What to plant to keep pests away?
Cathryn J. Prince
It’s a familiar sight to gardeners. A neon-green tomato hornworm burrowing its way into a juicy red orb that hangs like an ornament on the vine. But rather than use chemicals, consider companion planting to keep the pests away.
For example, planting things such as zinnia attracts ladybugs, which will turn those aphids into appetizers. Marigolds not only give your garden a pop of color they can keep some beetles away from asparagus, nematodes off eggplants. Nasturtium repels cucumber beetles and petunias can thwart aphids, leafhoppers and tomato worms.
Mint, fennel, and garlic are good to eat and have the added benefit of repelling many pests including aphids, root maggots and snails. Speaking of snails, sprinkle crushed eggshells between the rows to keep them away. They don’t like obstacles. Got slugs? Make a slug trap using half buried, used yogurt cups, or fill plastic cups with a bit of beer.
Though Castor bean and fritillaria can keep rodents away. However be advised, the latter can be rather foul smelling. To prevent deer from nibbling, try planting garlic around the beds. Cayenne pepper can also encourage deer and rabbits to steer clear for the garden.
And those tomato hornworms? Send them crawling with borage. And its purple star shaped flower attracts bees and wasps which are good for the garden.