Creating a beneficial garden: planting
Category: Biodiversity
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA
Age Range: 7-13


Suyin was enjoying the weekly challenge with her grandfather. She was learning a lot about invertebrates and was getting a better understanding of their importance. While she has managed to provide better weekly observations of the animals, her grandfather’s tally always seemed higher than hers.

Suyin’s grandfather explained to Suyin that for a long time, her grandmother and himself have been deliberately planting flowers with food crops. The flowering plants are not only pretty to look at, but pollinators and predators love them. While Suyin’s garden has lots of beautiful flowering plants, her grandparents’ farm is a well-established home for these wonderful creatures.


Planting flowers with food crops increases biodiversity, and is known as beneficial planting. Beneficial planting not only makes our garden beds look more attractive to us, it also makes gardens look more attractive to pollinators and predators, which in turn, help to fertilise and protect crops from pest invertebrates.

This learning activity is the first part of a sequence of 3 individual learning activities focused on creating a beneficial garden. The order of these activities are: assessment, investigation and planting.


For children to:

  • undertake a planting activity
  • consolidate the knowledge learnt earlier in this activity sequence
  • test the hypothesis that beneficial insects can be attracted by planting flowers
  • monitor the growth of the beneficial garden
  • record the presence of beneficial insects attracted to the garden.

Different plants grow best at different times of the year. Choose the plants according to the advice on labels and in garden guides such as the Gardenate app or the Gardenate website. During the warmer months (spring and summer and autumn), it is recommended that you run this as a morning learning activity. This will help avoid heat stress for people and plants.

Did you know?

Adult hover flies drink nectar but their larvae are voracious aphid eaters.

Did you know?

Knowledge about beneficial planting is still growing, and you might even make your own discoveries!

Did you know?

Humans can’t see ultraviolet light but insects can. When humans view flowers under an ultraviolet filter, we discover that flowers often have very different colours. Some flowers have ‘nectar guides’ or coloured patterns of dots or stripes that make it easier for insects to find nectar.

Did you know?

Adult hover flies drink nectar but their larvae are voracious aphid eaters.

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Why not try one of our other Junior Landcare learning activities?

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