Companion PlantingWhy does Basil and lettuce love Tomatoes?
Companion planting defined.• If two plants growing together leads to benefits for one or both of them then they can be called companions.• Companion planting is about introducing purposeful variety to your garden.• By combining vegetables, herbs, and flowers in a single garden you create a planting which is diverse, attractive and multifunctional.
A mix of observation and experimentation• Research confirms: that some plant combinations have benefits unique to those specific combinations,but it isPersonal observation based on practical experience which demonstrates how to group certain plants for mutual benefit in specific settings.So get out there and give it a go.
Useful web resources, there are many useful guides to be found on the web such as,• http://deepgreenpermaculture.com/companion• http://gstuff.co.nz/shop/garden/index.php?main• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion• htthttp
HCompanion planting charts does it workCompanion planting charts should perhaps be seen more as guidelines from which to start some experimenting to see which plant companions work best in your own soil and location
Using companion planting charts• Vegetables or fruits • X indicates that the are listed across the two plants grow well top of the page. together• Possible companions • N means they don’t are listed down the make good page companions.• A symbol can be • Remember they are a found where the 2 guide only ask other columns intersect gardeners from your area what works locally.
Companion plants can have many functions • Poppies, and NasturtiumsMostly companion planting is used as a pestcontrol strategy . Combinations of plants are planted betweenplanted where some plants repel pests, others trapthe pests and yet others confuse the pests so said to plants are theycant find where to dine on your vegetables. aphids; minimize • daisies such as • Different people have different ideas. asters attract flying insects, and most • The best way is to give it a go and are tough, easy to see what happens. grow plants.
Some other functions are• To enhance the • To Improve the flavour of your growing conditions for produce plants where some• To Provide medicinal taller plants provide uses shelter or shade for• To Build your soil by crops which like grow underneath them and, fixing or mining nutrients • To Provide colour beauty and form to your garden.
What to chooseThere are many • Boragecombinations of plants you • Basilcan choose as companions • Lavenderfor the vegetable you are • Nasturtiumgoing to plant. • ChivesHere are just a few you maywant to consider. • Yarrow•Marigold • Dill•Calendula • Tansy•comfrey
Marigolds• The roots of Marigold give off a substance which drives away the eel-worm.• The flowers attract beneficial insects and butterflies
CalendulaHas a similar actionto Marigolds, and isoften planted incombination withMarigolds.This plant also hasmany medicinaluses
Comfrey• Rich in N, P, Na so great when used as a compost conditioner. Put some of the leaves in when you plant your potatoes to give them a good start.• Makes great liquid fertiliser- soak in water for a month then use.
Borage• Companion plant for tomatoes, squash, strawberries• One of the best bee and wasp attracting plants• Adds trace minerals to the soil and a good addition the compost pile. The leaves contain vitamin C and are rich in calcium, potassium and mineral salts
Basil• Scatter it through your gardens.• Deters- aphids, whitefly, fruit flies, mosquitoes.• Goes well with tomatoes.• A very aromatic plant
Lavender• Attracts Bees• But is also an insect repellent.• Extensively used in medicines and the perfume industry• Adds real scent and colour to your garden
Nasturtium• Deters insects particularly aphids.• Edible flowers great for salads, sweet cress flavour• The leaves and flowers have antibiotic properties
Chives• Improves growth and flavour of carrots and tomatoes. A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, mustard, etc) and many others. Helps to keep aphids away from tomatoes, and sunflowers.
Yarrow• this boosts vigour in other plants and accumulates phosphorous, calcium and silica, which can benefit homemade compost when plants are added to the heap. It attracts many beneficial creatures to your garden such as hoverflies and ladybirds
Dill Flowers• Provides a great food source for Beneficials and is yummy in fish dishes and for combating the effects of windy colic .
Tansy• Is a good insect repellent.• Note it can be invasive and needs to be managed.• Great compost activator
What works?• There is no golden answer, it will come down to the mix of plants that you enjoy.• So play with combinations that you like.• Monitor and note what works in your dairies.• The key is to not put just one plant in and expect it to work.• Concentrate on creating communities of plants.
Sources of Information• http://www.spiritualskyincense.com/companions- guide.htm• http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html• All slides are courtesy of Mike Beedie