Did you know that you can maximize your harvest & minimize pests by changing which plants you grow next to each other? This year, try making these small adjustments to your garden and I promise it will thrive!
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Companion planting is a lengthy topic, but the basic premise is that all fruits, vegetables, and flowers are happier when they have a companion plant nearby.
In general, a companion plant provides something the other plant lacks – defense from a specific pest, shade, a nutrient fix, etc.
Below are some fantastic pairs that you should be planting side-by-side in your garden. With proper care, you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time!
Carrots & Onions
These two crops are garden staples so you might as well plant them together! Vegetables in the onion family are known for repelling carrot flies. On the flip side, carrots protect against onion flies and leek moths. So don’t hesitate to swap the onions for leeks or chives, which can also boost the flavor in your carrots.
Learn about starting your own onions from seed here.
Tomatoes & Basil
These two are a dynamic duo on your plate and in the garden. Basil repels flies, mosquitoes, and tomatoes hornworms. It also improves the growth and flavor of your tomato plants.
Cauliflower & Zinnias
There’s nothing worst than nasty cabbage flies ruining your harvest – but don’t worry! Planting zinnias will attract ladybugs & other predators that will protect your cauliflowers from pests.
Roses & Garlic
Not all companion planting is about pests. It’s an old gardening secret to plant garlic around the base of your roses. The garlic repels aphids, fungal disease, and even improves the fragrance of your blooms.
Learn more about growing garlic with our complete guide.
Corn, Beans & Squash
I can’t make this list without mentioning this classic pairing – also called the “Three Sisters.” Used by Native Americans for centuries, these three plants work in perfect harmony. The beans fix nitrogen in the soil and climb up the corn like a trellis. The squash – typically pumpkin – covers the ground, suppressing weeds.
Herbs & Just About Anything
Most herbs have beneficial properties that make your garden very happy, so don’t be shy with scattering them around. Mint wards off ants and cabbage moths – but it is terribly invasive, so I recommend planting in containers. Thyme & sage repel cabbageworms. Dill & parsley attract good insects like praying mantis and ladybugs. You can never have too many herbs around!
Marigolds & Just About Anything
Marigolds are another wonder plant! They ward off beetles, nematodes, cabbageworms, moths, and a whole host of other garden pests. You can plant them amongst just about any crop and you’ll see those little buggers flee!
Lettuce/Radish & Carrots/Melons/Winter Squash
Okay, so this one is a little more convoluted, but the general concept is to plant a fast-growing, low crop around plants that take longer to mature. By the time the carrots, melons, or winter squash need more space to grow, your lettuce or radishes will be ready to harvest & pull from the garden.
In closing, I hope you’ll consider companion planting when planning your garden. It will save you the headache of dealing with pests and increase your harvest. Who doesn’t want that?
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Be sure to check out these helpful articles for more gardening ideas…
- How to Plan a Pollinator-Friendly Garden
- Easy-to-Grow Plants for Beginner Gardeners
- How to Use Eggshells in Your Garden
- Start Composting Today for $3 or Less
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