Companion planting is the experienced gardener’s all-time favorite trick to pull out of their magic garden hat.  Growing hardy summer herbs is one of those tricks that I’m sharing with you that makes the best summer, sun-loving, fruit, and vegetable plant companions repel those pesky garden bugs away from your prized plants.

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What makes THESE hardy herbs the best plants in the summer to repel bugs from your other garden plants?

These select herbs (will tell you which ones soon!) are sun-loving making them compatible with other fruit and vegetable sun-loving plants that are most susceptible to bugs.

Other herbs repel bugs too but they can’t handle the heat or full sun to be good companions in the summer garden.

The most common garden pests during the dry and hot months are:

  • Aphids
  • Horn Worms
  • Japenese Beetles
  • Flies
  • Ants
  • Corn Earworm
  • Small White Butterfly

These common garden pests tend to be the hardest to get rid of and these bugs love the sun-loving plants in the summer.

The most common summer fruit and vegetable plants susceptible to these pesky bugs are:

  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Peppers
  • Berries
  • Watermelon
  • Melon
  • Strawberries

These garden plants require full sun. Luckily, we know which bug repelling herbs grow best in full sun too!

What are the hardy summer herbs to plant near the garden to repel bugs?

There are 5 hardy summer herbs that need to be planted close to each other as well as close to the fruit and vegetable plants that have the worst attack from garden bugs.

  1. Basil
  2. Chives
  3. Mint (peppermint + spearmint)
  4. Lemongrass
  5. Thyme

Each of these 5 herbs can handle as much sun as most of the common fruits and vegetable plants listed above.  They need to be kept moist especially during the dry hot days for better results.  Try this tier garden tower! 

Don’t forget the ONLY soil you need (it’s the best).  

The trick only works if you have all 5 together.  Each herb repels different garden bugs.  Some even repel mosquitoes to help keep you safe when you’re gardening.  That’s a big bonus!

Keep yourself even more safe: Most Simple and Effective DIY Mosquito Repellent AND Natural Sunscreen

What garden bugs does each of these herbs repel?

  • Basil – Flies, whiteflies, and mosquitoes
  • Chives – Japanese beetle and aphids
  • Mint (Peppermint) Aphids, flea beetles, squash bugs, whiteflies, and small white.  (Spearmint) Ants, beetles, aphids, squash bugs
  • Lemongrass – Mosquitoes
  • Thyme – Corn earworm, whiteflies, tomato hornworm, and Small White

Each hardy summer herb repels different garden pests and some are also susceptible to certain pests.  This is why it is important to have all 5 of these herbs growing together and close to your main garden.

These herbs are grown very easily in pots or containers.  Keeping them in pots makes it easy to move them around where you need them and to water them a bit more to make sure they are moist. Use this garden trick to help your herbs grow faster and bigger! 

There are 2 other common garden bugs that are not easily repelled by these herbs and some of them are susceptible to their devastation.  These 2 bugs are:

  • Ants
  • Spider mites

How to deal with ants and spider mites in the garden?

The best and most effective way to handle ants is to sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around the garden.  This natural powder won’t harm any plants, safe for kids and dogs, and is very very effective at getting rid of ants.  It’s also effective with fungus gnats in the home if you care for common houseplants.

Diatomaceous Earth not only gets rid of ants, but it can also be an added defense against slugs and snails, caterpillars, aphids, fleas, cockroaches, and bed bugs.  This is very safe to use in the home.

However, be very careful where you put Diatomaceous Earth.  They can harm the good bugs too!  The good bugs are ladybugs, butterflies and bees.  Your garden needs those!

Sprinkle only on the ground where you see the ants.  Diatomaceous Earth gets washed away very easily with water so it won’t be a danger to the good bugs for too long.  Just to be safe, just attack the ants with it.  They will eat it and bring it home with them causing the whole ant colony to die.

NOTE: Most gardeners create a DE barrier around their garden.

Spider mites are a common indoor houseplant pest but they can invade the outdoor garden as well.  Neem oil is your friend here.

Neem oil has been used by natural gardeners for hundreds of years now and 100% safe for everyone including the good bugs.  Spider mites like to lay their eggs on the underside of leaves.  Just spray the underside first thing in the morning or at night a couple times a week.  Maybe less frequent or more depending on if you’re preventing or treating a big spider mite problem.

If you don’t have neem oil on hand and need to take care of spider mites right now, olive oil is the next best garden trick.


The best way to keep bugs away from your fruit and vegetable garden in the hot dry summer months is to grow hardy summer herbs as companion plants.  Preferably in containers to move them around when needed and some herbs can be a bit invasive.

Their magical bug repellent powers work best when all 5 hardy herbs are grown together.

The 5 herbs are basil, chives, mint, lemongrass, and thyme.  All 5 can handle full sun but do require more water on extra hot dry days.

A tier garden tower is recommended for an herb garden for easy moving and watering like this one.

There are 2 other common bugs that these herbs cannot repel that will need to be taken care of in the summer garden.  They are ants and spider mites.  Diatomaceous Earth and Neem Oil work best for these other 2 pests in the garden.