The Real Cost of Starting a Year-Round Garden

By Bloomberg Rankings and Nikhil Hutheesing - 2013-03-11T15:14:17Z

Photograph by Steve Satushek

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A Buggy Business

Your garden may be a war zone. In the warmer months, if the bad bugs are winning -- bugs such as aphids that suck sap from lettuce leaves, or potato bugs or cabbage worms -- you may need some good bugs (such as ladybugs) to fight back. You can attract them by planting flowers, herbs such as parsley or any kind of vegetable that flowers such as broccoli or kale. Jabbour suggests attracting parasitic wasps to your garden. (Not your usual choice of guests, surely.) “They lay their eggs on the bad guys and burrow into them and then ingest them from the inside out,” she says. The risk: If there is not enough nectar or pollen, the wasps may just fly away. Or, you could just buy some bugs.

$17: 1,500 adult ladybugs -- (A single ladybug can eat up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.)