Using Barrier Plants to Protect Your Edible Garden

Using Barrier Plants to Protect Your Edible Garden

There’s nothing more frustrating then having a lush and growing edible garden, only to walk out and find it being eaten away by pests! Especially for organic, critter loving gardener who don’t want to harm any beneficial insects or pollinators just to get rid of a few unwanted pests. There are a number of strategies you can employ to keep your organic garden compliant and protected. One of my favorites being utilizing barrier plants. 

Barrier plants are plants that are planted around the perimeter of the garden and interspersed among edibles to form a protective barrier against unwanted pests. They work like a moat and exterior wall of a castle, stopping invaders because they are armed with powerful fragrances, volatile oils, and other biological properties that help them repel the unwanted pests while encouraging beneficial insects and pollinators. They literally are the best of both worlds—and mighty attractive too. There are a number of plants that qualify as barrier plants and protect against not only insects but mammals that like to munch too. 

Here are just a few of my favorites:

  • Marigolds
  • Geranium
  • Cosmos
  • Hyssop
  • Nasturtium
  • Tansy
  • Mint (mint, lemon balm, etc)
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Borage
  • Coriander
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Pennyroyal
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Alliums (onions, chives, garlic, shallots, etc)

Barrier plants are also referred to as companion plants. There are a number of great resources on companion planting. One of my favorites is the book Carrots Love Tomatoes & Roses Love Garlic. It’s been a staple garden reference book of mine for years now. Definitely recommend picking up a copy for yourself. 

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