Companion Planting Fact Sheet - Sustainability Gardening Australia
Companion Planting – Fact Sheet Compiled By Brian SamsSource : http://www.sgaonline.org.au/info_companion_planting.htmlThis great article is reproduced with permission from SGAonline.Once the realm of the hardcore, hippy, home gardener, companion plantingis now an incredibly popular practice - from beginner gardeners right up tolarge-scale agriculture. But, despite its popularity (its huge in Europe),companion planting is often misunderstood, misused and misrepresented asthe "cure-all solution" to problems in the vegetable patch.So what is companion planting? Essentially, its a method of growing plantstogether, with the idea that they will assist each other in some way, likedeterring pests, improving growth, enhancing flavour, attracting beneficialinsects, fixing nitrogen, disrupting "patterns" and trap cropping. But, just aswe have good neighbours, there are bad neighbours as well. Some plantsreally dislike each other, and shouldnt be planted in close quarters, lest oneof them struggle or meet its untimely demise.Mythbusters - Does it Actually Work?Now, the "Big Question": does it work? Well, yes and no. There is a fairlylimited amount of actual scientific information on companion planting, but it issafe to say that some combinations do seem to work, while others can be abit hit and miss. Why? Well, for starters, companion planting is a northernhemisphere concept that works a treat up there, but not as well down here inAustralia.
Secondly, it doesnt work so well because it isnt understood. Weve all heardthat basil and tomatoes should be planted together, but why? How many ofeach is required? Is one basil per tomato enough? Who benefits? What arewe deterring? Does it enhance flavour? For years, I planted one basil plantnext to each of my tomatoes, and guess what? Nothing happened. Therewas no discernable difference in taste. Nothing seemed to be encouraged ordeterred. Nothing grew better or worse than it had before, there was simplyno advantage, other than me not having to walk so far to make a pastasauce!Do you know why? Because, for basil to successfully repel flies fromtomatoes, an absolute shovel-load of basil is required in your patch. Imtalking several basil plants for each tomato, and even then it wont repel fruitfly. I love basil as much as the next gardener, but I dont love it that much,and, to be honest, Ive never had an issue with flies on my tomatoes. Butwho knew this? And how many of us think that this is the quick fix for all ourgarden woes?Get Your Fix - Companions that Work!Well, companion planting CAN be the quick fix, and heres how: biodiversity!The best thing about companion planting is that it increases the biodiversityof your patch; that is, the variety of life forms in your garden. Some of thegreatest companion plants in my garden are those which have nothing to dowith my vegetable patch, but are the awesome locally native trees andshrubs I have planted about the place. Clever planning (if I do say so myself)has meant that my garden is never without blossom, and is therefore neverwithout the array of critters that come with that: birds, pollinating insects (likebutterflies, bees, and native wasps), reptiles, beetles and all sorts of helpfulgarden buddies.By encouraging this assortment of good guys, my garden is almostcompletely without the bad guys, who never get a foothold in numbers thatmatter to me anyway! Remember, a lettuce leaf with a hole in it doesntrequire chemical warfare, nor does it signal an attack of the dreadedmunchies! So now that Ive put you off companion planting all together, letme say that I reckon there are some combinations that really work, especiallythose that involve plants that have a fair odour to them. Also, there aredefinitely combinations that dislike each other, so Ive made for you, dearreaders, what is possibly the most comprehensive companion planting chartin the known universe.
