Kids Garden Partners

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Kids can find many beneficial insects, birds, and animals that are vegetable garden partners. Adding a pond to the garden encourages garden partners to become part of the ecosystem. Lady bugs love to eat aphids. Earthworms work the soil, enriching and loosening it to allow the roots of the plants to grow strong. Spiders catch insects in their webs. Birds eat hundreds of insects each day. Butterflies and bees pollinate the plants as they go from flower to flower. Kids can plant berries and flowers to attract these garden partners and encourage them to stay. Toads and frogs eat slugs that can chew up plants overnight. A single toad can eat 10,000 insects and 2,000 cutworms in a summer. A toad can make a good pet, living 30 years or more near the garden pond. Kids can make a simple garden pond by digging a hole for a small plastic pool and adding a small recirculating pump to create a gurgle of moving water. Kids can surround the pond with rocks, ferns, and moss and add some goldfish, who love to eat mosquito larvae. Frogs may come to visit the pond and birds may bathe in it. Kids can discover many wonderful partners when they design their garden to include helpful birds, insects, and animals.

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