Companion Planting Fights Pests

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Planting

To keep your garden organic this season try using companion planting that naturally keeps pests away so you won’t have to resort to using harmful pesticides and chemicals.

Stay Natural

Use companion planting to use the natural chemical interactions that certain plants give off to keep insects away from Ronamag.

To Start: Plant garlic, chive, and onions next to the plants that usually get damaged. They are natural insect repellents. In particular, dill and tansy deter aphids and spider mites; mint and lavender deter ants. Onion also protects plants from blight. Planting basil next to your tomatoes will improve their growth and flavor, not to mention a little Italian flare!

Eartheasy has a lot of detailed information on natural garden pest control. It discusses how to attract beneficial insects. Here are some details on specific plant and insect interactions:

  • Brachonids, Chalcids, and Ichneumon wasps will eat chomping caterpillars. To attract them, plant carrots, celery, parsley, caraway, and Queen Anne’s lace, and let some flower.
  • Ladybugs eat aphids, mites, whiteflies, and scale. They are attracted by members of the daisy family, tansy, or yarrow.
  • Lacewings eat aphids. They are attracted to yarrow, goldenrod, black-eyed susan’s and asters.
  • Praying Mantis eats most insect pests.

For prey, attract predators:

You can also plant a mini insectary consisting of flowering plants to attract beneficial insects. Eartheasy suggests that you either incorporate some of these flowering plants into a garden or planting them in a patch in close proximity to the garden.

Here are a few examples of the types of plants that attract beneficial predators:

Beneficial Predators Prey
Aphidius Aphids
Aphidoletes Aphids
Ground Beetles Slugs, small caterpillars and grubs
Hoverflies Aphids, mealybugs and others
Lacewings Scale, aphids, mites, soft-bodied insects
Ladybugs Aphids, mites
Tachinid flies Caterpillars, beetle, and fly larvae
Wasps (parasitic) White flies, moth, beetle, and fly larvae

For those predators, you need to use these plants:

Plants Attract
Achillea filipendulina Lacewings, Aphidius, Ladybugs
Alyssum Hoverflies, Lacewings, Tachnid Flies
Amaranthus Ground Beetles
Dill Ichneumon wasp, ladybugs, lacewings
Fennel Damsel bugs, ladybugs, lacewings
Parsley Parasitic wasps, hoverflies, tachinid flies
Tansy Ladybugs, Lacewings


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