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A Little Abut Me

I'm for sure a product of the of growing up the 90's. No cell phones or wifi in the home and we came home when the street lights came home. Back when MTV had music, hence Allison Unplugged! I'm the oldest of six kiddos (1 full and 4 1/2) from the typical dysfunctional family. Both my maternal and fraternal Grandparents had a big influence on me growing up and have been some of my greatest teachers. 

I feel blessed to have the knowledge to grow most of my family's food in our own backyard and I'm happy to share some of my knowledge with you all. Please keep in mind that I am no expert I'm just a 40ish year old gal who has had a love of gardening, herbalism, and healing. I believe we each have the ability to feed our families and heal ourselves with a little dedication and a whole lot of mindfulness. 


Insects and Herbs in the Garden

I don't have an Herb Garden because I've learned that the herbs help the plants in the garden as much as they help me in my health and healing. We all love Basil but did you know your tomatoes do too? They keep many pests away while it improves flavor and promotes growth (which makes sense because Basil is said to promote abundance). Not only does coriander offer a lovely flavor but it repels spider mites, potato beetles and aphids while it enhances the flavor of peppers, making them very good friends! I made you a little chart below for reference for those interested.

I think a lot of beginner gardeners think all bugs are have to realize that some will be your best friends! According to my favorite resource, the Farmer's Almanac all insects can be broken into three different types:

  1. Pollinators: We depend on these insects—including bees, butterflies, flies, and moths—to pollinate our garden’s flowers.

  2. Predators: These insects eliminate pests by eating them. Things like ladybugs, praying mantids, and green lacewing larvae fall into this category.

  3. Parasitizers: Like predators, parasitizers also prey upon other insects, but in a slightly different way. They lay their eggs on or in the bad bugs, and when the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the host insects. Parasitic wasps are the main member of this category.

Part of a successful garden is having the right kind of bugs in your space so do your own research when you find a new insect hanging out in your garden, it might be one of your new favorite friends! Also, I really encourage you to look up what these insects look like during their various phases of life...due to my ignorance I've killed ladybug larva not knowing what they were in my earlier days. (Please don't tell my Dad he would probably be very disappointed??!?) Now when I find them I take them to my most aphid infected plant and let them eat their hearts out, they can eat 40 aphids per hour!!!

Here are some other friendly garden bugs you might not know about:

Green Lacewing - while the adults feed of nectar & pollen but when they are larva they eat other soft bodied insects such as caterpillars & aphids.

Praying Manitis - they will take care of just about any predatory bug problem such as grasshoppers, flies, and beetles but they will also take out bees, butterflies, and other praying mantises. I will say their egg case called an ootheca is quite interesting and you might to be on the look out in the fall when clearing out your garden so you will know when you spot one! They usually hatch from June to July but of course this all determines your season an climate.

Spiders - they are attracted to their prey by movement so they are quite effective in your garden eating a variety of pests.

Ground Beetles - not all beetles in the garden are bad. Ground beetles cover a variety of beetles knows as predatory beetles. They eat nematodes, caterpillars, thrips, weevils, slugs, and silverfish and are beneficial as mature insects as well as larva. Beetles usually freak folks out but don't crush every one you see!!!!

Soldier Beetles - attracted to compound blossoms such as yarrow and queen anne's lace these beetles prey on Mexican bean beetles, Colorado potato beetles, caterpillars, and aphids.

Assassin bugs - odd looking bug that looks like a cross between a praying mantis and a squash bug. They will eat up any problematic pests in no time.

Robber flies - odd looking long legged fly might be a bit scary looking but unlike horseflies these flies will not bite unless provoked and will eat up a lot of problem pests in the garden.

Hoverflies - this little guy kind of looks like a miniature version of a yellow jacket without a stinger. When mature they are great pollinators but their larva will kill aphids, caterpillars, beetles, and thrips.

Parasatic Wasps - there are a few different types but in a nutshell these wasps will lay eggs on another insect (example the Brachonid wasps lay eggs on the tomato hornworm) or another insect's eggs so the wasp larva will feed off the other and the problematic pests will no longer be a problem.

So now how do we attract the right kind of bugs? Plant a wide variety of things so it will attract a wide variety of insects. Yes, some of the bad will come but with a variety to feast on you will attract some of the predatory bugs as well. This is also why I plant herbs right next to my vegetables!!! Not only do they enhance the flavor of the fruit/vegetable but a lot of times they also defer pest depending on the type. Planting early budding things to attract those insects to your garden from the beginning of the season is a game changer. You will always find alyssum, lacy phacelia, cosmos, yarrow, cilantro and dill growing very early on in my garden to start the season off with the right kind of pest control.

Now for the chart regarding herbs that I promised ya:

Herbal Companion Planting Chart




Additional Benefits


Asparagus, Tomato & Pepper

None, plant me anywhere really!

enhances flavor & repeals such as hornworms, aphids, mosquitos, & asparagus beetle


Cucumbers & Onions

Strawberries, cabbage, brussell sprouts, potatoes, beets, & fennel

Attracts pollinators & other beneficial insects as well as repeals aphids & cabbage worms


Peas, Potatoes, Tomatoes & Spinach


repeals spider mites, potato beetle, & aphids


Cucumbers, Corn, Lettuce, Onions

Carrots & Tomatoes

Attracts beneficial insects and deters mites & ahids


Fruit Trees & Brassicaceae

Asparagus, Fennel & Potatoes

Attracts the pollinators


Melon, Squash, & Tomatoes


repeals many problematic insects


Cabbage Family, Tomatoes, Cucumbers & Melons


Repeals whiteflys, spider mites & traps aphids


Beans, Cabbage Family, Eggplant & Squash


repeals aphids &


Asparagus, Chives & Tomatoes


repeals aphids and beetles


Beans, Carrots, Cabbage, and Garlic


Deters cabbage moths & beetles


Brassicaceae & Lettuce

Cucumber & Onions

Repeals beetles, cabbage moths, and flies

I hope this helps you on your garden journey! Please feel free to comment and share your garden bug friends or foes.

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