I had a helluva time last year with Japanese beetles. They liked my bush beans and cinnamon basil, and they really liked the strawberries.
My poor, poor strawberries. They were attacked by the beetles and got fungus spot. I spent several minutes every morning picking the bugs off and drowning them in soapy water. Some days I'd have a quarter cup of bugs! It was really gross work. I did not like it and I don't want to repeat it.
To avoid that unpleasantness this year, I'm using companion planting to deter the critters. In my online research 2 plants were consistently recommended for discouraging Japanese beetles — rue and garlic. If you don't know what rue is, well, it's a weedy looking, very large and smelly (that's what deters the beetles) plant from the Mediterranean. (And it'll give some people a rash like poison ivy.) Since I don't have a nice big garden where I can put such a plant in the corner (away from my skin) I'm going to go with garlic.
I grew garlic last year (and it was one of my favorite crops), but it was a few feet away from the strawberries. This year I planted garlic bulbs among my new strawberry plants. So now I have 2 crops in 1 pot — it's efficient and the garlic will protect the strawberries.
I'll also inter-plant garlic with the beans...whenever I get around to them. I was going to go to the store and get seeds last night, but I'm trying to ride my bike everywhere (and not drive at all). But it stormed, so I decided to stay dry and put it off for another day.
3 hours ago