Companion planting is a process where two or more different kind of plants are planted in close proximity to provide some benefits such as pest control and pollination to the plants. The best part of companion planting is that it is organic or natures way of controlling pests and improve pollination. We all aware of the benefits of going organic. I have written an article on this also. If you are interested to know more about the benefits of being an organic gardener you can check this post.
There are various mixes of plants which apart from making the garden more eye catchy, provide a healthy benefit to the plants. From ancient times and before the introduction of mass scale pesticides and fertilizer, people used the concepts of companion planting. They believed certain combination of plants have mysterious power to help each other. Now science also proved that some combination in deed help to grow the plants very well.
There are basically 4 type of benefits you get by opting for companion plantation:
- It helps both the plants to grow. Tall plants provide shade to the sun sensitive shorter plants.
- You can use your space more productively. It also increases the chances of getting a good yield, even if one crop fails.
- This provides pest control in an organic way. Some companion plants help in preventing pest insects and pathogenic fungi. It can also divert pests from the other plant.
- It attracts pollination by attracting beneficial insects. Companion plants some time produce more nectar than the main plant and thus attract more beneficial insects.
Below are some of the example of companion gardening:
Planting beans and corns together can be beneficial for both of them. The beans fix nitrogen to the soil which also benefits the corn. Whereas the cornstalk can be used as a trellis by the bean plant to climb up.
Growing dill and cabbage can be another example of companion planting. Dill can attract many beneficial wasp which can control cabbage worms and other cabbage pests.
Planting basil along with tomatoes(click here for tomato growing tips) can improve the flavor and growth of tomatoes. It also repels mosquitoes.
Planting garlic near tomato or cabbage plant can help to control beetle and aphids from infecting tomatoes.
Cucumber and radish also work together pretty well. Radishes help to deter cucumber beetles. But make sure cucumber is not planted near potatoes as it can encourage the late blight in potatoes.
There are so many such combinations available. You can find many of them through internet.
I hope you get an idea about the companion gardening concept through this blog. It is definitely an option you can try out in case you are thinking of going organic. Check my blog the meaning of organic for more information about going organic.