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Cathie Rowand / The Journal Gazette
Cucumbers need plants nearby that attract beneficial insects to help attack the cucumber beetles.

Misguided thoughts

Last year I had a problem with cucumber beetles. The beetles killed off most of my plants with the bacterial wilt that they are so good at spreading. I ended up just having enough cucumbers to eat but not enough to share with my neighbors or can.

Somehow I thought that the beetles were hanging out in my purple coneflowers and if I transplanted these flowers from the vegetable garden, I would have fewer problems.

As soon as the plants came up this season I transplanted to other places in my yard. Then I started to read about companion planting and I discovered that "Purple cone flowers invites beneficial wasps, flies, spiders, praying mantis and other nice guys (and gals) to the kitchen garden." on the Tractor Supply home page.

Yes, you guessed it. I went and dug up all the purple cone plants I had transplanted and replanted them in my vegetable garden. Fortunately, it has been raining a lot so my plants didn't notice

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer), Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer), Frank Noonan (copy editor) and Cathie Rowand (photographer)