Have you been wondering what this sudden garden itch is all about—and why you keep envisioning fresh flowers and succulent, homegrown vegetables? Well, April is National Garden Month! And if you’re growing one for the first time or upgrading the one you planted last spring, we at HealingRadius have some tips on the right plants known for protecting, nourishing, and targeting beneficial insects. Think about it: no matter how much water and light a garden can get, there’s always a lone wolf who grows more or less than the others. And it’s not because it wants to be different. It’s actually the combination (or lack thereof) of plants that encourage life and growth (and create garden harmony).
1. Garlic keeps aphids (aka plant lice, greenflies, blackflies, or whiteflies) away from roses, wards off Japanese beetles and spider mites, and succeeds in pest and disease management. Plant with celery, lettuce, cucumbers, peas, raspberries, and roses.
2. Marigolds contain thiophene (a chemical in their roots) that is toxic to certain types of nematodes or roundworms. Marigolds also repel potato and squash bugs (eeek). Plant with all garden plants that are susceptible to nematode damage.
3. Alfalfa, a plant in the pea family, can add important minerals to your soil, including potassium, nitrogen, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Plant with beans, lettuce, and other legumes.
4. Basil a beneficial culinary herb that can be planted next to vegetables to enhance their flavor, especially tomatoes. Basil also enhances growth and can drive away flying insects. Plant with lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers.
5. Petunias are considered the natural version of a pesticide, which makes them an ideal companion plant. They repel the peskiest of pests, including tomato worms, leafhoppers, Mexican bean beetles, and the asparagus beetle. Plant with eggplant, squash, and grapes.
6. Borage is an herb that has vibrant blue petals and several benefits for your garden. Not only does it attract bees, which is necessary for your plants that need pollination to be fruitful, but it also adds trace minerals to the soil, and repels tomato hornworms and cabbage moths. Plant with squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries.
7. Mint is that fresh, perfect addition to salads, pesto, and even mojitos, but it’s also a beneficial garden herb that attracts earthworms to help condition soil. Mint also keeps ants, aphids, and cabbage moths at bay. Plant with cabbage and tomatoes. Doesn’t this entice you to start your adventure of gardening, like, today? And we’d love to know—what companion combinations have you explored before, and did they work? Tell us in the comment section below! Here’s to healthy (and tasty) living.
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.