Companion Planting

Companion planting is vital for organic vegetable production. It is also a type of intercropping. Intercropping and companion planting is very beneficial for flower beds too. There are plants that assist each other to grow; plants that repel harmful insects to companion plants; plants that retard other plants growth; plants that delete the soil whilst others that add to the soil.

companion plants chivesYou may have heard that “roses love garlic”. Allium is the Latin word for garlic. Vegetable alliums are chives, garlic, leek, onion, and shallots all of which are excellent protective companions for roses. The flowering ornamental alliums are of course more decorative to plant with roses and also provide excellent protection from mildew, black spot, aphids and many other pests too. Alliums repel moles and rabbits. Onions repel cabbage moths. Garlic is good against fruit tree borers.

Marigolds produce thiophenes that are released into the soil from their roots which controls nematodes and thus are very beneficial planted with tomatoes, chrysanthemums, calendulas and dahlias. Marigolds deter asparagus beetles, Mexican bean beetle and tomato worms. Marigolds deter weeds such as ground elder, bindweed and ground ivy.

Nasturtiums repel squash bugs, aphids and whiteflies. Nasturtiums benefit potatoes, radishes, cabbage family, squash family and apple trees. If aphids appear in nasturtiums this is a sign of a lime deficiency in your soil…dust the plants with lime and the aphids will disappear.

Datura deters Japanese beetles and aids the growth of pumpkins when companion planted. Petunias deter beetles. Geraniums deter the Japanese beetles, leafhoppers and rose chafers and thus are also a good companion for roses. Geraniums interplanted with the cabbage family repels the cabbageworms and white geraniums are helpful to corn when planted nearby.

primrose companion plantingPrimroses grow well with candytuft, pansies, calendulas and violas. Snapdragons like nicotiana, baby blue-eyes and alyssum. Dusty miller repel rabbits and other animals. Pennyroyal, spearmint, southernwood and tansy all repel ants. Rosemary and wormwood repel slugs and snails. Mint repels mice.

Companion planting can help your soil, your flowerbed as well as your vegetable garden to be more productive and more beautiful. It is a natural way to control harmful diseases, insects and other pests. It is a natural way to ensure balance and harmony.