I have heard about companion planting for a long time but never understood what it really was. My thoughts were that companion planting is what you were doing when you planted things together to make them look good. Then I thought it was something like using corn stalks to support growing beans. I guess I was a bit off.
What is Companion Planting
When I read the following article I nearly slapped myself in the forehead as I had heard that before and it just slipped right out of my thoughts. So it’s good to know what it really is and I’ll be using some of the tips in the following article to make it work in our vegetable garden. So on with the definition.
Companion planting is the method of planting specific plants in close proximity to another because one can benefit the other. Now that I have read the article I can remember way back to my childhood and vaguely remember my mother telling me something about planting marigolds in and around the vegetable garden. I imagine I nodded and then went back to my little cars and the area of dirt I played in next to the vegetable garden.
The practice of companion planting has been utilized for decades because my mom told me about it more than 50 years ago. I had just forgot most of what she told me long before ever having a vegetable garden of our own and by then she was no longer around to give me guidance.
Companion planting is a great option for the many organic gardeners today, myself included. Anything I can do that help me without using pesticides.
Like Mom said, plant marigolds in your vegetable garden is beneficial to your plants that are susceptible to aphid infestations.
Plus Marigold plants have gorgeous flowers, and they’ve a natural ability to repel aphids in your garden.
All you need to do is to check to see what pests each of your vegetables or other plants have and if aphids are on the list plant a marigold close to them.
If you find some of your plants are consistently being munched on by these harmful critters get another marigold and plant it close, problem solved and you plants will gain back their health if it’s not gone to far.
Plant Beans For Nitrogen
Add legumes to your plant garden. If you should notice that your soil is lacking in nitrogen, plant several legumes.
The roots of the legume plant are renowned for releasing nitrogen into the soil that they live in, meaning that it is no longer essential to add fertilizer or chemicals to keep your current and future crops healthy.
As I was saying at the beginning I have seen beans/legumes planted with the corn. It gives the beans a pole to climb and in return feeds the soil the nitrogen it needs.
Plant rosemary or geraniums near your cabbage plants and broccoli. Rosemary naturally repels the cabbage fly and geraniums can trap cabbage worms. The addition of these plants in proximity to your cabbage and broccoli plants will provide help to keep them more healthy, free from pests, and free from the dangerous illnesses that pests can cause too.
As you can see, companion planting involves a big range of plants and it can be beneficial to any garden. When you use this method properly, your plants will become healthier and you will really help to stop the need for mostly harmful chemicals and additives to your soil. This guide is only the beginning, so continue to research plants that are favourable to each other. Gardening will get more enjoyable when you follow this healthy practice!
Jane Clayton has been a gardener for 25 years and she regularly practices companion planting. She is the head of her local food gardening club and in addition has won various awards for her vegetable gardening for beginners books.