A Guide to Companion Planting 

Companion Planting is an Important Part of Gardening

Companion planting is a popular topic for gardeners, but only some know how it works. Companion planting is the practice of companion planting to increase the benefits of gardens. It can help provide food, reduce pest problems, protect from pests and diseases, and attract beneficial insects. In addition to plants grown together in a garden bed or container, companion plants may include soil amendments like compost piles or worm composting bins, as well as plant supports like trellises or fences. There are also many other approaches to maintaining your garden soil and aiding its development other than using only one method at any given time.

Companion planting is a method for increasing your plants’ health, growth and productivity by adding beneficial organisms to help with various aspects of soil health. Companion planting is not just about adding herbs; it’s about creating complex soil habitats that access the full range of micro-organisms and nutrients, including those in the understory and overstory, which are largely inaccessible to the average gardener. These “companion” plants act as teachers. They help you understand how various organisms symbiotically interact, what they do and how they do it. The best part is that many companion vegetables are edible! And these edible companions also have a host of other benefits:

1) Aids in soil aeration through root uptake. Roots are a great way to aerate soil because they extend deep into the earth. The deeper the roots, the more soil that can be oxygenated. Vegetables with extensive root systems, like beets, carrots, rutabaga and radishes, pull nutrients from deep in the soil. They are also great at breaking up compacted soil and making it lose and friable.

2) Increased nutrients in the soil. As their roots break down, they release nutrients which enrich the topsoil.

3) Increased water retention in the soil by reducing evaporation of moisture and by providing shading to help with plant cooling during hot summer days (ex: potatoes). When you can minimize sunlight, the plant’s food needs decrease and need less water.

4) Increases the nitrogen in the soil. Most plants cannot survive without it. Nitrogen is a critical component of amino acids that are essential for life but also helps build strong plants, rich soil and abundant harvests. Bacteria and fungi in a healthy garden break down nitrogen compounds into forms that plants can use.

5) Decrease insect damage like aphids, destructive insects like Japanese beetles, cabbage worms, or other small pests like slugs or snails. The reason is that companion plants attract beneficial insects which eat the pests. Some examples are nasturtiums, used to repel cabbage moths from Brassica plants like cabbage or kale.

6) Repels destructive insects like huge bugs, fields or grasshoppers or other harmful garden insects. Many plants send off scent messages to predatory wasps and flies, which go away when they smell them. These same scents also repel some of the most common garden pests, so if you plant the proper companions, you can cut back entirely on pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Some examples of companion plants that repel pests are: mint or catnip (which repels mice), onions and garlic (also repel mice), marigolds, nasturtiums, and tansy are used to repel cabbage moths, and eggplant is used to repel Japanese beetles. Some other companion plants include:

7) Protect your plants against frost. Some vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, need a lot of warmth over the winter months, but they cannot take the temperatures in their seedling stage. If you plant them near a tall green hedge, they will get some protection from the cold air even if they don’t get any sun.

8) Companion planting helps to attract birds. This is a plus for the gardener because you can see the birds up close. Birds can eat many of your garden pests, so plant attract beneficial insects and birds that like to eat them.

9) Fertilizer: Many companion plants also positively affect the soil’s fertility by acting as compost materials, providing nitrogen and other nutrients, or acting as natural stimulants in the soil. For example, marigolds are highly digestible, and their roots release potassium and phosphorus into the soil, which are great nutrients for growing potatoes and cabbage. Marigolds also help keep pests away from these types of plants.

10) Companion planting helps plants to grow faster by providing them with more nutrients and water. Some examples are tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and garlic between tomato and corn; beans at the base of corn stalks; basil between tomato and squash.

11) Companion planting is a great way to save space in garden beds or containers when growing vegetables. The reason is that it allows plants to grow nearby, sharing resources like soil moisture and sunlight, helping complete their production. Use companion planting techniques to get the most out of your little room if you have small spaces like a raised bed, box container or hanging basket.

12) Companion planting is a great way to use up garden space. The reason is that when you surround a tall plant with shorter plants, the taller one can’t get much of the light and therefore doesn’t grow as well. This is good for you because it means more space for future crops of higher value. Some examples are: It’s possible to use companion planting to use up all the space on your outdoor balcony or rooftop! For instance: grow herbs and tomatoes together and place a few giant raspberries between them to create more room in your flowerbed.

13) Companion planting can be used to clarify horticultural peat. Peat is an excellent material for growing vegetation, but it gets very compacted when used as a growing media. For example A field can look like a mud puddle after it has rained in the summer, which makes it hard to work and easy to get bogged down. This is where companion planting comes in handy because the tight-knit relationship between plants may help them stay more healthy and vigorous; the lack of loose soil holds less water, so fewer weeds grow, and plants nearby drain off less water than would otherwise be the case.

In conclusion, companion planting is a great thing to do in your garden to get the most out of your space and use it properly. Companion plants feed off each other, help each other thrive, and provide a good service by consuming any pests that might try to take over your garden. Many gardeners think companion planting is strange when they first start planting their gardens, but once they learn it, they are glad they did as it does work as well as it sounds.


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