As we’re approaching the middle of May most of the seeds planted have sprouted and are growing into plants. The temperature has sprung back and forth this Spring from ninety for a few days, and back down to the forties before it warms up for the Summer. For those of us not affected by flooding, the rain is a big help to gardening as we don’t have to water the plants.
In thinking ahead, there are garden insect pests to consider how best to deter from their favored plants. The cucumber beatle, squash bug, moth bore, tomato horn worm, flea beatles and white flies that devour green beans can do much damage. A method to repel these garden pests that’s fairly effective is to grow certain plants near the ones that the bugs and insects target.
Nasturtium is a great plant for this purpose as it’s also edible. The flowers and leaves can be added to salads and the seeds dried and stored airtight to be used either in a pepper mill as pepper, or as an alternative to capers in recipes. The blossoms are a cheerful bright orange, reddish and yellow in color.
Garlic and radish are pest deterrent plants and can be scattered throughout the garden.
Oregano is known for deterring the cucumber beatle, as well as is Tansy. Oregano should be planted about ten inches apart in well-draining soil that gets eight hours of sun daily. Very little compost or fertilizer should be added to the soil because it alters the flavor and isn’t really necessary. It can grow between one to two feet high and can be harvested beginning at six inches. Cutting it back every now and then encourages it to grow and makes it stronger. Snipping the flower heads as they appear lengthens the growing season encouraging leaf growth. Oregano is a self-seeding plant that can become invasive, therefore, it may be best to confine it with either a retainer, or a container to keep it from overtaking the garden.
Lemon Balm is known to deter the squash bug when planted near watermelon, butternut squash and pumpkin. As it is from the mint family, it may be best to contain it so it doesn’t take over the garden beds.
Lemon Balm is used in tea form to alleviate anxiety and depression. Other ailments are relieved also, such as indigestion, tension, insomnia and flatulence. Fresh leaves can be added to salads, and during the end of cooking casseroles and soups. It can be added to sorbets and smoothies as well.
Marigolds and borage help to keep the tomato worm at bay as well as other bugs and worms in general from various plants.
Summer Savory is good for green beans and makes them more flavorful. Cilantro also helps to keep the pesty type insects and bugs away from the garden plants. The seeds of cilantro are called coriander seeds that are used in many recipes. They can be harvested at the end of the season if you allow the plants to flower.
These are a few power plants that are big helpers in the garden.