Sustainable Gardening Australia presents:The most comprehensive companion planting chart in the knownuniverse (maybe) Good BadPlant How it works Neighbours Neighbours Nasturtium climbs Nasturtium,Apple tree and is said to Potatoes Chives repel codling moth Basil and tansy are Basil, Tansy,Apricot said to repel Asparagus damaging insects Basil and Parsley are Apricot, Basil, said to improve Chives, Comfrey, flavour. Onions andAsparagus Garlic, Onions Lovage, Marjoram, garlic release Parsley, Tomatoes substances reducing growth. Attracts bees, said toBalm Tomatoes enhance flavour and(Lemon) growth Basil said to repelBasil Tomatoes flies and mosquitoes Broccoli, Brussel Beetroot, Sprouts, Cabbage, Chives, Garlic,Beans Carrots, Gladiolus,(climbing) Cauliflower, Corn, Onions, Lettuce, Lovage, Sunflower Majoram, Parsley Beans (bush), Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Bad Neighbours Cauliflower, Kohl Beans roots releaseBeetroot Rabi, Lettuce, (Climbing), substances reducing Lovage, Marjoram, Tomato growth Onion, Peas, Potato, Spinach, Silverbeet Said to deter tomatoBorage Squash, worm and improve Strawberries, tomato flavour and
Good BadPlant How it works Neighbours Neighbours Tomato yield. Said to increase strawberry yield. Beans, Beetroot, Dill attracts a Carrots, Cabbage White Chamomile, Butterfly controlling Coriander, wasp. NasturtiumBrassicas Cucumber, Dill, disguises and repels(Incl: Lettuce, Lovage, aphids. Sage repels Garlic, Rue,Broccoli, Marjoram, the Cabbage White Strawberry,Cabbage, Marigold (French), Butterfly. Zinnias TomatoCauliflower) Mint, Nasturtium, attract ladybirds, Pea, Potato, which we love! Bad Rosemary, Sage, Neighbours roots Tansy, Thyme, release substances Zinnias reducing growthCapsicum, Carrots, Onions,Chilli Tomato Beans, Chives, Coriander, Cucumber, Leeks, Bad Neighbours Lettuce, Lovage, roots releaseCarrots Dill, Celery Marjoram, Onion, substances reducing Pea, Radish, growth Rosemary, Sage, Tomato Cabbage, Chives, Dill, Dwarf Beans, Bad Neighbours Leek, Lovage, roots release Carrots,Celery Majoram, Onion, substances reducing Parsnip, Potato Pea, Sage, growth Spinach, Tomato Deters flies and mosquitoes.Chamomile Cabbage, Onion Strengthens neighbouring plants Apples, Prevents AppleChives Cucumbers, Scab. Said to deter Beans Lettuce, Peas aphids
Good BadPlant How it works Neighbours Neighbours Basil, Bens, Borage, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Corn, Bad Neighbours Potato, Sage, Dill Kohl Rabi, roots release StronglyCucumber Lettuce, Lovage, substances reducing Aromatic Marjoram, growth Herbs Nasturtium, Parsnip, Pea, Radish, Sunflower, Tansy Brassicas (Incl: Dill attracts a Broccoli, Cabbage WhiteDill Cabbage, Butterfly controlling Cauliflower) waspEggplant Beans, Spinach Apricot, Cherry, Deters aphids, Beans, Mulberry, Parsnip, especially from roses Cabbage,Garlic Peach, Pear, and raspberry. Peas, Raspberry, Repels Cabbage Strawberry Rosemary, Rose White ButterflyKohl Rabi Beetroot, Onion Beans, Tomato Carrot, Celery, Lovage, Majoram, Beans, Peas,Leek Onion, Parsnip, Parsley Strawberry Achillea, Beans, Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrot, Chervil, Achillea, Coreopsis & Coreopsis, Zinnia attractLettuce Cucumber, Parsley pollinators and offer Lovage, Marjoram, shade for lettuce Marigold (French), Onion, Parsnip, Pea, Radish, Strawberry, ZinniaMarigolds Numerous Kills root knot
Good BadPlant How it works Neighbours Neighbours(French) vegetables, nematodes and eel including tomato worm Radish, SweetMelon Corn Deters pests such as Cabbage WhiteMint Cabbage, Tomato Butterfly, ants and fleas Flowers repel aphids and codling moth. Cabbages, Fruit Cabbage whiteNasturtium Trees, Radishes, butterfly is attracted Zucchini to this plant, and will seek it out over cabbages Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Chamomile, Smell of onion said Leeks, Lettuce, to deter numerous Asparagus, Lovage, Marjoram, pestsOnions releaseOnion Beans, Parsley, Parsnip, substances reducing Gladioli, Peas Silverbeet, growth of Bad Strawberry, Neighbours Summer Savory, Tomato Said to improve Asparagus, SweetParsley flavour of asparagus Corn, Tomato and tomato Beans, Beetroot, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Bad Neighbours Cauliflower, roots release Celery, Cucumber, substances reducing Chives, Garlic,Peas Lettuce, Lovage, growth. Sweet Corn Onion, Shallots Marjoram, has traditionally been Parsnip, Potato, used as "living Radish, Sage, stakes" for peas Squash, Sweet Corn
