I have heard of companion planting. What is it and which vegetables and plants work very well together?
Companion planting allows the gardener to maximise the use of sun, soil and moisture to grow mixed crops in one area. In the veggie garden this involves the use of plants that are naturally compatible and those that make demands on the environment at different times. Companion plants can assist main crop plants in a number of ways. For example; by opening up the soil, providing support for growth and by helping keeping it free from pest attacks.
Some examples of companion planting include;
- Beans with Potatoes and cucumbers.
- Carrots with Peas and onions
- Corn with Peas and beans
- Lettuce with Carrots and radish
- Tomatoes with Onions and carrots
The benefits of companion planting bring about balance in the garden through organic control of pests and attracting beneficial insects.
Examples of companion planting for pest control are;
- Onion and leeks will help protect carrots from carrot rust fly by camouflaging their smell.
- Borage, dill, foxglove, flowering parsley and rosemary encourage bees.
- Pyrethrum daisy with its pungent odour can protect against a range of insects.
- Marigold attracts hoverfly which in turn eats aphids, scale and mealy bug and thrips. It also assists with pollination.