Herbal Allies in the Garden – A through M

I know it’s autumn and many of you are even now preparing for the soon-coming winter storms; but if you’re like me, you’re already thinking about and planning your spring garden. It may still be just in your head (or in your dreams) or you may have actually started plotting it out on paper. Well, don’t solidify your plan just yet. I have some great information that will change your plan for the better. A few months ago, I posted an article about Edible Landscaping, which utilizes companion planting. Today, I’m going to show you how to kick your companion planting up a notch by purposeful planting of herbs – and flowers – that will not only make your vegetable garden look pretty but also help with pest control and pollination. I have taken my research and created a list of herbs and flowers with the vegetable they benefit and how they benefit it. Although this list is not exhaustive, it’s so long I decided to publish the list in two posts. Today’s list is for herbs and flowers A through M; don’t forget to look at the list for N through Z, as well.

Take a look at the herbs and flowers below and consider incorporating them into your vegetable garden next spring. (See Plant Families for detailed information on the plants included in each family mentioned.)

BASIL:

  • Nightshades – Repels flies and mosquitoes, and improves growth and flavor (especially of tomatoes).
  • General Benefits – Attracts butterflies

BEE BALM:

  • Tomatoes – Improves health and flavor

BORAGE:

  • Strawberries – Strengthens resistance to insects and diseases
  • Tomatoes – Deters tomato hornworms, and improves growth and flavor.

CALENDULA (Pot Marigold):

  • Asparagus – Deters asparagus beetle
  • Tomatoes – Deters tomato hornworms and general garden pests
  • General Benefits – Attracts hoverflies (whose larvae eat aphids)

CATNIP:

  • Brassicas – Deters cabbage moths
  • General Benefits – When used as a border, it deters fleas, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and aphids. Attracts bees. Deters mice and rats.

GERMAN CHAMOMILE:

  • Brassicas – Improves growth and flavor
  • Onions – Improves growth and flavor
  • General Benefits – Aids ailing plants when the plants are watered with a weak (watered down) chamomile tea.

CHERVIL:

  • Radishes – Improves growth and flavor

CHIVES:

  • Brassicas – Deters cabbage worms
  • Carrots – Improves growth and flavor
  • Celery – Deters aphids
  • Cucumbers – Combats downy and powdery mildew when a chive tea is used as a foliar spray
  • Lettuce – Deters aphids
  • Tomatoes – Improves health and flavor
  • Roses – Prevents mildew and repels aphids
  • General Benefits – Prevents mildew. Deters green flies. Repels aphids, Japanese beetles, and slugs

CILANTRO/CORIANDER:

  • General Benefits – Attracts hoverflies (whose larvae eat aphids) and parasitoid wasps. Combats spider mites when a cilantro tea is used as a foliar spray.

DILL:

  • Brassicas – Deters cabbage looper, and improves growth and health
  • General Benefits – Deters aphids, spider mites, and squash bugs

GERANIUM (WHITE):

  • General Benefits – Deters Japanese beetles

HORSERADISH:

  • Potatoes – Plant at the corners of the potato patch for general protection

HYSSOP:

  • Brassicas (EXCEPT radishes) – Deters cabbage moth.
  • Grapes – Stimulates growth
  • General Benefits – Attracts honeybees and butterflies. May repel slugs
  • WARNING – Do not plant with radishes

LAVENDER:

  • Fruit trees – Deters codling moths
  • General Benefits – Attracts butterflies. Repels fleas, ticks, moths, and mice.

MARIGOLD:

  • Cucurbits – Deters beetles
  • Potatoes – Deters beetles
  • Tomatoes – Deters nematodes
  • Eggplant – Deters nematodes
  • General Benefits – Attracts hoverflies (whose larvae eat aphids). Deters beet leaf hoppers

MINT:

  • Brassicas – Deters cabbage moth and ants, and improves health and flavor.
  • Tomatoes – Improves health and flavor
  • Peas – Improves health and flavor
  • General Benefits – Deters mice

One additional benefit to most of these is that they can also be used in cooking and/or herbal medicine. A few packages of seed, multiple benefits. How can a gardener lose?

Don’t forget to see the continuation of this great list of herbal allies in the garden!

~~~~~

Do you plant herbs or flowers in your garden? What benefits have you seen? Comment below!

 

 

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