Keep pests away from your plants (and yourself) this summer with these natural pest-resistant garden tips…
Any gardener knows that pests can be a real pain in the garden. Insect pests or “bugs” are not the only thing you have to worry about either; larger critters like voles, gophers, rabbits, and deer can also do quite a number on your garden plants. It can be extremely frustrating and even heartbreaking to come out to check on your garden and find plants infested, nibbled, or even completely gnawed off by a passing animal!
However, there are a number of natural ways to protect your garden from pest damage. One of the best options is to grow a pest-resistant garden that hungry critters will avoid in the first place. For example, as this article mentions, the following flowers look lovely in the garden but will help keep pests at bay:
Lemon thyme: If neighborhood cats are using your garden as their litter box, this citrus-scented herb will have them searching for another place to do their business. The ASPCA rates this annual herb as nontoxic, but cats don’t like the scent, making lemon thyme a safe way to keep Fluffy out of the garden.
Zinnias: This colorful annual is a feast for the eyes but not for deer. Zinnias have prickly centers that deer will generally avoid.
The easy-to-grow annuals are native to Mexico and come in a range of colors from red and pink to yellow and white. They grow best in full sun and well-drained soil and bloom all summer long.
Marigolds: The flowers of these bright orange and yellow annuals are edible – and make a delicious addition to salads – but rabbits don’t like the bitter flavor and will leave marigolds alone. Marigolds also repel mosquitos and aphids, making this triple threat a great choice for the garden…
Columbine: The star-shaped flowers of this colorful perennial make it a pretty addition to the garden. Native to wildflower meadows, columbine attracts bees, birds, and butterflies but is resistant to deer and rabbits…
To protect your veggies, try companion planting them together with plants that pests don’t like (see graphic below for some examples). Some of these plants also attract beneficial predator insects that will help control harmful insect pests in your garden. This is a great way to keep harmful insects like potato beetles and aphids, as well as rabbits, moles, and other critters from chowing down on your harvest.
You can even keep pesky mosquitoes, gnats, and other bugs from bugging you while you’re out in the garden by planting certain plants around the garden that help disguise your scent. Mums, rosemary, citronella, lavender, and catnip can all help to repel mosquitoes and other pesky biting insects. In fact, one study found that catnip was ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes! You won’t need to slather your skin with toxic chemicals to enjoy a summer evening in the garden if you have some of these plants planted nearby.
While it may take a bit of time and effort up front to design a pest-resistant garden, by planting the right mix of plants, you’ll be able to enjoy more time in your garden this summer, and keep pests away from both you and your plants without resorting to chemical sprays and pesticides that can harm both your health and the environment.
Check out this infographic for more info on planting a pest-resistant garden:
Image Source: Fix.com