Garden Tips: Beneficial Plants & Bugs
Keep Pests Away Naturally by Using Plants and Bugs!
Now that you have your garden started and growing it is a good time to start thinking about pest control for your fruits and veggies. While I enjoy working in the garden, there is nothing worse than seeing a bunch of bugs getting to the food. Did you know there are several plants which can be planted alongside the veggies in the garden to attract bugs away from the food, and also accommodate predator bugs that will eat the pests? There sure are, and I’m eager to share them with you!
Here’s a list of common plants, herbs, and bugs that you can use naturally instead of chemical insecticides for your garden this summer!
Nasturtiums attract aphids away from your fruits and veggies, and help to control squash bugs (the ones that make me squirm the most!) so they are a great plant to have throughout your garden. One fun thing about this is that the flowers on the plant are edible too! This can be planted in poor soil and it will still do well, so it is drought resistant and flowers will bloom into the fall.
Alyssum is highly attractive to aphids and bees which will also be beneficial to pollinating your fruits and veggies. THis is fast-growing plant and also smothers weeds. It prefers partial shade, but is drought resistant and heat.
Anise Hyssop is very popular to both butterflies and pest-eating insects, and favored by bees. This plant is tolerant of drought, so another great one if you are in the South Idaho area.
Marigolds -is the most well known plant for repelling insects. We planted marigolds in our garden for the first few years and they continue to come back up each year since the seeds drop in the fall. While these flowers drives away many bad bugs, it also attracts spider mites and snails which are beneficial even if they are creepy. 🙂
Golden Marguerite are favorites to aphids, ladybugs, lacewings, tachinid flies and mini-wasps. This plant does very well in poor soils, and you can remove wilted flowers to promote more blooming to take place.
Sunflowers draw aphids away from other plants and can also be used for companion planting with beans. We planted these last year and I noticed right away that there was a LOT of ants once the stems were more mature. I have read that ants move their colonies onto sunflowers, so this is a great way to get them away from your strawberries! The sunflowers are tough enough that they suffer no damage from the ant colony.
Ornamental Grasses provide excellent summer shelter for ladybugs and other beneficial bugs, and are a pretty addition to the landscape around your garden. Helping provide a habitat for the good bugs is a friendly and natural way to attract the bugs that will eat the pesky ones.
Basil is a great way to repel flies and mosquitoes because of the oils in it. It is also a fantastic companion plant with tomato, so I have planted several basil plants around my tomatoes this year!
Dill attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps and tomato hornworms are also attracted to dill. So plant it a bit away from your tomatoes to get them away from your tomatoes. Dill also repels aphids and spider mites, and you can also use the dill leaves on squash plants to repel squash bugs…again the bug that I am most squeamish to…so I certainly use this!
Chives help to repel Japanese beetles and carrot rust flies. These are also a fantastic ingredient to have on hand for several different recipes!
Lady Bugs are a kid friendly and fun way to repel insects in your garden. Ladybugs are general predators that feed on a variety of slow-moving insects including Aphids, Moth eggs, Mites, Scales, Thrips, Leaf Hoppers, Mealybugs, Chinch Bugs, Asparagus Beetle larvae, Whitefly and others!
So, now that you are getting excited for all of the fruits and veggies in your garden, protect them naturally with a variety of these repellents! I’d love to hear if you have any other natural ways of pest control!
Small Ladybug Habitat – $26.41
- Create a friendly environment that will encourage the Ladybugs to stick around!
Image Credit: Wikipedia, cnseed