonic attract insects to my garden?

Organic seaweed tonics are used as soil conditioners will not attract any pest insects to your garden but help to improve the soil’s population of bacteria. They can be applied to the leaves or to the root zone of plants. I add this to my watering can whenever I plant something new to reduce transplant shock or to give the soil a boost.

I add seaweed tonic to new plants, it helps their root system to recover from the move

What will attract helpful insects to my garden?

Plant diversity is the key to attracting a range of insects to your garden including pollinators and predatory insects. As you increase the range of plants and flowers available butterflies, bees, dragonflies and ladybugs will find your garden a fantastic home to collect pollen and eat pests such as aphids.

As plant diversity increases so will insect diversity so plant a range of fruiting and flowering plants, trees and shrubs.   

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