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Deborah Lee- Companion Gardening with Culinary Herbs

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Material is copyrighted excerpts from the Golden Harvest Organics website

www.ghorganics.com

BASIL: Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips. It is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Do not plant near rue or sage.

BEE BALM (Oswego, Monarda): Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor.  Great for attracting beneficials and bees of course. Pretty perennial that tends to get powdery mildew.

CHAMOMILE, GERMAN: Annual. Improves flavor of cabbages, cucumbers and onions. Host to hoverflies and wasps. Accumulates calcium, potassium and sulfur, later returning them to the soil. Increases oil production from herbs. Leave some flowers unpicked and German chamomile will reseed itself. Roman chamomile is a low growing perennial that will tolerate almost any soil conditions. Both like full sun. Growing chamomile of any type is considered a tonic for anything you grow in the garden.

CHIVES: Improves growth and flavor of carrots and tomatoes. A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, mustard, etc) and many others.  Help to keep aphids away from tomatoes, mums and sunflowers. Chives may drive away Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly. Planted among apple trees it helps prevent scab and among roses it prevents black spot. You will need patience as it takes about 3 years for plantings of chives to prevent the 2 diseases. A tea of chives may be used on cucumbers and gooseberries to prevent downy and powdery mildews. Avoid planting near beans and peas.

DILL: Improves growth and health of cabbage. Do not plant near carrots, caraway, lavender or tomatoes. Best friend for lettuce. The flower heads of dill are one of the best nectar sources for beneficial insects in the garden attracting hoverflies, predatory wasps and many more. Repels aphids and spider mites to some degree. Also may repel the dreaded squash bug! (scatter some good size dill leaves on plants that are subject to squash bugs, like squash plants.) Dill goes well with lettuce, onions, cabbage, sweet corn and cucumbers. Dill does attract the tomato horn worm so it would be wise to plant it somewhere away from your tomato plants. Do plant dill in an appropriate spot for the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars to feed on. Even their caterpillars are beautiful.

FENNEL: Fennel is not friendly and is allelopathic to most garden plants, inhibiting growth or causing them to bolt. It actually kills many plants. Dill is the only thing you can plant with fennel. Other than that plant it by it's self. On a positive note the foliage and flowers attract beneficials such as ladybugs, syrphid flies, tachninid flies, beneficial parasitoid wasps and hoverflies Fennel is a good flea repellent. An old saying says to "plant fennel near your kennel" to deter fleas.

Dried fennel leaves provide additional flea repelling insurance when put inside the dog house or kennel.

GARLIC: Plant near roses to repel aphids. It also benefits apple trees, pear

trees, cucumbers, peas, lettuce and celery. Plant under peach trees to help repel borers. Garlic accumulates sulfur: a naturally occurring fungicide which will help in the garden with disease prevention. Garlic is systemic in action as it is taken up by the plants through their pores and when garlic tea is used as a soil drench it is also taken up by the plant roots. It has value in offending codling moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, snails, and carrot root fly. Researchers have observed that time-released garlic capsules planted at the bases of fruit trees actually kept deer away. It's certainly worth a try! Concentrated garlic sprays have been observed to repel and kill whiteflies, aphids and fungus gnats among others with as little as a 6-8% concentration! It is safe for use on orchids too.

HORSERADISH: Plant in containers in the potato patch to keep away Colorado potato bugs. Horseradish increases the disease resistance of potatoes. There are some very effective insect sprays that can be made with the root. Use the bottomless pot method to keep horseradish contained. Also repels Blister beetles. We have observed that the root can yield anti-fungal properties when a tea is made from it.

LAVENDER: Repels fleas and moths. Prolific flowering lavender nourishes many nectar feeding and beneficial insects. Lavenders can protect nearby plants from insects such as whitefly, and lavender planted under and near fruit trees can deter codling moth. Use dried sprigs of lavender to repel moths. Start plants in winter from cuttings, setting out in spring.

LEMON BALM: Sprinkle throughout the garden in an herbal powder mixture to deter many bugs. Lemon balm has citronella compounds that make this work: crush and rub the leaves on your skin to keep mosquitoes away! Use to ward off squash bugs!

MARIGOLDS: (Calendula): Given a lot of credit as a pest deterrent. Keeps soil free of bad nematodes; supposed to discourage many insects. Plant freely throughout the garden.  The marigolds you choose must be a scented variety for them to work. One down side is that marigolds do attract spider mites and slugs.

French marigold (T. patula) has roots that exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control you want to plant dense areas of them. There have been some studies done that proved this nematode killing effect lasted for several years after the plants died back. These marigolds also help to deter whiteflies when planted around tomatoes and can be used in greenhouses for the same purpose. Whiteflies hate the smell of marigolds.

Do not plant French marigolds next to bean plants.

 

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*Photo credit to Theresa Greene
 

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