4.2 Companion planting: What grows well together?

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This presentation explains the principle of companion planting and gives examples of some useful, common companion plants.

It is part of a free, online course called Construct and plant a raised garden bed to support sustainable living which can be found at www.viva-la-veg.com

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4.2 Companion planting: What grows well together?

  1. 1. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingCompanion planting:What grows together well?
  2. 2. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingCompanion planting explained• If two or more types of plant benefit from growing together, they are said to be “companion plants”.• Companion planting is about planting your gardens in such a way that these beneficial relationships take place as much as possible.• By combining vegetables, herbs, and flowers in a single garden you create a planting which is has a variety of plant, has a number of different purposes and looks nice.
  3. 3. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingCompanion planting exampleThis photo shows a good example of companion planting. The plumtree has been under-planted with a number of differentcompanions, including nasturtium (inset).Nasturtium:• Deters insects, particularly aphids.• Has edible flowers which are great in salad; they have a sweet cress flavour.• Has antibiotic properties in its leaves and flowers.
  4. 4. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingBenefits of companion planting• Most commonly, companion planting is used as a way of controlling pests. Combinations of plants are planted where some plants repel pests, others trap the pests and yet others confuse the pests so they cant find where to dine on your vegetables.• Companion plants can also be used to: • Attract useful pollinators, such as bees • Enhance the flavour of you produce • Provide natural medicines • Build your soil by fixing or mining nutrients • Improve the growing conditions for plants where some taller plants provide shelter/shade for crops which like to grow underneath • Provide colour beauty and form to your garden.
  5. 5. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingHow will I know what goes together?• The information covered by this course comes from both scientific research and experimentation.• We suggest you start out by using the companions covered by this course, but at some point you might want to try out new arrangements to see if they work well together.• Learning by experimenting is a great idea, but we suggest that you keep a journal and write down what works and what doesn’t. This will help you by preventing you from making the same mistakes again.• In relation to garden planning: If in doubt, try it out!
  6. 6. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingCompanion planting charts• There are numerous companion planting charts available on the internet.• These should be used as a guideline rather than a rule that must be adhered to.• Your section’s soil, climate and other factors all affect how well your plants grow and how they interact with each other.• It is a good idea to keep a gardening journal or notebook and write down what plants work well together on your section.
  7. 7. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingExample companion planting chart• To use this chart: • Choose a plant that you want to know what it’s companions are, e.g. basil. • Skim down the left-hand side of the table until you find it. • Look across that row in the table. • Where you see a symbol, look up that row to see the name of the plant. • Where the symbol is a  it means the two plants are companions. • Where the symbol is an X, the two do not tolerate each other.
  8. 8. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingSome ideas about what works well in New Zealand• There are many combinations of plants you can choose as companions for the vegetable you are going to plant.• Here are just a few you may want to consider. • Borage • Lavender • Basil • Marigold • Calendula • Nasturtium (see slide 3) • Chives • Tansy • Comfrey • Yarrow • Dill
  9. 9. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingBorage as a companion plant• Borage: • Is a companion plant for tomatoes, squash and strawberries • Is one of the best bee and wasp attracting plants • Adds trace minerals to the soil • Leaves contain vitamin C and are rich in calcium, potassium and mineral salts • Is a good addition the compost pile
  10. 10. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingBasil as a companion plant• Basil: • Can be scattered through your gardens rather than being planted in a clump • Deters: aphids, whitefly, fruit flies, mosquitoes • Goes well with tomatoes • Is a very aromatic plant
  11. 11. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingCalendula as a companion plant• Calendula: • Attracts good insects and butterflies • Is often planted in combination with marigolds • Has many medicinal uses
  12. 12. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingChives as a companion plant• Chives: • Improve the growth and flavour of carrots and tomatoes. • Are a good companion to apples, carrots, to matoes, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage , mustard, etc) and many others. • Help to keep aphids away from tomatoes, and sunflowers.
  13. 13. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingComfrey as a companion plant• Comfrey: • Is rich in nitrogen, potassium and sodium, so great when it is added to compost. • Leaves can be added to the hole you dig to plant your potatoes to give them a good start. • Makes great liquid fertiliser: soak some leaves in water for a month and then use.
  14. 14. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingDill as a companion plant• Dill: • Flowers provides a great food source for beneficial insects (sometimes called “beneficials”) • Can be used as a flavourful seasoning, great for fish dishes • Can be used for combating the effects of windy colic
  15. 15. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingLavender as a companion plant• Lavender: • Attracts bees, but is also a repellent of other, less desirable insects • Is used extensively in medicines and perfumes • Adds a strong, pleasant scent and colour to your garden
  16. 16. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingMarigold as a companion plant• Marigolds: • Give off a substance through their roots, which drive away the eelworm • Attract good insects and butterflies
  17. 17. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingTansy as a companion plant• Tansy: • Is a good insect repellent • Is a great compost activator, which means that it speeds up the composting process• Note: Tansy can be invasive (spreads very quickly) so it needs to be managed
  18. 18. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingYarrow as a companion plant• Yarrow: • Boosts growth in other plants • It builds up phosphorous, calcium and silica, which are good for composting • Attracts many beneficial insects to your garden such as hoverflies and ladybirds
  19. 19. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingInsect repelling plants• Basil • Lavender • Sunflower• Borage • Marigold • Tansy• Calendula • Mint • Thyme• Catnip • Nasturtium • Wormwood• Coriander • Oregano• Dandelion • Parsley• Fennel • Pennyroyal• Flax• Garlic • Radish• Geranium • Rosemary• Horseradish • Rue• Hyssop • Sage
  20. 20. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingSo in the end, what really works?• There is no golden answer. It will come down to the mix of plants that you want to grow, and enjoy having in your garden.• Play with combinations that you like.• Keep notes about what works in your dairy, journal or notebook.• The key is to not put just one plant in and expect it to work; concentrate on creating communities of plants.
  21. 21. Topic Four: Plan and plant a garden bed to support sustainable livingReferences and additional informationPhotos by Mike Beedie and Ron Taiapa, reproduced with theirpermission.Deep Green Permaculture (2012). Companionplanting.http://deepgreenpermaculture.com/companion-planting/companion-planting-table/Garden stuff (2012). Companion planting.http://gstuff.co.nz/shop/garden/index.php?main_page=page_4Golden Harvest Organics (2012). Companion planting.http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.htmlNational Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (2012).Companion planting: Basic concepts andresources.https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/viewhtml.php?id=72Wikipedia (2012) List of companionplants.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants

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