In our veggie garden aphids and lettuce just seem to go hand in hand. The little buggers just love to get down in the leaves & so far the only control we’ve ever used was to just wash them off when we harvest. I was super excited when I read a great article about planting alyssum among lettuce as aphid control.
Sweet little alyssum attracts a beneficial insect, the hoverfly. Hoverflies lay eggs nearby, then, once hatched, the larvae hop on over to the lettuce aphids and go to work!
I’ve always planted a few flowers, which I refer to as ‘soul food’ among our vegetables. Most were just for beauty, but some have been for their help in detering pests or attracting beneficials. Marigolds are probably the most well-known companion planting flower.
Like other members of the daisy family, marigolds also do their share in feeding nectar to beneficial insects, such as syrphid flies, who prey on aphids and other insects that attack garden plants. Members of the daisy family don’t yield nearly as much nectar as flowers of the parsley family — dill, for instance — but daisy family flowers keep the nectar flowing longer.
I’m going to plant some alyssum in our lettuce beds today. I’m hoping to see great results and if not, then we’ll just enjoy the most beautiful lettuce beds ever!