Companion Planting; Never Have Lonely Plants Again
Companion planting as a method of pest management has been around forever. Because the use
of pesticides has been so popular, this method took a back seat for some time. Today, however,
is a new day, and people are looking to get back to nature. There are so many great, easy plants
out there that will do the work for you! The only thing you need to do is put the right plants together
and nature takes its course. Companion plants work with both their foliage and their roots by
emitting a substance that naturally repel damaging insects above and below ground. With this, you
will get stronger, healthier plants and harmful insects and diseases will go looking for weaker, more
Plant any of these next to your problem plant.
To repel APHIDS:
Petunia, Lavender, Mint, Catnip, Coriander, Garlic, Alliums and *Nasturtiums
* Nasturtiums are great for a trap to lure the aphids away from your other perennials.
Geraniums and Petunias.
* Geraniums can be either annual or perennial
To repel JAPANESE BEETLE:
Garlic, Rue, White Geraniums and Catnip.To repel WHITEFLY:
Nasturtium and Marigolds both act as trap plants.
Note: Mint is very aggressive and caution must be taken before it takes over your garden.
There are also plants that are good to have so they can attract the beneficial bugs to eat the bad ones. It is definitely good to try having both kinds of plants in order to increase your chances of success. It is important to understand that maintaining the levels of insects in your yard is very important and very easy. Let nature do it for you, because really this is how it is done best. Plants can kick some serious bug butts.
Plants that will attract beneficial insects:
Yarrow, Daisies, Thyme and *Ornamental grasses.
* Ornamental grasses that tend to be clump forming; provide shelter throughout all four seasons for Beneficial’s to nest. Studies have proven that their numbers drastically increase where these grasses are growing. Recommended are: Feather Reed Grass, ‘Karl Foerster’, Blue Fescue and Red fountain Grass.
To leave the best for last; the answer to the big question: “Is there a plant that will repel mosquitoes?” Well, NO, not exactly. There are a few plants that have repelling oils, but will not keep mosquitoes away by just being planted in an area. Scientists have proven catnip (Nepeta cataria), is actually 10 times more effective than DEET! Rosemary and lemon thyme are also said to have repelling qualities in their oils. It is always a bonus when a plant will do more than just look fabulous. Keep this in mind this summer as you are perusing all the nurseries and garden centers looking for that perfect plant. Companion plants are not rare or hard to find, they are usually available at your friendly garden center. Most places will have them marked as so, which will make finding them easy.
Recipe for organic, home grown MOSQUITO REPELENT
2 cup catnip leaves OR 1cup rosemary leaves ( stems removed on both)
¾ cup rice vinegar OR ¾ cup jojoba or almond oil
Crush desired leaves in mortar and pestle and transfer to a clean jar. Add vinegar or oil to crushed leaves and let sit for 3 weeks; gently stirring every day. Strain into spray bottle and mosquito-free you go!