Are ants harmful to the garden? Usually not

I replanted some of my containers last week, swapping out dead pansies for petunias, which will better withstand the heat as summer progresses. As I removed the spent plants from their pots, a swarm of ants immediately covered my bare arms.

That wasn’t the first time I’d disturbed an ants’ nest in my garden. Last year, they were in my potato grow bags; the year prior, in the front garden bed. Each encounter ended with me racing into the house, removing my clothes as quickly as possible, placing them straight into the washer and taking my second shower of the day.

It’s not pleasant to stumble upon a colony of ants, to say the least, but are the tiny little insects actually harmful to our plants?

Myths abound! I’ve heard gardeners attest that peonies won’t bloom without ants. This is simply untrue. I’ve also heard gardeners lament that ants were

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