Okay, So this year I tried really hard to grow from seedlings I even started weeks ago. Yet, to my horror and anguish I lost the cheap little green house I was using that would have helped me out greatly. I lost many seeds, not just to the greenhouse blowing away but I also lost some to freezing temperatures(frost) and to my inexperience. I have had to buy my plants. And it is impossible to find plants that haven’t been treated with insecticide and/or fungicide and chemical fertilizer so I don’t try. I do plant seeds that are big like squash, watermelon, pumpkins, corn, beans, cucumbers, etc these seeds are really easily germinated and well I can do it with little fuss. I hope to try again with a green house but who knows when I will be able to get the money together to do so.
I do however practice companion planting. This is planting plants next to other plants that either attract beneficial insects or the bad bugs. Some can also sometimes kill harmful things such as nematodes (marigolds) or can actually kill the bug(pyrethrin flowers), or even attract bad bugs so as they stay off of the plant you want to keep. Many can enhance growing such as putting beans with corn the beans add nitorgen to the soil that the corn will need and adding pumpkins (the three sisters). The pumpkins shade the ground to keep out weeds making them easier to manage. You can also plant plants such as dill and parsley to attract butterflies (monarch to your garden). This takes a lot of research and I suggest people do this it helps with the balance of bag to good bugs. You must remember though not all plants like each other some will even cause the death or stunted growth of some plants. So experiment use info from others but try this out.
Sometimes though the bad bugs tend to eat everything in their site till there is nothing left. Which happened to be last year with a beetle I never encountered before. It was like all of a sudden they hatched and they hatched in such numbers that they where eating everything. I am still not sure what Type of bug they where and I could only make an educated guess as to them being a striped cucumber beetle. I had to get pyrethrin spray and kill as many as I could but they decimated my tomatoes and pepper crops with numbers over the night before I found them in the morning. This year I am more perpared since I also got tomato horn worms , cabbage lopers and such I am going to use Bacillus thuringiensis . Which is excellent for killing Caterpillars be careful when spraying so as not to spray other butterfly caterpillars in your garden and read the directions it works better overnight. I also get milky spores and beneficial nematodes to kill some bad beetles larva and beetles themselves.
I have thought about get certain types of beneficial insects and putting them in the garden from a catalog but I don’t think that would be a efficient use of my money being that insects are rather wandering and my garden is not enclosed to keep them in. Not to mention that during certain times of the year they may be without food.
Some helpful books are Rose love garlic, Carrots love tomatoes( my favorite), Great Garden Companions.
Some helpful websites with charts.
and many many others