BARN & GARDEN: Plant Flowers In Your Garden To Deter Bad Insects & Attract Good Ones

PHOTO: Rowena McDermott - Moonstruck Farms

GOOD BUGS & BAD BUGS: Plants can both attract bugs that are good for your garden and bad for your garden. Some bugs eat the bad bugs and some plants help to repel the bad bugs and at the same time attract the good ones.

When planting your garden this Spring, don’t forget to plant some flowers amongst the rows.   Many flowers, including marigolds, act as pest deterrents providing protection from aphids and other unwanted insects in your garden.  In addition, flowers can attract beneficials, otherwise known as the “good guys.”  Cosmos, sunflowers, and Queen’s Ann lace attract green lacewings known as the aphid lions of the garden.  The herbs dill, fennel, and coriander also attract green lacewings and will flower producing edible flowers for your salads and set seed, reseeding your garden for future seasons.   Don’t forget to feed those beautiful aphid-eating ladybugs who enjoy alyssum, sunflowers, and yarrow.  If you decide to add yarrow, make sure to plant it where you want it to spread; it can be very invasive.  When all is said and done at the end of the season, leave your dead flower heads to feed the birds during the winter and drop seed to reseed for the following season. 

At Moonstruck Farms, we are retrofitting a lot of the farm after over 15 years of farming here in the foothills of Phelan, California.   Professional greenhouse tables have been purchased to hold the wide variety of vegetable and flower transplants that have been started, including tomatoes, peppers, herbs, sweet pea flowers, begonias, and more.  We will bring them to the local farmers markets when the proper season for planting them arrives in each microclimate of our beautiful high desert home.  In the fields, the sweet pea flowers, Chinese cabbage, and other hardy Asian greens are being planted, and the tulips and daffodils are bursting forth, letting us know that Spring is about to arrive.  

The farmers markets are thriving thanks to your support, but we have a long way to go, so bring a friend the next time you visit or shop for a friend that cannot make it due to work hours or other obligations.  The more you shop, the more “shopping” power you provide the managers when searching for new vendors to join us at the market.  Visit the Phelan Certified Farmers Market on Mondays at 4128 Warbler Road in Phelan from 2pm to 5pm; starting on March 15th, the market will be open again until 6pm.   The Wrightwood Certified Farmers Market is open every Friday 2:30-3:00pm for high-risk and from 3:00 to 5:30pm inside the Wrightwood Community Center parking lot.  

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