You want to keep your kitchen garden all to yourself! So, find out how to stop insects eating plant leaves that are destined for your cooking.
Herbs are hardy plants, so they don’t struggle too much after being planted in the right place. But bugs and pests are still about, so here’s some advice on what to do to keep the critters away.
How to Prevent Aphids
Aphids, small insects that are often white but vary in colour, like to eat herbs. Check your plants by making sure the stems are sticky, the leaves look yellowish or like they are curling up, and turn the leaf over to see if you can spot any aphids hiding about.
If you think your herbs are being eaten by aphids, try to separate the unaffected plants from the affected ones. Then, using water and insecticidal soaps, try to wipe or spray your plant’s leaves to remove the invaders.
Next, keep a close eye on your herbs, try to check them for at least two weeks to see if the aphids are definitely gone. Also, try adding Sage to your home or garden, as the smell of Sage can keep the aphids away!
How to Prevent Mites
Mites, incredibly small creatures that you’ll struggle to spot, are another problem that you might need to face. The signs that you may be fighting mites are pretty similar to aphids, but make sure to look out for web-like material along the plant.
Mites can bite people too, so if you want to fin a place to put your infected plants outside while you solve the problem, make sure to find a sunny place that doesn’t get too much water, and for more advice on keeping herbs outside, go check out our last blog.
So, to remove the nasty mites, try mixing rubbing alcohol and tap water, then carefully wipe the leaves of your plants, and get the stems too. Like aphids, you can also try soaps, just make sure not to use too much, as you don’t want to harm your herbs in the process! Also, Peppermint and Lavender have properties that repel these unwanted bugs.
How to Protect Against Rosemary Beetles
Rosemary beetles, as the name implies, like to eat Rosemary. There are also other kinds of beetles, such as the Japanese beetle, which also like to eat herbs. To keep beetles away from your plants is a little tricky, especially if your herbs are flowering, as you don’t want to use anything that could hurt the bees as well!
One thing you can try is netting off the plants that haven’t been affected, to keep the beetles from spreading. Using cayenne pepper on your plants may get the beetles to leave, but it will also deter the bees, at least it will keep them away instead of hurting them, so try this option if you need to save your herbs.
How to Get Rid of Spittlebugs
Spittlebugs, which leave behind a bubbly mess, are Lavender lovers. If you notice some foamy substance on your Lavender, try using neem oil, as this plant-based oil should help protect your plants and keep the spittle bugs away. You could also try using citrus, as that is known to repel these bugs, saving your Lavender from looking like your neighbours have a grudge against you.
How to Deter Slugs and Snails
Snails and slugs tend to stay away from herbs, but they can like the taste of your Basil! To keep these slimy pests from getting to eat it before you do, try putting some netting around the herb bed, or sprinkle some slug and snail killing pellets around to stop them in their tracks. If you’d rather go down the pacifist route, Basil does nicely on a windowsill, keeping your herbs safe from the outside dangers.
With so many pests to worry about, you may feel nervous planting your herbs in the garden but just remember, herbs are hardy plants. With all the information above and SEASON at your side, you now have more of the information needed to battle back against these herb eaters. So, don’t hold back from making that beautiful garden you’ve been dreaming about!
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