Gardening seems like a pretty easy hobby. Pick some plants you like to eat, put them in good soil, nurture them and harvest food for your family.
In a nutshell, gardening can be that simple. For beginning gardeners, I recommend the methods I talk about in the beginner gardening series to perfect this process.
But there are some advanced methods you can use to increase your gardening yields; companion planting is one of these advanced methods.
What is companion planting?
Companion planting is grouping plants together in your garden that help each other grow.
Planting certain plants together help all of the plants benefit.
On the other hand, there are certain plants that don’t do well together. You should keep these plants in a different box or a few rows over from each other, depending on your garden layout.
Why is it helpful for your garden?
There are plants in your garden that grow well together and plants that don’t. By knowing which is which, you can group them accordingly to increase harvest.
You can also decrease insect problems by strategically planting certain plants near each other.
Companion plants offer shade, loosen the soil, or need the same nutrients to grow, which make vegetable gardening tasks easier for the gardener.
What plants like each other?
Three sisters method:
The Native Americans use this method of planting corn, beans and squash together for mutual benefit.
- Corn provides a natural trellis for beans to climb, and bean vines stabilize corn plants.
- Beans also infuse the soil with nitrogen, enhancing the growth of the corn and squash.
- Squash vines create a mulch-like soil surface, preventing moisture from evaporating, and the prickly squash puts off predators from getting too close.
- That is what I call a win-win for everyone.
Other positive companions:
Asparagus with Tomatoes, Parsley and Basil
Beans with Eggplant
Beets and mint
Broccoli and/or cabbage with onions, garlic and leeks
Carrots with leeks and beans
Cucumbers with radish, beets and carrots
Garlic with beets
Eggplant with marigolds and mint
Lettuce with radish and carrots
Peas with beans and corn
Pumpkins with corn and squash
Tomatoes with parsley, carrot, celery, cucumber, onion and peppers
What plants don’t like each other?
Carrots with dill
Tomatoes with beans, broccoli, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, kale and potatoes
Which plants will companion with almost all other plants?
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Herbs and Flowers to Plant with your Vegetables to Deter Pests:
Marigolds, nasturtiums, geraniums, dahlias, and chrysanthemums make great companion plants with your vegetables.
Borage and lemon balm can be used to help attract bees to the garden to help with plant pollination.
The following plants repel mosquitos in your garden: basil, bee balm, catmint,catnip, citronella grass, lavender, lemon balm and eucalyptus.
Again, this is an advanced gardening technique. If you have already planted, don’t rip out your plants because they aren’t companioned correctly! They will still grow.
But if you haven’t planted yet, following these guidelines can help with increased yield and pest control. For those reasons, it is worth trying to put plants together that are mutually beneficial to each other.
Do you have any tips or tricks for companion planting? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!