Planning My Garden

Try these hints for a successful garden.

  • I draw a diagram of my vegetable and herb gardens, strategically placing the plants to the best advantage for insect, pest, and weed control without the use of chemicals. This way I can keep working up the soil without the fear of disturbing what I have already planted before I can see it.
  • I use a system of companion planting in planning my garden.
  • I plant my rows of onion sets between rows of green bush beans. The leaves of the bush beans shade the soil around the onions until the onions are ready to harvest.
  • I plant cilantro, dill, thyme, sage, nasturtium, cabbages and bush beans in among the rows of potato to ward off potato beetles and control cabbageworms.
  • Cucumbers do well when planted between rows of sweet corn.
  • Tomatoes do well when planted near your asparagus patch, along with basil, parsley, and marigold.
  • Zinnias help control many garden bugs, and brighten any dull spot in your garden.
  • To control insects, rotate the areas in your garden where you plant vegetables each year. However, I don't plant tomatoes where peppers or cabbages grew last year, because the plants growth will be stunted. This is another good reason to keep your garden plans on paper or in a notebook to consult year after year.
  • A simple rule of thumb to follow is to plant root crops between rows of bush crops and to put a few sets of strong smelling herbs in amongst rows all through the garden.
  • Good herbs to use for pest control include coriander, sweet basil, rosemary, dill, fennel, onion and sage.
  • Nasturtium and marigolds also help to control insects in the garden, while making it lovely to look at, and nasturtium can be eaten with your salad, both the flowers and the leaves (it tastes a bit like radish).

Keep nails clean while gardening!

  • Scrape your fingernails across a bar of my soap before you work in the garden.
  • Dirt will wash away much easier!

Chives keep worms out of apples

  • Plant chives under your apple trees to keep worms out of apples.

Natural Insect Repellent plants

Tips for keeping insects at bay.

  • I planted Silver King Artemisia years ago to use in wreaths I make to decorate the doors of our home. This herb will also discourage insects from coming near the doorway.
  • For a homemade insect repellent, mix one cup distilled water, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tbsp. each lavender essential oil, citronella essential oil, and pennyroyal oil. Shake well and rub on exposed areas of skin. Avoid eyes and mouth. This blend of oils will effectively chase insects and soothe and cool the skin at the same time.
  • To keep flies away from your door, plant tansy near the doorstep. Then put fresh sprigs of the plant in your open window to keep flies and mosquitoes away. Tansy is a fern like herb that grows to a height of the two to the three feet and has yellow button flowers.
  • Pennyroyal oil on the threshold with repels ants and fleas.

Protect Your Garden Plants From Insects. An easy to make natural pesticide.

To keep insects out of the garden,

  • mix I cup vinegar
  • 1-cup water
  • 1-cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic.
  • Apply liberally with a spray bottle.