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lauren_vasquez
I guess I've got bugs on my mind. I've heard it said that ticks love low, moist plants and mulch, like cedar for example, deters insects and allows for airflow. With green mulch, do we expect insect population to be affected?
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

lauren -- We need bugs. We need insects. They are the base of the food chain. An opossum eats thousands of ticks in a day. The goal here is to create a thriving ecosystem that brings in a diversity of life and thus natural checks and balances (a harder thing to do in a small urban garden, and / or with climate change). Even mosquitoes have a purpose. Green much -- aka a thick garden that emulates nature (see my latest Houzz post http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/64463174/list/garden-design-for-wildlife-and-less-work) -- provides more wildlife habitat, period. It's sequestering more carbon. It's filtering more water. It's mitigating storm runoff. It's improving more soil. It's cooling our homes. So how do we foster biodiversity, attracting beneficial predator bugs? How do we learn to garden sustainability and learn those lessons from wilder nature? How do we learn to come back into life? Maybe we don't have to micromanage a garden in every respect (contrary to tv commercials) in order to have a thriving place we and other species enjoy. Well, those are my extended thoughts. Thanks for getting me thinking. :)

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lindameems

Here in western Maine,I ,too worry about hiding places for Lyme carrying ticks. I thought about guinea hens and then I heard them! I use leaf litter every fall around plantings that are away from the small open grass areas (for kids and picnics). I have also found that letting the more aggressive garden plants work it out has allowed my fence-keep-off-the-leach-field garden to become very full,colorful and tempting to bees,butterflies and hummingbirds. The monarda and phlox hold one another in place,the wild geraniums cover there feet and the helenium and day lilies hold their own .Rudbeckia pops up wherever and the baptisia is lovely all year. My biggest mistake was thinking trumpet vine was a good idea! Any thoughts on how to remove it without creating garden havoc?

   
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