Just like human beings, plants also have friends and enemies. For some reason or other, some plants seem to grow best when in the company of certain plants. Companion planting is the act of deliberately growing plants together in a close proximity to create a mutually beneficial relationship that encourages plants to grow and stay healthy, while deterring harmful pests. In addition, plants can help each other provide nutrients in the soil, offer protection from the elements and attract beneficial pests to the garden. For instance, taller plants can provide shade for sun-sensitive shorter plants.
While there is a long history of companion gardening, the reasons as to why it is successful is still unclear. Most of the knowledge comes from folklore and experience, not from scientific research. That being said, many experienced gardeners swear by companion planting! Here are some of the most popular companion planting combinations:
- Plant marigolds (tagetes species) with tomatoes, strawberries and potatoes. The pungent scent of the marigolds will deter flies and other pests from your tomatoes.
- Plant members of the allium family (i.e garlic, chive, onion, leeks) with roses. The scent is known to ward off pests.
- Plant borage with tomatoes and strawberries to repel tomato worms and add nutrients to the soil.
- Nasturtiums planted with cucumber, squash and other vegetables will repel aphids, cucumber beetles and other pests.
- Tomatoes and roses planted together will protect roses from black spot.
Try some of these companion tips and let us know if they actually work!
- Companion planting (aristonorganic.wordpress.com)
- Revealed: Why Marigolds and Nasturtiums in Your Vegetable Garden? (naturalremediesblog.net)