Good BadPlant How it works Neighbours Neighbours Beans, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Alyssum and Cabbage, Marigolds attract Apple, Celery, Cauliflower, Corn, beneficials and Cherry, Eggplant, suppress Cucumber, Horseradish, weedsPotatoes Pumpkin,Potato Lovage, Marjoram, release substances Raspberry, Marigold (French), reducing growth of Rosemary, Nasturtium, Bad Neighbours. Squash, Parsnip, Peas, Horseradish should Sunflower, Sweet Alyssum, be planted at the Tomato Sweet Corn, corners of the patch Watermelon Beans, Cabbage, Bad Neighbours Eggplant, Peas, roots releasePumpkin Potato Radish, Sweet substances reducing Corn growth Beans, Carrot, Chervil, Cucumber, Sweet Corn, Cucumber, Radish is said to Lettuce, Lovage,Radish attract leaf miners Hyssop Marjoram, from Spinach Nasturtium, Parsnip, Pea, Spinach, Sweet Corn Blackberries,Raspberry Potato, Tomato Said to deter Beans, Cabbage, Cabbage whiteRosemary Carrot, Sage butterfly. Attracts beneficials Brassicas (Incl: Broccoli, Sage repels theSage Cabbage, Cabbage White Cucumber Cauliflower), Butterfly Carrot, Rosemary Beetroot, Cherry, Basil,Silverbeet Lavender, Lovage, Wormwood
Good BadPlant How it works Neighbours Neighbours Marjoram, Onion Celery, Eggplant,Spinach Strawberries Borage, Lovage, Marjoram,Squash Nasturtium, Peas, Potato Sunflower, Sweet Corn, Tansy Beans, Borage, Brassicas (Incl: Chives, Leek, Broccoli, Lettuce, Marigold Cabbage,Strawberry (French), Onion, Cauliflower), Pyrethrum, Sage, Brussel Spinach Sprouts, Garlic Apricots,Sunflower Cucumbers, Beans, Potato Squash Beans, Sweet Corn has Cucumbers, traditionally been Lovage, Marjoram, used as "livingSweet Corn Melon, Parsnip, stakes" for peas. Bad Cabbage Peas, Potato, Neighbours roots Pumpkin, Radish, release substances Squash, Zucchini reducing growth Asparagus, Basil, Celery, Borage, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Carrot, Marigolds said to Apricots, Cauliflower, repel white fly and Beetroot, Celery, Chives, root knot nematode. Cabbage, Dill, Gooseberry,Tomato Bad Neighbours Fennel, Kohl Grape, Hyssop, roots release Rabi, Potato, Lovage, Mariglod substances reducing Rosemary, (French), growth Sweet Corn Marjoram, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion, Parsley, Parsnip, TurnipTurnip Cucumbers,
Good BadPlant How it works Neighbours Neighbours Lettuce, Nasturtium, Peas, TomatoWatermelon Potato When planted along pathways, is said to Most aromaticYarrow enhance essential oil herbs production and herb flavour. Lovage, Marjoram,Zucchini Nasturtium, Sweet Corn
and...a couple of general plants that make great companions for other reasons • Basil helps repel flies and mosquitoes. • Borage in the strawberry patch will increase the yield. • Catnip repels fleas, ants and rodents. • Caraway helps breakdown heavy soils. • Chamomile deters flies and mosquitoes and gives strength to any plant growing nearby. • Chives grown beneath apple trees will help to prevent apple scab; beneath roses will keep away aphids and blackspot. • Elderberry a general insecticide, the leaves encourage compost fermentation, the flowers and berries make lovely wine! • Fennel (not F. vulgare or F.officionale) repels flies, fleas and ants. • French Marigold root secretions kill nematodes in the soil. Will repel white fly amongst tomatoes. • Garlic helps keep aphids away from roses. • Hyssop attracts cabbage white moth keeping brassicas free from infestation. • Mint repels cabbage white moth. Dried and placed with clothes will repel clothes moth. • Nasturtium secrete a mustard oil, which many insects find attractive and will seek out, particularly the cabbage white moth. Alternatively, the flowers repel aphids and the cucumber beetle. The climbing variety grown up apple trees will repel codling moth. • Pyrethrum will repel bugs if grown around the vegetable garden. • Rosemary repels carrot fly. • Rue (Rutus, not Peganum) keeps cats and dogs off garden beds if planted round the borders. • Sage protects cabbages from cabbage white moth. • Tansy (Tanacetum, not Senecio) repels moths, flies and ants. Plant beneath peach trees to repel harmful flying insects. Tansy leaves assist compost fermentation. • Wormwood (Artemesia, not Ambrosia) although it can inhibit the growth of plants near it, wormwood does repel moths, flies and fleas and keeps animals off the garden.