Growing vegetables in your backyard is a great way to add delicious, nutrient-rich food to your family's diet without adding extra costs to the grocery bill. When using organic growing methods, however, dealing with insects can quickly become a problem. If you are growing an organic garden in your backyard and becoming exasperated with the aphids, mites, flies, and many other types of insects that are attracted to your plants, the following tips can help.

Incorporate plants that help repel insects

Nature has furnished gardeners with many different plants that have qualities capable of repelling insects. To take advantage of these qualities and help reduce pest problems in your garden, consider incorporating several varieties of these plants in or near the space where you grow your vegetables. Here are some plant varieties that will add food value while also helping to repel insects. 

  • dill - provides an edible herb that pairs perfectly with potatoes, salmon, pickles, and many other foods while also helping to repel aphids, cabbage loopers, tomato worms, and squash bugs
  • basil - provides a bright flavor for sauces, meats, and pesto while also helping to repel pesky flies and mosquitoes
  • fennel - a delicious addition to soups, roasted meats, and roasted vegetable medleys, fennel is also an effective way to discourage troublesome slugs and snails from your plants
  • mint - is a prolific plant that adds fresh flavor to lamb dishes, iced teas, and even ice cream while also helping to keep mosquitoes and other flying insects at bay
  • chives add a zesty flavor to creamed soups and baked or mashed potatoes while also having the power to deter many type of beetles and aphids

Repel pests with soapy water

Another good way to make your vegetables taste bad to interloping insects is to spray the stems and leaves with soapy water. To make the mixture, simply mix one quart of room temperature water with one teaspoon of plain dish soap and apply by misting lightly with a spray bottle. Be sure to use a dish soap with few additives. Since it will be only a light application of soapy water, it will be easy to remove with a simple rinse after the plants are harvested. 

If you find that your garden is under siege and you are not able to repel the pests using these or other DIY methods, it may be time to consult with your garden center or plant supplier for stronger options. In most cases, they will be able to help you select a powerful, natural plant pesticide that is well suited for any type of home garden or agricultural application.