Home and Cooking, Seasonal

Natural Pest Control

With the changing season, many of us have begun gardens. Growing your food produces fresh, healthy fruits and veggies to fuel your body, and gardening gives you a good workout!

One of the issues I face is pest control, and using harmful pesticides is not an option for me. Because of this, I’ve researched alternative ways to repel pests and better the health of my plants overall. One of the fascinating things I’ve learned about is plant compatibility.

Certain plants help with soil nutrition when grown near each other. Clover, rye, and oats, for example, can be used as cover crops, fixing helpful things like nitrogen in the soil promoting plant growth. They also smother weeds keeping down the growth of these competitor plants. Many plants can help repel pests, attract vital pollinators, and increase growth. Some combos include:

Lettuce and calendula. Calendula attracts slugs, so they feed on them and not the lettuce.

Tomato and basil. Not just a great combo on pizza, basil repels insects, improves growth, and enhances the flavor of tomatoes.

Cucumbers and radishes. Radishes help deter cucumber beetles, acting as a trap crop for flea beetles and other insects.

These are just some of the many combinations in the gardening world! Companion planting is a great way to get the best bang for your buck this summer and increase your garden’s output.

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