Companion planting refers to planting various vegetables or plants together as each plant has likes and dislikes about which plants are planted near it in the garden, and do better if planted close to the correct plant. By planting the right plants together you can reduce weeds and keep away pests or diseases that the plants are very susceptible to. Companion planting is one of the natural methods used by organic gardeners to keep pests and diseases away.
Here are some examples of companion planting that are known to work.
1. Planting flat open flowers like marigolds, poppies, nasturtiums or dwarf morning glory between your crops (such as tomatoes, roses or cabbages) can attract hover-flies which are predators of aphids – which are the most persistent of garden pests. . Marigolds also reduce the attack from eelworms which attack potatoe crops due to a secretion from the roots of the marigold.
2. Planting garlic near rose bushes (or any other plant that suffers from aphid invasion) as garlic keeps aphids away.
3. Planting asparagus together with parsley as the one protects the other and improves the flavor of the asparagus.
4. Plant cabbage near mint as the mint protects the cabbage patch.
5. Then there is the ‘Three Sisters Technique’ where you plant corn, runner beans and pumpkins together in the same patch. The corn gives support to the beans and the big pumpkin leaves help to conserve moisture on the plot while the beans provide nitrogen for the crops.