Natural Garden Pest Deterrents by Sue Perryman

I don't know about your garden, but mine is gradually been eaten alive this Summer by slugs and all sorts of bugs. I refuse to use any chemical products, so have been resorting to the old washing up liquid in water spray for the bugs, but as for the slugs and snails, my plants are an all you can eat buffet.

My nan had heard of my problem through the family grapevine and sent me an article from her local paper, it has some really great tips for the organic gardener, so I thought I'd share them with you. I can't vouch for any of these tips, as I only got the article this week, although my nan swears by the garlic spray, which I am in the process of making.

For generations, companion planting has been used to repel pests as well as attracting beneficial insects who will eat some of the nuisance ones. It might be a bit late for this year but is well worth trying for next year’s crops.

Plant nasturtiums, which are great for attracting pollinators, they also attract aphids and cabbage white butterflies, so be prepared for them to become sacrificial plants to draw pests from other plants.

The old-fashioned pot marigold (Calendula) can be used around any vegetable plants that are attacked by aphids and work on soil pests too.

Basil can be easily grown from seed in early summer, so plant it around tomatoes to deter white fly and other pests. It is said that growing basil close to tomatoes improves their flavour. I've never been able to grow it outside in the UK, but it would grow well in a greenhouse or polytunnel.

Alyssum (Lobularia) can be planted between lettuce and other salad crops to attract hoverflies that feed on aphids.

Herbs such as mint, thyme, fennel, dill and sage should be allowed to bloom as they attract pollinating insects and other beneficial insects like hoverflies.

Plant French marigolds between tomatoes and cucumbers in a greenhouse of polytunnel to help repel whiteflies.

Plant spring onions between rows of carrots as the strong onion scent will help to deter and confuse carrot root flies looking for somewhere to lay eggs.