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aphid & hormworm prevention

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Founding Member
Jul 23, 2011
west central MO
from a Park Seed email newsletter:

You don't have to sacrifice beautiful flowers when you decide to grow a vegetable garden! Many varieties of annuals and herbs perform valuable work in the veggie patch, such as attracting pollinators and "good bugs," repelling "bad bugs," and even acting as trap crops to keep pests off the vegetable plants.

Bees and other pollinators are necessary for your vegetable plants to set fruit, so invite them in for a closer look with flowering annuals that bear plenty of nectar. The colors yellow, blue, and white seem to work best attracting pollinators, so consider a stand of Sunflowers, Sweet Peas, Cosmos, Zinnias, and Mints among the rows of vegetables. Not only will this add bright color to the display, but several of these plants are fragrant and/or great for cut-flowers. It's a win-win!

Many insects are highly prized in the garden because they chase away or devour predators, and certain plants attract these "good bugs" so they can get to work. Plant the herbs Parsley, Dill, and Cilantro, as well as any flowering plant from the Aster family, such as Marigolds, Chrysanthemums, Calendulas, Zinnias, and Sunflowers.

Some plants are effective at repelling a specific pest that might be affecting your crops. Catmint is one of the best "fighter" plants, discouraging aphids, potato beetles, and squash bugs from entering the vegetable garden. Borage repels tomato hornworms, while Geraniums are a great defense against Japanese beetles. Sage is another multi-purpose plant, repelling cabbage moths and carrot rust flies.

A few flowering plants work well as "trap crops," attracting a pest to themselves rather than to the neighboring plants. 4 o'Clocks do a marvelous job of luring Japanese beetles to their stems. Nicotiana is a good insect attractor. And Nasturtiums are irresistible to aphids, keeping them off of nearby vegetables.

Add a little color, fragrance, and pest-fighting ability to your vegetable patch this year from a most unlikely source: beautiful flowering plants!


Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2012
East Tennessee
LR, with all due respect to the Park Seed newsletter editor, this appears to be Hucksterism, i.e. identify with the problems of gardeners (bugs) then convince them there is a solution (buy our seeds or whatever) and life will be good. So you want to get rid of the Tobacco Hornworm.

Learn how to attract these beauties and life will get better.

Because once they are around this is what is in store for the Tobacco Hornworms:
Tobacco Hornworm (parasitized) - Manduca sexta.jpg

Sure, you may end up sacrificing a little bit of your yield in the beginning, in the end you will profit.
Sure, buy the flowering plants too, but stop using pesticides and a whole new world opens up.

Edit: OK, I could be wrong about needing to plant 'trap plants' or 'attractant plants' or plants that repel insects. Anyway, no offense meant because when i re-read my post I was way too arrogant. Hey, I'm still learning and probably need some help from the more experienced folks.
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