Thursday, January 12, 2012

Aromatic Pest Confusers for a Temperate Climate

Yarrow (Achillea spp.) is an aromatic plant with many uses and many colors other than white.

It is hard to know how long the concept of Aromatic Pest Confusers has been around since this term is rather new; however, the idea has likely existed for at least hundreds of years.  People who use companion planting are often more familiar with this term than your average gardener, but the term is gaining in popularity each year as people are looking for more intelligent, and less toxic, ways to combat garden pests.

Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, is a rather common garden herb that has a lot more going for it than most gardeners realize.

So what exactly are Aromatic Pest Confusers?

There is a theory (yeah, it is a theory, because there is yet to be any good science behind it) that highly aromatic plants are so strongly scented that they confuse or even repel pests.  The strong scents originate from the essential oils of these aromatic plants.  There are two possible benefits from these essential oils.

First, when these aromatic plants are growing near our other vulnerable plants (annual vegetables, fruiting perennials, etc.), it is speculated that the strong scents of the highly aromatic plants make it more difficult for roaming insects to find the vulnerable plants.  I also wonder if the strong scents released from these aromatic plants overwhelm the normal pheromone detection in insects and disrupt breeding cycles as well.

Second, we do know that these oils have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties... many research studies support this.  But what is also speculated is that some of these anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties may benefit neighboring plants as well.

Sweet Cicely, Myrrhis odorata, is a tall, elegant plant that is not as well known as it deserves.

One of the great things about many of the plants labelled as Aromatic Pest Confusers is that they are useful as food or flavoring crops in their own right.  Rosemary, mint, oregano, and thyme to name a few.

Permaculture Principle Ten tells us to use and value diversity.  When we do this in an intelligent way, like by interplanting these useful herbs throughout our gardens, we may gain additional benefits that will aid us in creating a sustainable and safe food production system.

Creeping Thyme, Thymus serpyllum, is another aromatic plant that has many uses.

Following is a list of the most common (and some uncommon) Aromatic Pest Confusers, highlighted for their multi-purposed talents:
  1. Yarrow, Achillea spp. (used in herbal medicine, great nectar plant for beneficial insects, ground cover plant)
  2. Anise Hyssop, Agastache foeniculum (used in herbal medicine, great nectar plant for beneficial insects, food seasoning, teas, potpourri)
  3. Onions, garlic, leeks, and family, Allium spp. (high quality culinary plant, great nectar plant for beneficial insects)
  4. Horseradish, Armoracia rusticana (culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects)
  5. French Tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus satvia  (high quality culinary plant)
  6. Wormwoods, Sagebrushes, Artemisia spp.  (used in herbal medicine)
  7. Wood Mints, Blephilia spp.  
  8. Calamint Savory, Calamintha nepeta  (culinary plant)
  9. Smooth-Leaved Satureja, Clinopodium glabellum
  10. Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis  (culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects, ground cover plant)
  11. Mints, Mentha spp.  (high quality culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects, ground cover plant)
  12. Bee Balm, Bergamot, Monarda spp.  (culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects)
  13. Sweet Cicely, Myrrhis odorata  (culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects)
  14. Oregano, Origanum vulgare hirtum  (high quality culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects, ground cover plant)
  15. Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum spp.  (high quality culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects, ground cover plant)
  16. Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis  (high quality culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, ground cover plant)
  17. Broadleaf Sage, Salvia officinalis  (high quality culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects, ground cover plant)
  18. Sweet Goldenrod, Solidago odora (culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects)
  19. Thyme, Thymus vulgaris  (high quality culinary plant, used in herbal medicine, nectar plant for beneficial insects, ground cover plant)



7 comments:

  1. The quality of your blogs and articles and worth appreciating.get rid of pests

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am grateful for you hard work in setting up and maintaining this website. Not another like it. It always has the most useful information.

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  3. Keep on watching what you bite and find out the solutions of your problems in time. This article by throwing light on the benefits of Aromatic Thyme herb tends to explain that eat as close to mother nature as possible and consume the most nutrient dense plant-based foods on planet like coconut, seeds, green vegetables and herbs etc to lead a healthy and happy life.
    http://toptenstuff.in/ten-uses-of-aromatic-thyme/

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  4. Will aromatic pest control deter honey bees from pollinating the desired plants they're close to?

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  5. Do you have any citations for research done on the effectiveness of these plants? Just curious if there is deductive inquiry going on related to these topics. Thanks, grad student in MO

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  6. This is the type of information I’ve long been trying to find. Thank you for writing this information.
    הרחקת יונים

    ReplyDelete