Nothing is more frustrating than planting a vegetable garden from seeds, cultivating it and watering it with unparalleled dedication and devotion, only to see a pest come in one fell swoop and destroy it. If you’re a backyard gardener such as myself, you’ve probably sacrificed significant quantities of any one vegetable or herb for a wide selection of crops. Hence the reason protecting your precious plants is all the more critical.
If you’re anything like me, the realization that you ultimately want to eat those vegetables puts a complete halt on the idea of using unnatural pest control chemicals. All the more if you plan on feeding them to your family members.
So that leaves us with the option of finding ways to deter pests naturally. There are a myriad of great resources out there that talk about complementary crops that either repel pests or attract them away from other crops. The P. Allen Smith blog has a great article highlighting a variety of plants that achieve this purpose. Here are three that are incredibly easy to grow and will make a big difference.
Basil- According to P. Allen Smith, the oils in basil repel flies and mosquitos and are a terrific complement to your tomato plants. We call successfully growing basil and tomatoes a win win. Pair those with fresh, sliced mozzarella for a delicious caprese salad and you have a win win win.
Marigolds- Marigolds have long been a pest repelling super plant for gardeners. Different varieties of marigolds have been known to repel whiteflies, nematodes, rabbits and other destructive insects. They will also add spectacular color to any garden and some of the flowers are edible.
Chives- In the past year, I’ve discovered the wonderful flavor that freshly chopped chives add to a garden salad. Beyond the variety of kitchen uses, however, chives offer terrific pest control benefit to your garden. According to OurHerbGarden.com, they are effective at repelling aphids, beetles, cabbage worms, japanese beetles, and slugs. Chives planted near apple trees can also protect them from developing apple scab disease.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to herbs that complement your other vegetables and repel those unwanted pests. We offer Seed Pacs for basil, marigolds, and chives on Amazon.com, making it easier than ever to add them to your garden.
What are some of your tried and true methods for achieving a successful, pest-free harvest? Tell us on Twitter, Facebook, or by leaving a comment on this post.