Ladybugs eat aphids. So if aphids are eating your potato plants, you might be tempted to mail-order a ton of ladybugs (yes, this is a thing you can do) to solve your garden woes. There’s a flaw in that plan, though: When you release ladybugs, they fly away.
I learned the truth about ladybugs, which really should have been obvious from the start, thanks to this video. It’s from Good Gardening Videos, a site run by garden writers and scientists who know which advice is evidence-based and which isn’t. This video tackles four myths, but there’s way more where that came from.
So if the ladybugs fly away, what can you do? The host here suggests you turn your garden into a place where ladybugs will want to live — and when you do that, you won’t need to buy any ladybugs because they will move in for free. To create a ladybug paradise, it helps to grow a variety of plants, avoid insecticides, and to let at least some of your aphids live. After all, the ladybugs won’t show up if you’re constantly taking away their food supply.
Watch the video for more, including the truth about adding phosphorus to the soil (it doesn’t help as much as you think, and can hurt) plus two myths about mulching.