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Why Is Companion Gardening So Good?

InColor Plants Nov 22, 2022 3:19:27 PM
Why Is Companion Gardening So Good?

InColor Is Rooted In Expertise

All forms of life can thrive and benefit from their surroundings and some friends. Planting specific vegetables and flowers near one another has been a time-tested gardening method that both commercial and at home gardeners and farmers have used for years. But what about companion gardening is so beneficial?

Companion gardening is about plants supporting one another to create a vital, genuine environment that is free of pests and diseases. Not only can it attract native pollinators, but companion gardening can deter harmful bugs and molds by enticing other beneficial insects to eat any garden pests that might be lingering.

When planting, its best to place flowers like marigolds or other strong fragrant flowers around the border of your garden to attract these insects. You can also use ground covering plants to block out weeds and protect roots that cannot handle direct sunlight or heat like ground dwelling oregano. Oregano also attracts pollinators and other beneficial insects like lacewings which eat aphids, one of the top garden predators.

When using the right combination of plants, you can greatly enrich the soil around to produce strong, durable, and great tasting crops.

Before you jump into planting, make sure to plan out everything in your garden to ensure the best growth and most beneficial spots for your plants.

Where certain plants go can affect the growth of another, so it is best to do “smart planting” when finding companions.

So, what can be planted next to one another? Learning a bit more about the nutrient needs of your plants is a key step to figuring out where they should or should not go. Peas, for example, are great companions for beans, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, strawberries, potatoes, eggplant, parsley, peppers, and turnips. However, when planted next to anything from the Allium family like garlic, onions and chives, their growth is stunted.

Some plants require higher nutrient needs and can benefit from being near others like nitrogen rich legumes. These plants can also be cut down and mulched to provide nutrients at the end of the growing season or before your next crops.

There are tons of combinations of plants to use near one another for a multitude of reasons. Some popular options are:

  • Zinnias and marigolds are planted near cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables to ward pests such as cabbage flies by attracting ladybugs.
  • Thyme helps detour cabbageworm from many vegetables besides cabbage.
  • Using corn as a shade plant for less sun tolerating plants underneath, such as bush beans and asparagus.
  • Use ‘preventing plants’ like Nasturtiums which attract aphids so those pests don't infest other plants.
  • Basil and Dill are two of several herbs you can plant with tomatoes to prevent pests like tomato hornworms.
  • Basil is also used to detour mosquitos, so plant some near your porch as well for your summer nights outside!
  • Stinging nettle, while seen as a common weed, can be used to push nutrients up from the lower soil to the top for plants looking for food.
  • Lemongrass is also known to be a strong pest deterrent and it goes well with other herbs like mint or flowers like echinacea.

It isn’t hard to see why farmers and gardeners have used companion gardening for generations now. Not only is it a natural pesticide, but it also brings many beneficial pollinators to your backyard that help enrich your plants all while enriching the soil beneath organically.

Try it this next spring in your own garden to get the best garden you can grow!

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