“Companion Planting” (Plants which help each other GROW!). Tips from a fellow grower.

You may think each vegetable/herb or fruit needs to have its own space separate from any other plants on your plot? Not so!

Some plants actually help support each other when planted together. This is called Companion Planting.

Companion Planting is like a ‘buddy’ system. Plot holders who practice companion planting can discourage harmful pests, let their plants feed one another and encourage beneficial bacteria to grow in the soil – which helps each plant to grow better. In the past 40-50 years, it has become clear that if you grow two or three different plants together, if they are identified as being companions, they can actually help each other to grow better.  

Here are some examples of natural “companion plants” and the vegetables/herbs/fruits which can be planted with them – so they can help each other!

Asparagus.

This is a good companion. Plant next to: Herbs: Dill, Coriander, Parsley, Comfrey. Tomatoes and Marigolds.

Basil.

Basil tastes delicious cooked with tomatoes. It can also improves their growth and flavor if planted next to tomato plants in the ground or in a hanging basket. Other vegetables Basil can be planted next to include: Peppers, Oregano, Asparagus. Basil also supports Petunias when planted next to this flower. It also helps to keep mosquitoes and flies away.

Beans. 

Beans add valuable natural nitrogen taken from the air to soil. Plant with: Carrots, Celery, Chard, Eggplant, Peas, Potatoes, Cabbages, beets, Radishes, Strawberries and Cucumbers. Corn uses a lot of nitrogen, so beans planted near corn will help the corn grow high. French Harcourt beans, Sweet Corn and Melons are three plants which grow very well together. Do not plant beans near Alliums or onions.

Borage.

This plant grows very pretty light blue/purple flowers. The leaves both contain Vitamin C and are rich in potassium and calcium. Both leaves and flowers are pretty in salads. The flowers can be dipped in sugar syrup and  used as cake decorations. This plant is great planted next to: Tomatoes, Squash, Strawberries and most other plants. It ‘keeps away’ tomato horn-worms and cabbage worms. It also attracts a lot of bees! *Note-Borage and Strawberries help each other grow pest-free.

Cabbage and Clover.

Clover grown between cabbage plants can reduce cabbage worm populations by interfering with their colonization and increasing the number of predatory ground beetles. Cabbage also does well planted next to: Celery, Dill, Onions and Potatoes.

If you plant Chamomile with cabbagge, this also improves a Cabbage’s growth and flavor. However-be careful Cabbage does not get along with Strawberries, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplants, Rue, Grapes or Pole Beans.   

Garlic.

When this is planted near roses, it keeps away aphids. It also benefits Apple Trees, Pear Trees, Cucumbers, Peas, Lettuce and Celery.

Lettuce.

Does well planted with: Beets, Pole Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumbers, Onions, Radishes and Strawberries. Lettuce grows well n the shade of sunflowers!

Mint.  

Mint  deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas and aphids.  Earthworms also are attracted to mint, and will live in the soil near it=which helps your soil! Mint has very invasive roots (they like to travel)-so be sure to plant it in a pot to keep Mint separate from ground plants!

More Companion Plants to Follow Next Week!

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