Companion Planting For Your Garden
Sometimes, plants grow more efficiently when they are planted near other plants. Using this method can help to prevent pests, and can give nutrients to plants that they would not have naturally. Companion planting can be a great method for a healthy and productive garden.
Some vegetables add and fix nutrients in the soil like nitrogen. Examples of these plants are peas and beans. Planting them close to nitrogen feeding vegetables like tomatoes and peppers is a very good idea. Tomatoes and peppers also do well when planted together. Onions and garlic are workhorses in the garden. They repel animal pests like deer and rabbits as well as insect pests like aphids and Japanese Beetles. Garlic gathers sulfur which is a great help in fighting garden disease. Also plant garlic near carrots as it confuses the carrot root fly. Onions planted among strawberries will also help to prevent disease.
There are herbs that are great companions for a variety of vegetables. Dill will repel pests because of its distinctive odor, and also attracts beneficial insects that will kill offensive pests in your garden. Cilantro will also repel pests like aphids when left to go to flower and produce seed. The seeds are known as the common spice coriander. Both borage and basil are good companions for tomatoes. They are said to improve the flavor of the tomatoes and growth of the plant. Basil also deters thrips which are a common pest for bean and pea plants.
Some plants are good companions because one provides shelter and wind protection for the other. Tomato plants are tall, and are good at shading lettuce which needs some protection from sun during the day. Peas are also tall growing plants and are very good for this purpose. Flowers can also be used effectively in companion planting. Many flowers will either attract beneficial insects, or will play host to harmful pests so that your vegetables are not affected. Nasturtium is a good sacrificial plant that will play host to aphids so that they do not attack your tomatoes. Geraniums are good for repelling Japanese Beetles. Asters will attract beneficial insects to your garden, while flowers such as sweet pea and other fragrant flowers will attract bees for pollination.
For any vegetable or fruit that you grow in your garden, there is a companion that will benefit it in some way. A little bit of research on the topic will provide all plants and their known companions. This method is a great organic way to provide disease and pest protection without the use of chemicals.