Companion planting is an age-old practice that gardeners used to keep damaging insects out of their gardens. It involves working with nature by attracting beneficial insects with certain plants as well as specific plant combinations.
Beneficial insects such as ladybugs, praying mantis and lacewings can be brought in by planting things that attract them naturally.
Incorporating herbs and flowers with your veggies is the way folks use to prevent and deter damaging insects before chemical warfare… they did it because it worked!
The following combinations aid in keeping damaging insects at bay without using synthetic and poisonous pesticides. Here are a few ideas to get you going:
*Basil will repel flies and mosquitoes
*Castor bean will keep moles and plant lice at bay
*Plant hyssop and it will deter the cabbage moth
*When planted near rosebushes, lavender drives away aphids
*Sage, hyssop and thyme deter caterpillars
*French marigolds may discourage nematodes, Mexican bean beetles and white flies
*Nasturtium also helps fight against aphids, squash bugs, striped cucumber/ pumpkin beetle and woolly aphids.
*Pennyroyal deters ants
*Add a beautiful edge of petunias in your garden and the beetles will keep out
*Peppermint isn’t only good to make tea with, but repels the white cabbage moth.
*Rosemary and Sage deter cabbage moth, bean beetles, carrot flies and ticks
*Santolina keeps plant lice away
This is such a small list of possibilities but you can get lots more ideas in “Carrot’s Love Tomatoes” by Louise Riott. This book is open most of the year for me!
**Please note that companion planting does not completely eliminate bug investation, rather is slows them down and decreases the numbers significantly.