Hello all, I read somewhere Lima Beans when planted next to eggplant would keep Potato Beatles from eating the eggplant.
So this year I tried it. The blurb didn't say how to plant them together or give any details. I transplanted the eggplant (Early Long Purple) in the middle of a 4 foot x 90 foot raised bed on 3 foot centers. I planted 2 rows of baby lima beans (Fordhook) 30 inches apart on the same bed. The limas were planted on 10 inch centers. I also planted an additional 2 hills of limas between each hill of eggplant, so the eggplant were surrounded by lima beans.
I had an extra 6 eggplants, so I planted them on the next raised bed without any limas.
The Potato Beatles started eating and laying eggs on the eggplant the same day I transplanted them. Also flea beatles galore.
I removed the Potato Beatles and their nymphs by hand (wore neoprene gloves and squished them) daily. It was tedious but effective.
This routine continued until the limas got about 6 inches tall, then the Potato Beatles disappeared along with the flea beatles. Neither the Potato Beatles or flea beatles ever bothered the limas.
Also the 6 plants on the other bed were protected by the limas also, so you can plant the limas on an adjacent row and provide protection (I'm having a little trouble picking my eggplant because the lima vines are hiding them).
The only explanation I have is the lima vines have a strong odor (smells like butterbeans in the shell).
I don't use any insecticides or herbicides or commercial fertilizers, only teas. Mostly Garlic, Pepper, and Sage tea with a little Lacto Bacillus inocculant, Horstail tea and a little Palmolive Orange dishwashing liquid added as a sticker, spreader.
When I harvest the limas, I'm going to make a tea from the hulls and vines and save it over the winter to spray on my potatoes and eggplant next year to see if it will work on the beatles until the limas get to an effective size.
If any of you have limas and eggplant growing you might want to make some tea and try it yourselves. Claud