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Gardening expert Jane Perrone has shared her top tips exclusively with Express.co.uk on how to control pest populations. While it may be tempting to use chemical pesticides, these can actually harm other insects which could be eating your unwanted pests. Instead, Jane recommended planting flowers which attract pollinators and other insects.
Also known as companion planting, or “intercropping”, the technique can help deter pests and promote growth.
Planting certain plants next to one another can release chemical attractants or repellants which can protect from insects.
For example, onions release certain odours which can deter some insects from infested plants.
Jane suggested planting annual flowers on the vegetable patch to get the desired effect.
She said: “You can grow lots of flowers around your fruit and vegetables.
“If you can grow things like pot marigolds and there’s a great plant called the ‘poached egg plant’.
“Annual flowers that have very attractive qualities for pollinators so things like bees and hover flies.
“Lots of those creatures will then help control your pest population.
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“For example, if you introduce lots of flowers you might get things like lacewings and they eat a lot of aphids.
“The bees will also be pollinating your tomato plants.
“So you need the pollinators as well.”
The gardening expert said plants aren’t just great at protecting your vegetables against pests but they can make it look more attractive too.
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“Flowers are always great to have on the veg patch,” she added.
“They make it look really nice plus also you get fantastic results in terms of controlling pests.”
Discovering pests are destroying your plants or vegetables can be really disheartening, especially if you’ve nurtured your plants from seeds.
But Jane said you should try not to worry too much about pests as some of them provide food for the bugs we love.
She explained: “I try not to panic about pests and I never think of them as a silver bullet solution that’s going to knock them all out and they’re never going to be there again.
“Everything has its place. Aphids provide food for ladybirds and everyone loves ladybirds so just trying to introduce that balance helps to keep things under control.”
Jane was working alongside Mash Direct, who launched a campaign to get people across the country growing their own vegetables and herbs.
Mash Direct is an award-winning ‘field-to-fork’ vegetable accompaniments brand.
The site launched a “Grow Your Own” campaign earlier this year to encourage more people across the UK to grow their own vegetables and herbs and to increase their vegetable intake to harness the associated health and wellbeing benefits.
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