Organic Growing By Companion Planting Part 2

Here are more tips to companion planting in the organic garden to keep down the invasion of pests to a manageable level.

Aphids

Aphids are a real menace on crops, whether they be vegetables, fruiting trees, bushes or berries. When infestations are bad, they can weaken the plants by their sap-sucking.

But they also deposit honeydew on the leaves and branches of crops which eventually attracts mould spores which then turn the area black and sticky, reducing the leaves ability to convert sunlight into chlorophyll and to take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Attract Hoverflies

One great way of reducing their numbers is by planting marigolds around and interspersed amongst the crop beds. Marigolds attract hoverflies which love to eat aphids, so the more of them you can attract into your growing space, the better.

Another hoverfly attracting plant is lemon balm, which also doubles as a great multi-use herb.

In the organic kitchen, chop the raw leaves of lemon balm and add to fish dishes - it goes great with grilled trout! Simply stuff a handful of raw chopped leaves into the fish and grill both sides for a few minutes until cooked.

Whenever you feel stressed, make yourself an infusion of lemon balm leaves, by pouring boiling water onto about a tablespoon of raw chopped leaves and allow to brew for five minutes, then strain. It makes a great natural relaxing tea!