Rumors and Rumors to Deter Bugs

The tradition of using plants and flowers to keep insects away from other plants is called companion planting. Companion planting may also help plants develop stronger or with greater taste, but the most typical usage of companion plants will be to discourage insects. Flowers, herbs or even the garden plants themselves may function as companion plants.


The odor of certain flowers will help keep insects off garden plants. Marigold is among the most commonly used companion plants. It helps keep beetles off asparagus. In addition, it deters Mexican bean beetles and the beetles that eat melon plants. Marigold keeps nematodes off eggplants and repels tomato worm. Nasturtium repels beetles too. Tansy deters cabbage worm and cutworm. Dwarf zinnias, by contrast, lure predator bugs, which then eat garden pests. Planting a zinnia near cauliflower will draw girl bugs, which subsequently eat the majority of the insects that attack cauliflower.


Borage is a good companion for strawberries. Not only does borage attract bees, which help pollinate the tomatoes, in addition, it repels tomato worms. Summer savory helps soften bean beetles. Growing savory near beans not only can help keep away insects, but in addition, it provides an interesting seasoning for the beans when it comes time to cook them. Sage repels youthful fly. Basil helps repel mosquitoes, flies and hornworms. Dill repels aphids and mites.


It is also possible for a single garden plant to serve as a companion plant for another. Horseradish pairs nicely with potatoes, as the strong-smelling chemical compounds in horseradish deter potato beetle. Radishes pull leaf miners from spinach. The leaf miners do eat the leaves of the broth, but they don’t damage the edible root. When planted alongside radish, the edible leaves of the spinach suffer less harm. Corn and beans are company plants having a history that goes back hundreds of years. The beans attract predatory insects that feed the leafhoppers, leaf beetles and fall armywormsthat would otherwise damage the corn.

How to Use Them

You may use an interplanting method to plant company plants. When most people think of gardens, they think of neat rows with a single variety of plant per row. Interplanting, by contrast, means putting not in homogeneous rows but at a grid pattern with various plants occupying side-by-side cells of the grid. French gardens have been planting flowers interspersed with vegetables for centuries. If you would like to keep your garden rows, nevertheless, you are able to plant flowers around the outside of your garden. You can also plant rows of company plants beside one another, or you could plant an occasional companion plant in a row of companions.

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