Companion Planting + Popular Planting Combinations
What is companion planting?
Companion planting is the practice of growing two or more plants in close proximity to each other. Because companion plants support one another, they can be used to increase crop yield while diminishing pest problems.
Why it’s important to be mindful of the type of plant you are growing near another?
A lot of plants release chemicals, known as allelochemicals, to prevent other plants from growing near them. This is an evolutionary adaptation to allow the plant’s seeds to be dispersed more widely.
For example, basil does not grow well near tomatoes or garlic because their leaves secrete chemicals that inhibit growth–which is why some gardeners will plant basil in its own pot away from other plants.
However, if you were to plant mint next to your tomato plants, they would do just fine and produce a healthy crop of tomatoes!
Since all plants have different chemical compositions and different methods of releasing these chemicals into the soil around them, it’s important to know which ones can negatively affect one another and avoid planting those types of plants together.
How you can use companion planting to create a diverse, healthy garden that thrives?
There are two advantages to using companion planting in your garden: increased crop yields and reduced pest problems.
By planting crops close together, they support each other by sharing nutrients from the soil while discouraging pests from eating their leaves.
Here are some examples of popular combinations for various types of vegetables:
Tomatoes + Basil
Tomatoes are notorious for attracting many bugs, especially hornworms or tomato worms. Basil has a very spicy fragrance that acts as an organic pesticide–bugs don’t like the smell!
Plant basil around the base of your tomatoes to keep bugs away without having to spray harmful pesticides on them. This combination also helps repel aphids from your tomatoes, since these bugs also don’t like the smell!
Beans + Potatoes
Planting beans near potatoes help both plants grow faster and stronger. Beans provide their support by fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil, which helps out with nutrient availability for both vegetables.
They are also known to help reduce pests for both of these crops–especially Mexican bean beetles or aphids.
Carrots + Onions
It’s a good idea to plant carrots next to onions because they enhance each other’s growth while repelling some common garden pests.
Carrots contain chemicals that onions contain that repel carrot rust flies and onion maggots but will not affect useful pollinators like honey.
And of course, planting these two vegetables next to one another will help them grow faster since they are both root vegetables.
Seed + Cucumber
Growing squash or cucumbers next to seeds will increase the yield of the plants while discouraging pests like common squash bugs.
Squash and cucumbers belong to the same family (the Cucurbitaceae) and contain chemicals that deter insects from eating their leaves.
Benefits from using this technique in your garden, including increased crop yield and reduced pest problems for crops like tomatoes and strawberries
The benefits to companion planting include increased yields without having to use pesticides, better disease resistance, more natural fertilizers available for crops, less water usage because neighboring plants can share nutrients with each other–it’s a win-win situation!
I would recommend using companion planting for any crops that are susceptible to pests, diseases, or common garden problems.
Yet this technique should not be used just because you want a bigger harvest–you need to know about the individual plants and how they interact with each other before deciding if they will do well together in the same pot or garden bed.
Some potential problems that you may encounter using companion planting in your garden, including issues like frost or bug infestations
One common problem with this technique is that certain plants the grow well together the first year you plant them will not necessarily grow well if they are planted next to each other again.
Companion planting relies on compounds–either organic or manmade chemicals–that affect nearby plants.
Plants use these chemicals for different reasons-to attract pollinators, repel pests, etc.-so it’s important to consider how exactly one plant will negatively affect another before deciding which ones to keep close together and which ones should be separated.
Things that can go wrong when using companion planting in your garden because of something biotic or abiotic, including garden pests or poor soil quality
It is really important to know which plants will work together in your garden bed before you plant them!
When you’re picking out these combinations, make sure that neither of the companion plants is highly susceptible to insect or disease problems.
Also be sure that if one of the two crops is more vulnerable to pests than the other (i.e.-lettuce vs tomatoes), then it should be planted on the edge of your garden bed (on the side farthest away from the lettuce) so that there are not many pest issues with either crop.
When planting companion vegetables, make sure they are supported by proper watering and fertilizing.
It’s always a good idea to ask a local farmer or gardening specialist which vegetables are good to plant together–they know what they’re talking about!
Expert opinion on why companion planting can be a lot of fun for any gardener
Companion planting is a great way to add diversity and interest to your garden. There are so many combinations that you could try, and each combination produces unique results in taste, growth rate, pest resistance, etc.
This technique has been used for centuries by cultures around the world–it’s a great tool that you can use at home to help support a healthy crop without using harsh chemicals from pesticides or fertilizers!
Try out different combinations with familiar vegetables and herbs until you find one that works best for both plants.
There are many benefits from companion planting–increased yields without the need for harmful chemicals or pesticides, less water usage because two plants share nutrients between one another, and pest-resistant crops by using neighboring plants’ chemicals against them.
Discover what works best for you! For more information on companion planting, please consult with your local garden center or horticulturalists.
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