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How to keep your organic garden free of pests with companion planting

By John Kirchner June 8, 2011

When it comes to gardening, planting and growing is only half the battle. Too often, insects, rodents and weeds spell the demise of a late summer’s harvest.

For those who prefer chemical-free gardening – no pesticides or herbicides – DIY Life recently featured tips on companion planting, a gardening strategy that thwarts common pests by pairing specific plants together. The most common garden defenders include:

  • Marigolds – ward off animals, mosquitoes and aphids
  • Peppermint – prevents ants, white cabbage moths and aphids
  • Garlic – repels Japanese beetles, fleas and aphids
  • Basil – fights flies and mosquitoes

From the same article, expert gardener Patti Moreno showcases the “three sisters” gardening method, a planting strategy credited to Native Americans that groups corn, beans and squash alongside one another take leverage each plant’s unique benefits. Corn absorbs nitrogen from the soil and beans take nitrogen from the air and add it to the soil while squash provides shade to cool the soil.

Companion planting is about putting your plants to work. The result? A delicious late-summer harvest that’s completely organic and free of chemicals, pests and unnecessary labor.