Herbs As Insect Repellent

Herbs have double value in your schoolyard garden.

Take for instance BASIL, a well-known herb for cooking but also used as a pest-repellent.  When you plant basil beside your tomato plants, you are reducing insect and fungus damage. Grow some basil in a container; it repels flies and mosquitoes. When you are going to grow basil from seed, plant outdoors at the same time as the tomatoes. Both plants like rich and warm soil.

The most potent, flavourful herb and natural repellent is the GARLIC. Normally planted in the fall, you can plant a few cloves near a peach tree as protection against the well-known peach borer. Roses are well protected too when you plant garlic cloves between the wild roses, as it deters aphids.

Garlic keeps rabbits out of your schoolyard garden too!

The strong smell of MINT repels ants, cabbage butterfly and other small insects. Mint attracts bees to your garden, which is good for pollination.
The growth habit of mint has an invasive spread. To overcome this problem, plant or seed the mint into SONO tubes. These are available at your building supply dealer. Place the tubes 6 – 8 centimetres (2 1/4 – 3 inches) into the ground and leave about 4 centimetres (1 9/16 inches) above ground level. Fill the hole with lots of organic matter and good quality soil.

If you grow mint (in containers) close to your school or house, it will repel mice.

SAVORY is to the beans what basil is to the tomato. Summer savory can be started in the school classroom in seed trays or seeded outdoors beside the bean seeds. The beans grow well with the savory as companion planter, and will repel Mexican beetles. Savory can also be planted to protect onions. Summer savory is in general, sweeter and less sharp in taste than the winter savory variety.

TANSY a well-known perennial plant should be used as a natural insecticide in the classroom. Grown around the schoolyard it will keep ants away. Tansy can also be used between raspberries and grapes to protect against Japanese beetles.

RUE planted between your wild roses keeps the Japanese beetle away because of the bitterness and strong aroma of this herb. Cats don’t like rue at all; the strong fragrance keeps the cats out of your schoolyard garden, or at your home garden.


Happy Gardening!