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There are indeed many plants that act as natural repellents against certain plant parasites, keeping therefore pests away from our fruit, vegetable and ornamental plants. Not only that, they can also keep annoying and biting insects away from us, our families, and our pets. Most are herbs, so we can quickly start growing a few.
Just as the fragrance and taste of some of them is pleasant or unpleasant to us, the same is true for many pests that would harm our crops and ourselves, as is the case with mosquitoes to name one.
REPELLENT PLANTS THAT LOVE SUNNY SPOT
The blooms of these repellent herbs, or at least some of them, are also capable of attracting beneficial insects and all sorts of pollinators:
Rosemary: repels flies, midges and other flying parasites
Lavender: repels moths, fleas and flies
Basil: repels thrips and flies
Mint: repels flies and ants
Onion: flowers attract pollinators
Garlic: flowers attract pollinators
Lemongrass: many repellent plants have a lemon scent; therefore, lemon balm and lemongrass help ward off many annoying insects.
Thyme: repels cabbage earthworms, cabbage worms, corn worms
Geraniums: Some contain lemongrass oil
Marigolds: repel aphids and mosquitoes
Petunias: repel aphids, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and pumpkin bugs
Nasturtium: repels whiteflies and bedbugs, while attracting beneficial pollinating insects
Chrysanthemums: contain pyrethrin which is a natural substance with insecticidal properties
Plant these herbs in your garden and around your fruit trees. Some, as mentioned earlier, repel more than just mosquitoes. Many of the herbs that can be planted in sunny locations, in addition to repelling insects and pests, make beautiful flowers and are also very aesthetically pleasing, as well as useful. All of these herbs can be mixed with water or oils to create a homemade natural insect repellent spray as well.
Many of these plants can be consumed and appreciated for their properties and taste, they are also extremely easy to grow. Most of them love the sun and prefer well-drained soil. With a little care, we will get great benefits. Of course, even these herbs with repellent properties have their enemies from which we will eventually have to defend them.
Poorly drained soils encourage fungal diseases that can affect roots in particular. Symptoms appear as brown streaks on plant stems, and can result in general plant collapse if not careful. Plant rust causes gradual wilting and yellowing of the leaves of many members of the mint family and appears as lesions and spots on the underside of the leaves.
The best defense against these diseases of our beloved plants are proper growing conditions, removal of weak or infested foliage and regular pruning. Raised beds will encourage good drainage, as well as choosing to water in the morning to give the herbs time to dry, delaying the spread of fungal spores that could cause disease.
TROUBLESHOOTING FOR THE HERB GARDEN
The best defense, as they say, is offense. Follow these simple golden rules and you will hardly have problems:
Respect the specific needs of your plants. If a grass prefers a sunny location and sunny soil, don’t try to plant it in shady locations and poorly draining soils. Easy yes, but not that obvious. Do your research and find the best place for each type of weed.
Don’t overcrowd your plants. Allowing growth, diffusion and optimal ventilation between plants. Even I in the past when I only had a small vegetable garden I tended to plant more plants than the space allowed me. The result is the exact opposite of what we hope for, namely the health of our plants.
Practice adequate irrigation and fertilization. Irrigate and fertilize wisely without extremes. Plants send us clear signals about their needs if we learn to observe them. Excessive watering and too much fertilizing do more damage than the other way around. It also uses organic fertilizers possibly for many valid reasons, and also because it can be less precise with the dosage
Prune! Prune and harvest your herb plants frequently but not too aggressively. This will not only stimulate lush regrowth, it eliminates any diseased leaves and allows us to better observe the presence of any unwelcome insects to be removed.
The plant world does not differ from the animal world in its basic concepts. Just like us, yes and we adopt a healthy lifestyle and take care of our basic needs, our immune system will benefit and we will be less prone to suffer from diseases. Plants have their own immune systems too, make sure you get them in the right optimal conditions and take care of them as you do yourself. They will take care of themselves to defend themselves and you will hardly have to fight large diseases and parasites.
Also, avoid using chemicals just as we shouldn’t abuse of drugs and antibiotics. You can better rely on natural pesticides such as garlic spray, and macerated tomato leaves or nettle. You may be interested in the specific article in this regard: “Natural repellents for your organic garden“.