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Maintenance Outdoor Gardening Seeds

Companion Planting to Keep Pests Off Your Vegetables

Pest control are an ongoing issue that every gardener faces. There are many pest control products available on the market. For those of us who prefer non-chemical or organic remedies, natural pest control remedies can be used as an alternative. Companion planting may be the perfect solution as well.

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is a technique of growing plants in close proximity to vegetables or crop plants to help repel pests.

This planting technique usually results in increased pollination as a result of beneficial insects being attracted to the garden. Besides this, there is usually a reduction in damage from pests resulting in an increase in crop yield.

Here are some suggestions of companion plants that can be used for natural pest control remedies. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt that they also look good or are edible!

Flowering Plants that Deter Pests

If you love having a colourful garden, then growing flowering plants alongside your vegetable garden could be just the thing for you.

Here are 4 suggestions of flowering companion plants.

Chrysanthemums: Chrysanthemum discourage nematodes, spider mites and Japanese beetles. Chrysanthemums have a naturally-occurring chemical known as pyrethrum, which is an insect repellent.

Lavender: Lavender repels caterpillars & moths.

Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums release a peppery scent that keeps away many insects.

Petunias: Petunias deter asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, tomato hornworms & squash bugs.

Herbs that Deter Pests

If you prefer a sustainable lifestyle and growing everything that you cook, then herbs are the best companion plants for you. Everything that you grow can be eaten. The old fashioned concept of ‘from the paddock to the table‘!

Here are 4 suggestions of herbs which can be grown as companion plants.

Basil: Basil repels gnats, thrips, flies and aphids.

Dill: Dill is great for repelling aphids & spider mites, and may keep cabbage loopers, squash bugs and tomato hornworms at bay.

Fennel: Fennel repels aphids, snails and slugs.

Thyme: Thyme is perfect for keeping away whiteflies, stink bugs, corn earworms and cabbage loopers.

Vegetables that Deter Pests

If you don’t like wasting valuable garden space on growing flowering plants, you could consider planting companion vegetables and crop rotation.

Here are 4 suggestions of vegetables that can help to repel pests.

Leeks: Leeks repel carrot flies.

Mustard greens: Mustard greens may prevent an aphid attack.

Radishes: Radishes may repel cucumber beetles.

Tomato plants: Tomato plants are great companions that won’t look out of place in your vegetable garden and they help to keep asparagus beetles at bay.

Other Options

If you live in an area where there are deer, you may consider planting deer resistant shrubs to help protect your crops.

Or if you have a small courtyard, patio or balcony, then indoor gardening with a garden tower may suit and it will help you to keep an eye on pests and pick them off as they appear.

Let us know how you go with keeping pests away with our suggestions! Happy gardening!

Categories
Outdoor Gardening

Start a Vegetable Garden Without Seeds

Let’s face it. Not all of us are experienced gardeners who are able to grow massive gardens from seed. Nor are we all endowed with patience to wait for seeds to germinate, time to keep them moist as they grow and the gentleness to transplant seedlings without hurting them. One easy way to start your vegetable garden without seeds is to grow them from vegetable scraps from your meal preparations. This will definitely ensure that you are growing vegetables that you’d actually be eating!

Vegetables cut in half with the base placed in water starting to produce new leaves.

You can easily grow celery, carrot and parsnip from the discarded parts! All you have to do is to place them in a shallow tray of water. Before long, leaves will sprout and eventually, roots as well. You can then transplant them into the soil and let nature do the rest.

Start your vegetable garden without seeds using these simple methods today:

When you are in the kitchen preparing food, cut off the top or bottom base of vegetables that you won’t be eating. Place them into water. Leave the container at the window sill for sunlight. Then just watch it grow! That’s what we did with the vegetables below.

Celery

Water propagated celery which has grown a new head of leaves, planted into the ground.

Carrot

Water propagated carrot top with sprouting leaves and emerging roots.

Parsnip

New parsnip leaves growing from water propagated parsnip that has been planted into the ground once roots and leaves formed.

To grow leafy vegetables and herbs, you may place small sprigs with roots into water (eg. spring onions and basil) or the discarded bases without roots (eg. Pak Choy). Leaves will sprout within a few days. You’d be surprised at how life will find a way!

Spring Onions

Sprint onion roots placed in a cup of water, sprouting new shoots and roots.

Pak Choy

Propagated Pak Choy placed in a bed of soil once water propagation has produced leaves and roots.

Besides the examples shown above, you can grow the following vegetables from scraps as well:

  • Potato and sweet potato
  • Garlic, leek and shallot
  • Fennel
  • Roots – turnip and beetroot
  • Leafy greens – lettuce and bok choy
  • Cabbage
  • Herbs – Basil, mint and cilantro/coriander