What is companion planting and why you need to master it?
Companion Planting, Vegetables, and You
Have you ever heard of the topic of companion planting? No doubt you’ve heard it mentioned once before and wondered what that meant.Simply put it’s a common strategy to employby planting crops that are in sync with one another. If you have enough gardening experiecne you can choose plants that will have a “quid pro quo” with certain others. Some go together well adn some do not.
What are the Benefits of Companion Planting with Vegetables?
I’m glad you asked. There are many, so let’s break that subject apart…
Weed Control: Planting compatible crops togethr is one way you coan starve off weeds. Easier said than done whatever you can do with getting weeds under control, bt this is one way to get a leg up by making it more difficult.
Improvement of the Soil: By planting crops that potentiate each other, you can see both crops (or a small grouping) will be able to use the soil nutrients in a way that benefits all of them equitably. In other words, one plant type won’t take in all the nutrients leaving the others without.
Providing support: Physical support in the form of height when paired with shorter, bushier plants, or those that have climbing vines, those plants that have to climb will have ready made structure to climb up on. It’s important for crops like cucumbers to be off the ground, a compatible plant could act as a trellis.
Balancing out elements: As different plants have varying needs of sun exposure , the plants that need full sun and plants that can do well in shade can have a symbiotic relationship so they both can thrive if planted int eh same bed together. Of course it aslo depends on your outdoor landscape and if there are shade trees around or not, etc. Also things like natural phenomena, gusty winds won’t be as ikely to topple plants that have enough support from those that bolster them in the same space.
Natural pest repellant: Some plant types emit an odor (like certian herbs) that certain pests find repugnant and if planted next to your food crops, can help deter them. For example, a flower like marigolds is abhorrent to some pests of tomatoes so planting of them is encouraged in their proximity. Not to mention a few flowers can make it look even better too!
Health of plants: By planting compatible plants with each other can bolster up root growth and health, foliage adn fruiting too.
One good example of enhancing compatibility is the three sisters approach: Beans, squash and corn, which is a centuries old technique. Corn stalks are tall, beans that vine can climb up the stalks, and squash which always grows close to the ground can be shaded by the corn height.
Some examples of good plant pairing:
Tomatoes/Dill/Basil: Basil and dill are two herbs that can help repel pests.
Carrots-Beans, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes
ZUcchini/Benas, corn, radishes
Don’t forget there are some mismatches, too…in which plant types that are inharmonious should not be planted together, these include:
The allium family (onions, garlic, etc.) with beans
Strawberries should not be planted with nightshades
Well that’s the meat of it, good luck and let me know in the comments about plant companions that have worked for you.