Planting Tomatoes as Pest Control in Michigan Gardens
Before you reach for the pesticide to keep insects under control in your Michigan garden, consider planting tomatoes for a natural solution.
Planting Tomatoes as Pest Control in Michigan
Tomatoes have long been a staple in gardens across America, and with the growth of the organic and pesticide-free movement, their popularity has seen an even greater increase. Planting tomatoes in your Michigan garden is a great way to keep common pests at bay while adding a delicious and hearty staple to your vegetable patch.
When planting tomatoes, keep in mind that their natural habitat is that of Mexico and South America, which have rainy spring seasons followed by dry and hot summers. To mimic this as closely as possible in Michigan, choose early varieties that will bloom soon enough in the season to enjoy the early spring rains. Some of these ideal varieties include Santiam, Early Girl, Summerset and Oregon Spring. To avoid the dangers of a late frost, it’s best to start your new tomato plants indoors and then move them outside once the threat of frost has passed.
The magical built-in insecticide that helps keep pesky pests away is called solanine. This insecticide is found in species of the nightshade family, which can also include eggplants and potatoes. What’s great about the solanine found in tomatoes and other nightshade foods is that the insecticide is present in every part of the plant, including the fruit, tubers and leaves, so the entire plant is protected.
If your Michigan garden is having issues with insects and pests, before you reach for the insecticides found at the local hardware store, try adding the helpful power of solanine from tomatoes to your vegetable patch. These wonderful fruits are often incorrectly associated with the vegetable family and are excellent sources of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, biotin, vitamin B6 and niacin, so they are good for much more than keeping the pests away.
For those gardeners who are also pet lovers, a word of caution — tomatoes and other nightshade plants are toxic to pets, so keep the family cat and dog out of the vegetable patch after adding tomatoes to your rotation.
Fit Turf has been helping people in Michigan keep their gardens free of pests for over a decade. If you have some truly stubborn insects that won’t be deterred by tomatoes, fear not! Check out our complete list of services and then give Fit Turf a call at 248-686-3900 — we’ll come take care of the problem quickly and efficiently.