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Get more vegetables—attend MDC’s Beneficial Bugs in the Garden program at Busch Conservation Area May 8

ST. CHARLES, Mo. — If you want more vegetables from your gardens, it’s a good idea to get friendly with insects.  Beneficial bugs are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat, and gardeners can make them their allies.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will host Beneficial Bugs in the Garden, a free program this Saturday, May 8 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles.  The in-person event is open to ages 13 and up.

It might take a green thumb to be a successful gardener, but a few green lacewings can help too.  A key to successful vegetable gardening is balancing pest control and pollination, and helpful native insects do both. In this class participants will learn about common garden pests, their beneficial bug counterparts, the native garden food chain, and companion planting. Discover specific insect species and how they can help or hurt a backyard garden.

The class will cover the concept of permaculture: developing sustainable ecosystems in small garden settings.  This includes choosing crops that will succeed in your climate and encouraging healthy backyard food chains.

Attendees with receive a potted plant to take home.

Beneficial Bugs in the Garden is a free program, but advanced online registration is required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZKE.

For the safety of participants and staff, MDC asks all guests to observe social distancing guidelines and maintain at least six feet from others.  Bringing and wearing face coverings is encouraged when indoors, or any time visitors are unable to maintain at least 6 distances.  Local ordinances requiring face masks will be observed where applicable.

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located at 2360 Highway D, about two miles west of Highway 94.

MDC offers many free educational programs in the St. Louis region to help people discover nature, fishing, hunting, and the outdoors.  Stay informed by going to the MDC St. Louis reginal events page at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZP6.