I've been dabbling with companion plants to help keep pests at bay this year in the veg patch. I'm by no means an expert, but I have found it surprisingly effective so thought I would share my learnings!
Firstly, I have planted a big patch of nasturtiums just a few metres away from the raised beds. So far this seems to have worked wonders at keeping cabbage white butterflies entertained, and they've hardly touched my beautiful cavolo nero kale! I do have a net over the kale as well, but they seemed to sneak in through the gaps in previous years to lay their eggs and the caterpillars soon made light work of my veg, so I'm pleased to be winning the battle this year. Nasturtiums are a success.
Next, I followed the advice of a friend and planted rows of onions and carrots next to each other - apparently the onion scent deters carrot fly which is something I've struggled with in the past. I couldn't say for sure that it has worked, but the one bunch of carrots we harvested last weekend were in perfect condition!
Finally, I've been putting marigolds all over the shop, in amongst the raised beds, to try and keep aphids down. I'm not convinced as I did find a few aphids on some plants, but we will see over the next few weeks.
All in all, I think it has been helpful to try these things, so I'll definitely read up a bit more and try again next spring!