Using certain plants in your garden to deter pests and insects is part of a practice known as companion planting. By placing specific plants strategically throughout your garden, you may reduce the number of insects and pests that can have a detrimental effect on the quantity of your harvest and the quality of your blooms.
Keep aphids away from rose bushes and tomato plants by planting garlic bulbs. Aphids detest the smell of the bulbs, so they'll then stay away from the roses and tomatoes. You can also plant garlic to deter beetles and spider mites, both of which are attracted to squash and tomatoes. Again, the pungent odor keeps the bugs away.
Nasturtium and Marigold
These lovely flowering plants are garden workhorses. Nasturtium repels aphids, squash bugs and beetles, white flies, and borers. They work well at protecting zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes, as well as cucumbers. Nasturtium may be invasive, similar to mint, and may be controlled by thinning.
Marigolds repel aphids, white flies and nematodes. Nematodes are soil-borne pests that glob onto the roots of plants and cause nutritional disruptions. Marigolds secrete a fluid that suppresses nematode populations. Other plant-damaging insects abhor this same secretion, making marigold an effective form of pest control.
Mums add a colorful punch to any garden. They also deter a variety of insects, such as ants and Japanese beetles. They also deter the infestation of nematodes.
This herb gives off a strong aroma pleasant to humans, but noxious to such pests as cabbage moths, squash bugs, slugs and beetles. It even keeps away the mosquitoes. The rosemary plant can grow as tall as 4 or 5 feet and live for up to 15 years. Plant your rosemary bushes around the borders of your garden. Plant small sprigs around cabbage, cucumber and squash plants, but uproot the sprigs after harvest.
Lemon basil and sweet basil planted near tomatoes deter white flies and aphids, as well as the dreaded tomato hornworm. This herbal plant also is a repellent for spider mites, small insects that attack tomato and sweet pepper plants. The flowering basil plant also attracts bees, which in turn pollinate the tomato and pepper plants.
This strong herb is a deterrent to aphids and spider mites. It also deters squash bugs, which can destroy zucchini, yellow squash and winter squash crops very quickly. Pluck a few leaves during the plant's growth season and sprinkle directly onto squash plants. The fragrance drives the squash bugs away. Use dried dill for a deterrent on winter squash plants.