Herbs that say ‘No go Buddy!’
Plants with an Attitude!!!
First and foremost, funny story … yesterday after completing Part 2, my beloved asked me to come out into the garden … once there, she asked me for help with a strange herb bush, and could l identify it for her? The bush above is erm, ‘Bayleaf’ – so l said it’s a bayleaf darling why? She said, well your article has said we don’t have any bayleaf in the garden how did this just appear as if like magic??
So, there we go folks, we do have bayleaf! It’s a great herb indeed and marvelous for cooking with.
Now to part 3.
I grew an awful amount of parsley in 2017 when l had the square foot gardening, it was a terrific grower, l had three types growing, including curly and it was brilliant inside the squares next to marigolds and nasturtiums, it’s a pity ha ha that square foot gardening proved to be such a nightmare, but the parsley thrived!! Now as it happens this herb repels asparagus beetles. I wasn’t growing asparagus, but IF l had been, the parsley would have repelled the blighters!!
Parsley is a great garnish and salad food stuff. As a herb it has been around for a very long time, so like many of our herbs. Here in the UK we also have the uncultivated parsleys that grow wild, ‘Cow Parsley‘ is also often called Keck, and that is equally as edible as the cultivated kind, however if not known and identified properly it can get mixed up and confused with Fool’s Parsley which can prove to be fatal if consumed. But sometimes Keck is also confused when young with the giant cow parsley which can cause serious burns to the skin. Luckily when l used to pick the young saplings to feed to my rabbits when l kept and bred them, l was tutored and mentored in the art of weed foraging by farmers and so l do know the difference.
Another non-herb included in the line-up, l like this plant, they too like the marigolds are great in salads, superb as companions but also truly wicked in their capacity for dealing with unwanted visitors! Aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs and many different beetles.
When it comes to companion planting do really consider these as a go to for pest predation. When l grew them, l had both giant and normal varieties growing and we were very lucky to have them present, as there must have been six assorted plants amongst all the squares and in addition to stunning colours, they did their job well indeed. The beauty of this plants ability to repel is down to the fact that it releases an airborne chemical, and if companion planting, its ‘force field’ protects all those around it – however YAY, bees and Bumblebees are NOT repelled because of the flowers themselves.
Simply put Trefoils/Clovers are great for a few reasons, 1] you can use them as a relatively effective ground cover and including red clover in beds just prior to closing them down for the winter months, chop it up and turn it over into your soil before covering with a black tarp – the worms have feasts! But also trefoil is a great repellant against aphids and wireworms and if mixed with other ingredients is reputed to make a pretty good ant deterant – mm, think Suze and l will have to try that and l’ll let you know.
Another non-herb, but a very useful plant in the war against bugs! Now this femme fatale repels asparagus beetles, tomato hornworms, squash bugs, leaf hoppers and aphids! There is no reason to not plant flowers and herbs and vegetables together, we have done, purely because of the properties that some plants can afford growers in so far as natural protection.
The secret to Petunia’s success mostly lies in her ability to actually trap the insects on her sticky stamens, can’t get away and die, eventually they fall into the soil and their deaths serve to further enrich the nutrient soil levels. Win win! Of course, the other thing is this, they serve to attact butterflies another one of our pollinators so there is a bonus even if she is a tad heavy stemmed with uninvited guests! whilst butterflies are not as adept as our bees in the pollination process, they are stunningly beautiful to look upon, and every little bit helps in my book.
Another non-herb, but a beautiful flower is of course the chrysanthemum, these pretties are also pretty damn effective at keeping wild beasties at bay! These will repel roaches, ants, ticks and fleas, spider mites, silverfish and bugs! Impressive, no? Now they can make superb companion plants, but do be aware that the same thing these flowers do to repel and kill the bugs can be also harmful to humans. That is Pyrethrum. These flowers can be used to make an insecticidal spray, so that is how you must be careful if using this as a form of deterant.
So there we go folks, the final part of Plants with Attitude.
Tomorrow we will look at herbs and plants that are beneficial as friendly bug attractors!