Did you know that basil can enhance the flavor and growth of your tomatoes? Or that garlic can repel aphids if you plant them near roses? Companion planting is a centuries-old technique of growing different plants together in your garden for increasing productivity, detracting pests, and other benefits. Instead of simply planting blocks of the same plant, interspersing different vegetables, herbs, flowers, and trees together brings greater balance and diversity, and your garden will thank you.
Resources for companion planting in your vegetable garden
From Golden Harvest Organics:
By using companion planting, many gardeners find that they can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many varieties of herbs, flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. Be open to experimenting and find what works for you. Some possibilities would be using certain plants as a border, backdrop or interplanting in your flower or vegetable beds where you have specific needs. Use plants that are native to your area so the insects you want to attract already know what to look for! Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most popular with beneficial insects.
Wikipedia has an excellent chart with a list of companion plants to get you started grouping different vegetables and herbs together. Companion planting is a big part of growing a healthy organic garden and it plays an important role in permaculture practices, as well. Be warned that not everything goes well together, but it is all part of the art of grouping beneficial plants.
Consider what kind of companion planting you can do in your eco garden this year!
Gardening can be a great stress reliever! If you’re looking for information on how to relieve stress, head over to our friends at MNN!
Image credit: Flickr via peganum