What is Companion Planting
Two or more plant types as to be beneficial to each other. Companion planting will help with pest control, higher yields, healthier soil and to keep weeds away.
Some flowers (marigolds, nasturtiums) can act as trap crops to attract insects away from vegetable crops. Aromatic herbs (basil, rosemary, lavender, sage) repel many insects away from more susceptible plants (tomatoes)
Umbel flowers, dill, fennel, parsley attract beneficial insects to the garden. The large flower heads provide a place where they beneficials can land and rest while they feed. Be sure to plant extra around the garden and let them go to seed. You may get some volunteers the next year (from all the seed flying around) but you can just dig those up and transplant them, free plants!
Here are some classic combinations.
3 sisters, corn, beans, squash. Plant corn and beans first, squash a couple of weeks later; beans feed nitrogen into the soil for both corn and squash, the squash leaves will protect the shallow roots of the corn and beans will grow up the corn stalks.
Basil and tomatoes are a classic example of companion planting. Plant carrots around the base of the tomatoes, they’ll be ready for harvest before the tomato plants go wild. No brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts) with tomatoes. No peppers or eggplant near or within the last year in the same spot. They are in the same family and can transfer soil born diseases.
Plant some of the umbel plants near tomatoes for help with hornworm which helps attract parasitic wasps and their larvae will feed on the hornworms.
Beans and potatoes.
While these grow together well don’t plant the beans near the corn as we talked about before. Another row of beans never hurt to have around so plant away from the squash and plant with potatoes. Potato doesn’t like squash, cucumbers or sunflowers.
Lettuce and radish
Both with tolerate less sun than 6 hrs. and the radish will be ready to harvest before lettuce starts getting big, neither one likes the heat.
Sunflowers & Pumpkins
A natural combination that get along well