If we could garden without any disturbance from the Enemies which attack plants, then indeed horticulture might be an easy matter. But day in and day out we must look out for these little enemies… Small in size, but enormous in the mayhem they cause.
As human sickness might frequently be precluded by sanitary conditions, so pests might be kept away by rigorous garden cleanliness. Batches of waste are housing for the multiplying of insects. I don’t think a compost heap is included but unkempt, uncared-for places appear to invite hassles.
There are particular aids to holding back pests. The ceaseless agitating of the dirt by earthworms is a help in keeping the soil open to air and water. A lot of our common birds feed on insects. The sparrows, robin redbreast, chickadees, larks and American oriole are all illustrations of birds that help in that way. A few insects feed upon other and adverse insects. Some forms of ladybugs do this as well. The ichneumon-fly helps also. And frogs are marvels in the number of bugs they can eat at one meal. The toad merits very kind handling from all of us.
Every gardener ought to attempt to make her or his garden into a place magnetic to birds and frogs. A great birdhouse, grain scattered about in early springtime, a place for water, are invitations for birds to remain a while in your garden. If you want frogs, ready things up for them as well. On a red-hot summer day a frog likes to take a breather in the shade. By nighttime he’s ready to go forth to eat up some bugs, since toads favor live food. How may one “arrange things” for frogs? Well, one thing to do is to ready a retreat, placid, dark and wet. A couple of larger sized stones underneath the shade of a bush with possibly a layer of wet leaves would look really perfect to a frog.