Plants that Repel Insects in Gardens
Growing an Organic Garden
Keeping harmful insects out of your garden seems to be a constant battle. Although we want to keep the bugs away, chemicals that promise to keep these bugs can have harmful side effects to the plants, our children and pets, and the land. Having a basic understanding of what plants detract what creatures, will help assist you in growing a health and organic garden, whether you want flowers that are safe for your children to handle, or fruits and vegetables that are safe to eat.
Plants to Grow to Get Rid of Pests
Plant to Grow
mint, lavender, rosemary, garlic, thyme
buckwheat, basil, catnip, garlic
peppermint, rosemary, marigold, lemon balm, garlic, clove, eucalyptus, tea leaves, lavendar
tansy, rue, garlic, catnip
Photo of Garlic
Garlic Repels Japanese Beatles, Aphids, Mosquitoes and More
If you need to keep Japanese beetles, aphids, mosquitoes away, garlic is a great plant to grow. For one it is very easy to grow and extremely effective at keeping insects away. Garlic is a good choice when you want a plant that takes up little space, although there are some foods you do not want to plant it near, such as legumes (beans), strawberries, potatoes, and peas. These do not grow well with the garlic plant. Also, garlic is one plant that needs to be moved from year to year, as it does not grow well in soil two years in a row.
If you want to use garlic as a repellent, then you want to plant them in a circle surrounding the garden that you want to protect. Many choose to plant garlic around cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts to ward away aphids, since aphids are very attracted to all four of these veggies. The one downside to planting garlic as a deterrent is the smell. If you plant too many, it may overpower the nice smells that often comes from a well-tended garden.
Another option is to use garlic in a water solution. Then spray the solution on plants to protect them from nasty bugs.
A Pretty Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Keeps Mosquitoes, Slugs, and Gnats Away
Rosemary is a beautiful herb that has leaves similar to pine needles with varying colors of blossoms. Not only does it smell nice, but also repels mosquitoes, cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles, gnats, and slugs. Unfortunately, they are not the easiest plant to grow, and it is suggested to start it from a large nursery plant rather than a seed, because it takes a while to fill in as a plant.
Once grown, it is a very tolerant plant, as long as the temperature does not drop below thirty degrees. If it drops below thirty in your area, you may want to consider planting it in a pot, where you can bring it inside on nights you know it will be very cold. Potted rosemary is great to put around your picnic area to keep away the mosquitoes.
Tansy Repels Japanese Beatles, Fleas, Flies, Mosquitoes, Moths and Mice
Tansies are a very nice choice if you want to keep away a large variety of bugs, including Japanese beetles, squash bugs, cucumber beetles, mosquitoes, moths, flies, and more. The biggest drawback is it can become a nuisance in the garden, because it grows very easily. Most people choose to plant this near squash and cucumbers, because it works as a great companion plant, and wards away some of squashes and cucumbers worst predators. It also makes a great companion plant to most vegetables and flowers.
It is a very large plant, and can grow six feet tall, although it usually only reaches three feet. If you have livestock on your property, you do not want to grow this plant, as it can be fatal to these animals. Even if you plant them far away from your animals, the seeds can spread across fields and grow wild in their pasture.
Plant Mint to Repel Mice and Ants
Mint is a great plant to have around your house. It keeps ants and mice away. When the leaves are crushed or even rubbed, they are most effective as a natural repellent; therefore, choosing a place where they may be accidentally stepped on or rubbed against is not necessarily a bad thing. The one drawback to choosing mint is that you want to be mindful how you plant this very invasive plant. One great way to prevent mint from crowding other plants is by digging a hole large enough for a large flowering pot. Plant the flowering pot in the ground, then fill it with dirt, and plant the mint within the pot. This will limit where the mint will grow, and it can be easily maintained. Each spring, you will need to dig up and repot it, because pots will begin to break down, allowing the roots to spread.
Lavender Keeps Moths, Fleas, and Mosquitoes Away
Lavender is a very beautiful, nice smelling choice when warding off harmful bugs from your garden. It can be very difficult to grow, and is often not chosen due to its high maintenance. It does best in rocky, dry land; therefore, not generally ideal in most gardens. If you want to incorporate it in your garden, the Hidcote and the Munstead are the best choice in wetter climates. Munsteads are usually bluish-purple flowers, whereas Hidcotes are a dark purple. Aside from its ability to keep away some nuisance bugs, it also grows well with majority of vegetables and flowers; therefore, makes a great companion plant. These are great to dry and place in a satchel, because it will keep moths out of your closets and drawers.
In order to choose the best herb to protect your garden, you want to keep in mind, how invasive it is, is it harmful to animals, and what odor does it have. Also, keep in mind what insects are most prevalent in your area. Once you have chosen what plant you want to grow, choose carefully where and how you plant them. For instance, make sure mint will be confined to an area, like in a flower pot underground, in order to prevent it from affecting other plants. Also make sure that the herb you choose grows well with the plants you are planning to protect. For instance, do not plant garlic near your strawberries. Last, but not least, have fun, make your garden beautiful, and easy to maintain.
© 2012 Angela Michelle
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