Insects need food sources and shelter with different types of foliage, at different times of year, at different heights, etc. When you mix diverse plants together, you bring layers of color, shapes, sizes, varieties, and textures – which means a greater diversity of garden predators too. A greater diversity of predators in your garden, means fewer pest problems.
Think diversity in your plant location too. It isn’t necessary to grow all your tomatoes in one place. If you intersperse them with dill or fennel or asters, you will be distracting pests and encouraging beneficials to mill about and do their pollinating and predatory business.
For example if you struggle with rose thrips – place plants like oregano, wild mustard or daisies around your roses to attract the minute pirate bugs or lacewings which will feed on those thrips.
It’s not about ignoring the pests in your landscape – it’s about designing the pests out of and the beneficials into the garden (or just different areas of the garden.
Submitted by Marty Schwende