Sunday, March 24, 2013

Garden bugs and plants that keep them away

When planning a garden be prepared for bugs. Some bugs are essential to a thriving garden while others feed on it. Knowing what to plant in the garden is as important as watering. Thriving gardens need the good bugs like bees, lady bugs and praying mantises to pollinate and keep other bugs in check. Knowing what plants to grow that attract predators of aphids, such as parasitic wasps (sweet alyssum, parsley, buckwheat, hairy vetch, yarrow, sunflowers and cosmos), ladybugs (dill, Queen Anne’s Lace yarrows, golden marguerite and fennel), hoverflies (tagetes), lacewings and praying mantids. Aphids also shy away from certain strongly scented plants, such as chives, basil, catnip, yarrow, and mint. On the plus side growing herbs in the garden has multiple benefits such as, keeping the garden bug free and a fresh source of herbs for cooking with.

I have found reusing my egg shells in the garden helps to keep slugs out of the garden. Save your egg shells, dry and crumple them around the plant base or garden edge prevent them from crossing it. Slugs and snails have soft bodies and get damaged from the sharp egg shells.

Plant base liquid soaps are great to mix in water and spray plants as a natural insecticide. Mix no more then 1 to 2 tablespoons of Castile Soap with 1 quart of water. The soap mixture gets into insects skin and dehydrates them, providing you with a non harmful pesticide.
Marigold flowers add color to the garden and can provide as a bug repellant. 
Catnip - P Sun/part shade 18" Zones 3-9
Drives cats nuts! Although most people think of Catnip as an herb for cats, it has been used by people for over 2,000 years. Although it has been used for everything from colds to cancer, it has been found that it contains a volatile oil that is considered to be a sedative. Therefore, tea from this plant is used as digestive and sleeping aids. It has been eaten in salads and even candied and served as an after dinner digestive aid.

 Echinacea - P Sun/part shade 12-28" Zones 3-10
Also called Purple Coneflower. American Indians in the plains states used Echinacea for many things including snakebite and the bites of poisonous insects. Others used it as a blood purifier to cure everything from bites to syphilis and hemorrhoids. It is not the cure-all they accredited it to be. Today, herbalists still consider it to be one of the best blood purifiers and an effective antibiotic. There are some that claim it can cure the common cold but this is not true. It can, however, help prevent getting colds by cleansing the blood and helping your own system to fight germs. This plant is also grown for its ornamental value. Large, cone-shaped flowers in midsummer. 

You can find more information about herbs and gardens at

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Sustainable Living Off Grid thanks for fallowing, would love for you to share.