Companion Planting - Niagara College Greenhouse and Nursery


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Companion Planting - Niagara College Greenhouse and Nursery

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Companion Planting - Niagara College Greenhouse and Nursery

  1. 1. Garden Clippings Niagara College Greenhouse & Nursery Success Sheet No. 114 Companion PlantingDefinition vine borer in finding the vines and the pricklyCompanion planting is growing two or more vines discourage raccoons from getting to theplant species together so they can benefit corn plants.from each other. This can be used on any Physical: Tall sun-loving plants shade shorterscale and is sometimes called polyculture. plants, protecting them from the sun andCompanion planting balances an ecosystem, drying winds. Plant canopies can alsoallowing nature to do its job. discourage birds and insects.Benefits Chemical. Some plants capture nutrients thatCompanion planting can reduce the need for can be used by their neighbours, reducing thechemical fertilizers and pesticides. It need to add fertilizers to your garden. Beans,stimulates plant growth and increases crop peas and clover capture nitrogen from the airharvests. It also can reduce your work and for their own use, but Rhizobium bacteriaincrease your enjoyment of your garden. make it available to neighbouring plants such as corn. This reduces the need for nitrogenHistory fertilizer.Although the science behind companion Some plants produce chemicals that repelplanting is relatively new, this technique has a harmful pests without harming the beneficialvery long tradition. It is even mentioned in the insects. For example, African marigoldsBible. Cultures around the world practise release thiopene, which repels nematodes,companion planting in large-scale agriculture making it a good companion for cover crops and nurse crops for grains and This reduces the need to use chemicals forin home gardens. Before scientific explana- insect control.tions, a spiritual belief existed about growingfood. The North American tribes believed the Examples of Plant Combinations Main Crop Good Companion Poor Companion“Three Sisters” (beans, corn, and squash) Cucumber Beans, broccoli, Rue, sagegrew well together because they were a gift celery, peas, radish,from the Great Spirit. lettuce Tomatoes Egg plant, PotatoesFactors asparagus, carrot,Three factors influence beneficial plant cabbage, peas Onions Beets, cabbage, Peasassociations: spatial, physical and chemical. carrotsSpatial: Some plants can be used as a decoy to Beans Cabbage, beets, Onions carrots, corn,attract pests away from the main crop. An tomatoes, squashexample is collard greens, which attract the Potatoes Beans, corn, lettuce, Apples, pumpkins,diamondback moth away from cabbage. The radish tomatoesspatial placement of plants can protect crops Companion planting benefits plants, garden-and promote growth. ers, farmers, the economy and the environ- For example, corn, pumpkin and squash ment around the world.when planted together protect each otherbecause the corn canopy confuses the squash Susan Barbetti, Class of 2007 Niagara College Greenhouse & Nursery Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, 135 Taylor Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0 phone: (905) 641-2252, ext. 4464; fax: (905) 988-4309; e-mail: Website: