Why are Ants in my Plants, Pots and Soil?

Do you ever see ants running up the stems or along branches and leaves? What about your pot plants? Do you notice them in your potting mix? Or in your lawn making little mounds that blunt your mower blades?

Why are Ants in my Plants, Pots and Soil?

Perhaps you’re wondering WHY they are there and WHAT they are doing? Are they causing damage or are they just annoying? If you want to know the answers and how to get rid of them naturally, read on.

Why are Ants in my Plants, Pots and Soil?

The answer is simple. Ants are extremely smart insects and ALWAYS have a good motive for inhabiting your plants, pots or soil. The two most likely reasons are for:

  1. Food
  2. Shelter

Seems reasonable enough, doesn’t it? We all need a roof over our heads and something to eat! Believe me, ants won’t expend energy doing anything unless there’s something in it for them.

If you see little black ants ON your plants, it’s likely because they have found a source of food. Ants are often a clue you have a bigger problem. Don’t shoot the messenger!  They are just the ‘couriers’ delivering you a message. They’ll take you straight to it. By being more observant, you’ll understand what they’re doing and why. Assuming they are harming your plant may be a BIG mistake because you only have part of the picture!

Most likely, if you look closely and follow their trail like a good detective, you’ll find it ends in sap-sucking insects like aphids, scale, mites, whiteflies or mealybugs. These pest insects are what you should be really looking for! Ants are your ‘tour guides’ and can detect the presence of these pests with their antennae. Smart hey?

So, instead of treating them as the enemy to be killed, learn to value their presence. Why? Because they have alerted you to the problem you really need to deal with! Micro gardening is about looking at details; learning to understand who, what, where and why things happen and ‘joining the dots.’

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Top Tips for Wet Weather Gardening

Don’t you love it when it rains? … and hate it when it rains TOO MUCH!

Top Tips for Wet Weather Gardening

All gardens need adequate moisture but periods of heavy or sustained rainfall, storms and runoff can bring you a truckload of challenges. These include:

  • Waterlogged soil and plants.
  • Leaching of soil nutrients.
  • Soil erosion.
  • Pest and disease problems.
  • Plant damage.
  • Anaerobic soil conditions (sour soil lacking oxygen as microorganisms die).

Soil lacking oxygen impacts the ability of plants to uptake nutrients and root health. Organic matter in the soil decomposes more slowly as microbes die and there is less active populations. Soil structure can also be impacted with prolonged rain or flooding.

13 Wet Weather Gardening Tips

Want to minimise these common issues? Dig into these wet weather gardening tips to learn how.

I’m into ‘designing out’ problems whenever I can – both in my own garden and for my clients.

Good observation, a bit of thought and planning can help reduce the impact of water-based problems.  These are some of the strategies I use to help avoid these issues. (more…)

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