Spring Experience – Gardening

Most of us have been out in our would-be gardens by now – tilling or planting – so today’s post should be helpful. I’ve consulted The Old Farmer’s Almanac for various tips about gardening.

These tips aren’t just about planting – they are for you, too, the gardener. I’ve included some advice on what plants you can plant with your vegetables to attracts, birds, bees and butterflies, and also plants to keep pests away from your vegetables naturally. That means no pesticides that could hurt helpful bugs, and no chemical residue that you and your family could end up eating!

But first – an appropriate thought from Georgia O’Keefe: “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it is your world for a moment.” Nice.

Down to business:

What to plant to attract . . . :

bees: plant chives in the garden, as well as various flowering shrubs and plants.

hummingbirds: plant any of the following: bee balm, butterfly bush, clover pink, daylily, foxglove, larkspur, lupine, petunia, summer phlox and verbena

butterflies: all year long, plants are needed to serve as hosts for butterfly eggs, food for larvae (caterpillars) and nectar for adults. Some suggestions are: flowering dogwood, red bud, azalea, butterfly bush, spirea, sweet box, viburnum, creeping phlox, lobelia, butterfly milkweed, vinca (periwinkle), snapdragon, zinnia, Mexican heather, lantana – and many more.

What to plant to repel . . . :

mosquitoes: basil, mint, geraniums

aphids: catnip (and use ladybugs – a natural predator of aphids)

ants: tansy

cabbage worms and moths: hyssop, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme

potato bugs: dead nettle, flax, horseradish

tomato hornworms: borage, basil

nematodes: marigold

squash bugs: nasturtium

carrot flies: leek, rosemary, sage


  • Fish meal is an excellent fertilizer.

  • Before you work in the garden, gently stretch the muscles of your arms, legs and lower back

  • Use tender, chemical-free dandelion leaves in a green salad.

  • Plant flowering annuals during the light of the Moon (between new and full).

  • For a harvest that lasts all summer, sow beans every 2 weeks.

  • Straw, grass clippings and seaweed are good organic mulches.

  • To prevent spreading plant diseases, don’t work in the garden when it is wet.

Happy gardening!

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