Outdoor growers try to take advantage of every square foot of their farm for their crop, but the distribution of space can’t always be perfect. Weeds normally try and populate the leftover space next to roadways and in between plots, but what if you could use these little areas to your crop’s advantage?
Extensive research done by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation has uncovered some interesting findings that can be used to help gardeners and farmers alike, while helping save the environment. It turns out that native wildflowers, grasses and shrubs planted around and in between crops ticks up beneficial insect biodiversity, with some amazing implications. Cannabis gardeners can take advantage of all the benefits while making a cleaner and more environmentally friendly product
1. They Help You Use Less Insecticide
Native plants, especially wildflowers, near and around your garden attract a diverse population of insects. Beneficial insects will keep pest insects in check, allowing you nearly eliminate the use of insecticides. Flowers, grasses and shrubs provide shelter, and their pollen and nectar provide and alternative food source when pests aren’t around for them to eat.
2. They Prevent Soil Erosion Without Dropping Your Yield
Many farms employ rows of trees to prevent erosion from runoff and wind. Tall pine trees block out the sun, meaning the plants growing next to them will yield much less than un-shaded ones. Rows and patches of native shrubs, grasses and wildflowers serve the same purpose just as well, but won’t shade any of your crops, keeping the yields nice and high.
3. They Can Help Make Your Product Truly Organic
Many cannabis growers have already started labeling their products as organic, but what does it take to make a truly organic product? On top of avoiding genetically modified crops and only using organic-approved pesticides, USDA-certified organic growers must also meet biodiversity conservation requirements. A farmer can kill two birds with one stone by sowing native plants around their farm to help conserve biodiversity.
4. Use Them In Any Size Garden Or Farm
Backyard gardens and field crops benefit from native biodiversity in the same exact way. Large farms need to ensure their wildflower patches are distributed evenly through the farm. All you have to do for a small garden is plant a patch next to your cash crop. The technique can be used in greenhouses but care needs to be taken when selecting the plants so they don’t draw pest insects.
5. They Make Your Garden Look And Smell Great
A wildflower patch will make a great smelling cannabis garden smell even better, and gives some color to monotonous green rows of vegetative plants. Wildflowers and tall grasses can also help make your garden stealthy, if that is your concern. A careful arrangement of cannabis plants and native plants could make a high-yielding field of cannabis look like nothing special from the ground or air, while helping to cover up the smell.