Reduce or eradicate the need for chemical pest control completely with companion planting!
Companion Planting is an intermixing of aromatic flowers and herbs for the mutual benefit of the plant. For instance…planting Marigolds with your tomatoes will deter a number of insects & caterpillars. In addition to reducing (or replacing!) harsh pesticides by planting beneficial plants together, companion planting has been shown to create a higher crop yield.
Some plants release nutrients into the soil, which prevents the need for fertilizers the following season (For example- Legumes release nitrogen into the soil). This method of gardening is a great way to begin organic gardening!
In addition to being a benefit in growth rates and avoiding the use of chemical pesticides, companion planting also has a tendency to improve the flavor and nutrient content of the fruits and vegetables.
For example, planting sunflowers between cucumber plants not only provide the plant with beneficial shade and natural vining material, the sunflowers also absorb the chemical in cucumbers that can create a bitter flavor, resulting in considerably sweeter cucumbers.
You may have heard of “The 3 Sisters”, planting a combination of corn, pole beans and squash.
As the corn grows tall, it provides a natural trellis for the beans. Corn roots tend to grow fairly shallow, while the roots of beans tend to be much deeper, giving the corn added security and strength. The beans produce and deposit nitrogen into the soil naturally, which the corn and squash both require.
Squash naturally provide a mulch to both the beans and corn which helps them to retain moisture (and reduce the need for additional watering). In addition, the leaves of the squash are quite prickly which create a natural deterrent to many animals that might otherwise make a meal of the plants. These types of natural symbiotic relationships are the key to natural, organic gardening.
Here is a chart that shows some common items, what to plant near them (aka Good Companions) and how they help.
Companion Planting Guide for Your Vegetables
|The following table should act as a guide|
|Plant||Good Companion||How it Helps|
|Anise||Coriander||Aids the growth and flavor of Anise.|
|Asparagus||Parsley or basil||Controls Asparagus beetles.|
|Basil, Sweet||throughout garden||Enhances the flavor and growth of everything around it.|
|Carrots||Sage, cabbage, chives, leeks, onions, peas, radishes, salsify||Deters carrot (rust) flies.|
|Chamomile||throughout garden||Brings overall health to the garden. Attracts good insects.|
|Chervil||Radishes||One plant requires heavy nutrients while the other requires very little.|
|Chives||Carrots, grapes, roses, and tomatoes||Curb Japanese Beetles, and black spot.|
|Corn||Snap beans or soybeans||Enhances growth of corn.|
|Cosmos||throughout garden||Pest insects won’t come near it, but it will attract pollinating|
|Cucumbers||Sunflowers, beans, cabbage, corn, radishes||Radishes deter Cucumber beetles, sunflowers absorb the component|
that creates bitter cucumbers
|Dill||broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Cucumber, Lettuce,|
|Greatly enhances flavor & growth of cabbage family plants|
|French Marigolds||throughout garden||Strong odor confuses pests looking for their favorite plant.|
|Garlic||throughout garden||Repels aphids and beetles.|
|Marjoram||All Garden Crops||Stimulates Vegetable Growth|
|Mustard||Alfalfa, Beans, fruit trees, grapes, legumes||One plant requires heavy nutrients while the other requires very little, this stimulates rapid growth|
|Mints||Cabbage, strawberries||Deters aphids and other aphid pests, as well as ants who invade|
|Nasturtiums||throughout garden||Repels aphids and white flies.|
|Onions||Carrots||The two combined help to control rust flies and some nematodes.|
|Oregano||all Garden Crops||Deters most insect pests|
|Parsley||Corn, Roses, Tomatoes|
|Peanuts||Corn||Increases yields of both crops.|
|Peas||Lettuce, spinach, and Chinese cabbage||Benefit from the shade and wind protection peas provide.|
|Potatoes||Horseradish and/or tansy||Plant plenty for maximum benefits in attempt to ward off Colorado Potato Beetles.|
|Radishes||Squash, cucumbers, and/or Carrots||Great deterrent against Cucumber Beetles and Rust flies. Also|
eliminates diseases spread by these plants.
|Rue||throughout garden||Disagreeable taste and bad odor sends even persistent pests on their way.|
|Sage||Strawberries, Cabbage, and/or Tomatoes||Deters unwanted pests and benefits each other in garden.|
|Savory||throughout garden||Ideal planting crop. Attracts good insects.|
|Spinach||Beans or tomatoes, strawberries||Benefits from the shade both plants provide.|
|Strawberries||Borage or sage||Enhances flavor of fruit and strengthens plant’s resistance to|
insects and diseases.
|Tansy||Cabbage and/or potatoes||Deters Cutworms, Cabbage Worms, and Colorado Potato Beetles.|
|Thyme||Tomatoes and/or cabbage||All three together control Flea Beetles, Cabbage Maggot, White|
Cabbage Butterflies, Colorado Potato Beetles, and imported Cabbage Worms
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / swellphotography