Tuesday, 20 March 2007


Here are the last few plants that are ideal for increasing the yields of your vegetables and attracting beneficial insects to the garden.

RADISH: Plant radishes with your squash plants. This will give the plants protection against insects that bore into the flesh of the vegetable. Anything that will help prevent this is worth a try. They can keep pests away from sweet corn too.

ROSEMARY: Companion plant to cabbage, beans, carrots and sage. Deters cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies. Use cuttings to place by the crowns of carrots for carrot flies. You can over winter rosemary as houseplants or take cuttings in spring to increase your stock.

RUE: Deters Japanese beetles in roses and raspberries. To make it even more effective with Japanese beetles: crush a few leaves to release the smell. Repels flies and can help repel cats. Some say you should not plant it near cabbage, basil or sage. A pretty perennial with bluish-grey leaves. May be grown indoors in a sunny window. Rue can cause skin irritation.

SAGE: Use as a companion plant with broccoli, cauliflower, rosemary, cabbage, and carrots to deter cabbage moths, beetles, black flea beetles and carrot flies. Do not plant near cucumbers or rue. Sage repels cabbage moths and black flea beetles. Allowing sage to flower will also attract many beneficial insects and the flowers are pretty. There are some very striking varieties of sage with variegated foliage that can be used for their ornamental as well as practical qualities.

SUMMER SAVORY: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavour. Discourages cabbage moths. Honeybees love it.

SUNFLOWERS. Definitely plant a few sunflowers here and there in the garden. Step back and watch the ants herd the aphids onto them! The sunflowers are so tough that the aphids cause very little damage and you can have a great source of food for the birds with the seed heads.

TANSY: Plant with fruit trees, roses and raspberries keeping in mind that it can be invasive and is not the most attractive of plants. Deters flying insects, Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash pests, ants and mice! Tie up and hang a bunch of tansy leaves indoors as a fly repellent. Use clippings as mulch as needed. Don't be afraid to cut the plant up, as tansy will bounce back from any abuse heaped on it! It is also a helpful addition to the compost pile with its' high potassium content.

Tansy Warning: You do not want to plant Tansy anywhere where livestock can feed on it as it is toxic to many animals. Do not let it go to seed either as it may germinate in livestock fields.

Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavour of vegetables.

THYME: Deters cabbage worms. Creeping thyme makes a wonderful groundcover. You may want to use the upright form of thyme in the garden rather than the groundcover types. Thyme is easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. Older woody plants should be divided in spring

WHITE GERANIUMS: These members of the pelargonium family draw Japanese beetles to feast on the foliage, which in turn kills them

WORMWOOD: Keeps animals out of the garden when planted as a border. An excellent deterrent for most insects. A tea made from wormwood will repel cabbage moths, slugs, snails, black flea beetles and fleas effectively. Note: As wormwood actually produces a botanical poison do not use it directly on food crops.

YARROW: Yarrow has insect repelling qualities and is an excellent natural fertilizer. A handful of yarrow leaves added to the compost pile really speeds things up. Try it! It also attracts predatory wasps and ladybirds to name just two. It may increase the essential oil content of herbs when planted among them. Yarrow has so many wonderful properties to it and is an ingredient in our own


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