Despite their size, or lack there-of, the creepy-crawly and winged variety of pests can do serious damage to your garden before you even know they’re there. It may be tempting to seek vengeance with a toxic chemical solution, but first consider a more natural approach like companion planting — the pairing of beneficial plants.
When you don’t want to spray your vegetable garden with an insecticide, companion planting will keep bugs away naturally. For example, marigolds planted around the border of a garden will deter many insects, and they are especially good at luring Japanese beetles away from your herbs and vegetables. In the morning, you will find hundreds of groggy bugs clinging to the marigold blossoms; pick them off and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.
Discourage Mosquitoes and Flies with Herbs
Don’t let mosquitoes and flies keep you out of the garden — simply plant basil and rosemary to banish these bugs.
Get Rid of Slugs with Garlic
Slugs love to munch on tender plant leaves. Intersperse garlic with the other plants in your garden to keep slugs away. Need a more immediate fix for this slimy problem? You can also get rid of slugs with beer. Yes, beer, although both cola and sugar water will work in a pinch.
Control Cabbage Worms with Mint
Planting fragrant herbs such as mint will keep cabbage worms out of your vegetable garden. Rosemary and Thyme are also good deterrents.
Attract Aphids with Nasturtiums
Sometimes it pays to plant flowers that attract bugs near your vegetables. Nasturtiums are a favorite of aphids, and this fuss-free flower can lure them away from your prized vegetable plants. This is sometimes referred to as trap cropping.