Now that we’re fully engulfed in all things Summer, it’s most important to know a little bit about pest control because this is the peak season for attack.
When deciding to plant a garden it’s good to know what kind of commitment you are getting into. While gardening takes time and care; in some ways it can also take care of itself. One of the things you can do to make your garden work for you is to select plants for your garden that control insect pest.
Certain plants contain properties that can either repel the bad insects or invite in beneficial ones. An example of beneficial insects are lady bugs and praying mantis. These bugs prey on the insects that harm your plants.
Using plants to control insects can help cut down your work load and also means you can use less insecticides in your garden. One of the big reasons we grow our own food is to know what is being sprayed on it and even better, NOT sprayed on it.
A month ago I planted Marigold seeds in with some of my plants to test them out and hope to plant more pest controlling plants in the future.
Here is a list of some plants that may work in your garden:
Basil -The oils in basil are said to repel thrips, flies and mosquitoes.
Bee Balm – This is a plant that will draw bees to your garden and we all know without bees we wouldn’t have a garden!
Borage – This plant repels tomato hornworms and cabbage worms and attracts beneficial bees and wasps.
Catnip – I think that this plant repels just about everything, except for cats of course! Use it to keep away flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants, and weevils.
Chives – You can plant chives to repel Japanese beetles and carrot rust flies.
Chrysanthemums – In the garden white flowering chrysanthemums are said to drive away Japanese beetles and C. coccineum, commonly known as Painted Daisy, kills root nematodes.
Dahlias – Dahlias repel nematodes and the blooms are great for adding bold splashes of color to flower borders and fresh arrangements.
Dill – Dill is best planted with cucumbers and onions. Dill attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps, and its foliage is used as food by swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Tomato hornworms are also attracted to dill, so if you plant it at a distance, you can help draw these destructive insects away from your tomatoes. Dill repels aphids and spider mites.
Garlic – In addition to its great taste and health benefits, garlic planted near roses repels aphids. It also deters codling moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, snails, and carrot root fly.
Hyssop – Hyssop is great for attracting honeybees to the garden.
Marigolds – The marigold is probably the most well known plant for repelling insects. French marigolds repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes. Mexican marigolds are said to offend a host of destructive insects and wild rabbits as well. If you choose marigolds for your garden they must be scented to work as a repellant. And while this plant drives away many bad bugs, it also attracts spider mites and snails.
Nasturtiums – Plant nasturtiums with my tomatoes and cucumbers as a way to fight off wooly aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles. The flowers, especially the yellow blooming varieties, act as a trap for aphids.
Petunias – Petunias throughout the garden can repel asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, a range of aphids, tomato worms, and a good many other pests.
Sunflowers – Use sunflowers as a way to draw aphids away from my other plants. Ants move their colonies onto sunflowers. The sunflowers are tough enough that they suffer no damage.
It’s not too late to plant some beneficial bug fighters for your garden. So give yourself a break and let nature do it’s thing.