by April McCarthy

May 10, 2012

from PreventDisease Website
 

 

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.

 

 

Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides dominate agricultural practices for killing just about anything that is unwanted or interfering with the healthy growth of plants and crops. However, lower scale operations should never resort this poisoning of nature.

 

Some of the earliest written documents on gardening discuss the relationships between herbs and companion plants. When selecting your companion plants you will need to consider more than which pests are deterred.

 

Think about what each plant adds or takes away from the soil and what effect the proximity of strong herbs may have on the flavor of your vegetables.
 

 

In nature, there is only balance.

 

When there is unbalance, nature quickly shifts course to maintain and regulate its environment so that all organisms may live and reproduce as required by a given ecosystem.

The important thing to remember when you are trying to get rid of the "bad" pests is that there are many good insects, such as lady bugs, bees and butterflies, which may be killed by commercial poisons - even if it was not your intention.

There is always a way to deter pests.

 

For example, ants hate cucumbers, especially cucumber peels. You'll especially appreciate that fact if you want to get rid of them. Just spreading some cucumber peels (the more bitter, the better) where ants enter your garden or home will repel them.

 

Consider cucumber the "anti-welcome" mat for ants. Cucumbers are one example of natural pest control.

Another thing to bear in mind is that even though a pesticide may be organic, it still might harm beneficial insects. The happy balance is attained when you use natural pest control using herbs and companion plants to together to deter only the specific pests and lets the beneficial insects live.

An important note when planting any of the below is to try to avoid placing two heavy feeders or two shallow rooted plant types near each other.

 

 

 

Herb

Companions

Pests Repelled

Basil

Tomatoes
Dislikes Rue

Flies, Mosquitoes

Borage

Tomatoes, Squash, Strawberries

Tomato Worm

Caraway

Plant throughout the garden to loosen the soil.
Avoid Dill

 

Catnip

Eggplant

Flea Beetle, Ants

Chamomile

Cabbage, Onion

 

Coriander

 

Aphids

Chervil

Radish

 

Chives

Carrots

 

Dead Nettle

Potatoes

Potato Bug

Dill

Cabbage
Dislikes Carrots and Caraway

 

Fennel

Most plants dislike this herb

 

Feverfew

roses

attracts aphids away from roses

Flax

Carrots, Potatoes

Potato Bug

Garlic

Roses, Raspberries

Japanese Beetle, Aphids

Horseradish

Potatoes

Potato Bug

Henbit

 

General Insect Repellent

Hyssop

Cabbage, Grapes
Dislikes Radishes

Cabbage Moth

Lavender

 

Moths combine with southernwood, wormwood and rosemary in an anti-moth sachet

Marigolds

Plant throughout the garden

Mexican Bean Beetles, Nematodes, others

Mint

Cabbage, Tomatoes

White Cabbage Moth, aphids, flea beetles

Mole Plant

 

Moles and Mice

Nasturtium

Radishes, Cabbage, Cucurbits, fruit trees

Aphids, Squash Bugs, Striped Pumpkin Beetle

Pennyroyal

Roses

Flies, Mosquitoes, Fleas, others

Petunia

Beans

 

Pot Marigold

Tomatoes

Tomato Worm, Asparagus Beetles, others

Pyrethrums

 

Use dried flower heads as a general insect repellent.

Rosemary

Cabbage, Beans Carrots, Sage

Cabbage Moth, Bean Beetle, Carrot Fly

Rue

Roses and Raspberries
Dislikes Sweet Basil

Japanese Beetles

Sage

Rosemary, Cabbage, Carrots
Dislikes Cucumbers

Cabbage Moth, Carrot Fly, Flea Beetle, Slugs

Southernwood

Cabbages

Cabbage Moth

Sowthistle

Tomatoes, Onion, Corn
Plant in moderation

 

Summer Savory

Beans

Bean Beetles

Tansy

Fruit Trees, Roses, Raspberries

Flying Insects, Japanese Beetles, Striped Cucumber Beetles, Squash Bugs, Ants, Flies

Thyme

Cabbage

Cabbage Worm

Wormwood

 

Plant as a border to keep animals out of the garden.

Yarrow

Plant near aromatic herbs to enhance production of essential oils.

 


 




Natural Insect Repellent Recipe

Need a natural insect repellent without DEET? you'll get a more effective repellent if you combine a few different insect-repelling natural oils.

 

If you are making large amounts of insect repellent, a good rule of thumb is to mix the repellent so it's 5-10% essential oil, so mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol.

 

For a smaller batch use:

  • 10-25 drops (total) of essential oils

  • 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol

The essential oils that work well against biting insects (mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas) are:

  • cinnamon oil (mosquitoes)

  • lemon eucalyptus or regular eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, and lice)

  • citronella oil (mosquitoes and biting flies)

  • castor oil (mosquitoes)

  • orange oil (fleas)

  • rose geranium (ticks and lice)

Safe carrier oils and alcohols include:

  • olive oil

  • sunflower oil

  • any other cooking oil

  • witch hazel

  • vodka

Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil or alcohol.

 

Rub or spray the natural insect repellent onto skin or clothing, using care to avoid the sensitive eye area. You'll need to re-apply the natural product after about an hour or after swimming or exercise. Unused natural insect repellent may be stored in a dark bottle, away from heat or sunlight.

 

If you wish, you may combine the oil with aloe vera gel to change the consistency of the product.

 

 

 

Sources