Companion Planting

Companion planting is growing certain plants near one another so that they can be of mutual benefit or specifically for pest control.

One plant may assist another by repelling or attracting insects, providing shade, attracting pollinating bees, repelling pests such as deer or mice, occupying different root zones, or even by decomposing into nutrients needed and absorbed by the other plant. Plants can also be considered “companion plants” if they mature at different times when planted together..

Companion planting can mean matching up garden vegetables together so that each benefits from the other. For example, pea, beans, and other pod-type vegetables harbor bacteria in their roots that capture nitrogen from the air, making this important nutrient readily available to neighboring plants. As a result, these plants are good companions to most root vegetables, including carrots, turnips, radishes, and beets.

Companion planting can be matching herbs with vegetables. Pests and insects can be repelled by many aromatic herbs which can be grown between vegetable crops to the benefit of the entire garden.

Many gardeners plant a border of aromatic Marigolds around their vegetable garden to repel the Mexican bean beetles and nematodes.

Garlic is a good all purpose pest repellent. Grown in rich soil, it gives off sulfur compounds that kill aphids and onion flies.

Chives, garlic, onions and other members of the allium family are particularly beneficial companions to roses. Besides repelling rose chafers and aphids, and protecting roses from blackspot and mildew, alliums can cause roses to have a stronger scent.

There are exceptions, however. For example, sage has a weakening effect on Beans and Dill has that same effect on carrots.

Also please note that certain herbs such as mint which repels cabbage moths and ants and horseradish which repels bean beetles can quickly take over your garden if planted with the other vegetables. It is safer to plant these in large clay pots and set these pots among the appropriate plants.

To help the beginner understand what plants work best together, I have put together a brief outline, Companion Vegetable Planting Guide” which you will find on my next post.

Hope you try vegetable companion planting…


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