Tuesday, May 31, 2011

COMPANION PLANTING


While I haven't started our gardens yet, I've been planning and learning and part of my plan is to utilize a technique called "Companion Planting".  I did this last year with my tomatoes here in the city.  I planted marigolds next to them, because marigolds repel numerous insects in the garden and also keep out the bad nematodes in the soil.
Last year was the first time I had done this and I had virtually no problems with insects on my tomatoes.

Here is a great link to companion planting suggestions.  (Mother Earth News)

Companion planting is using plants next to or near each other that either one benefits the other, or one acts as a repellent to bugs that like to eat the other one.  It's fascinating to do.



The above chart I randomly found online and have tired to use when I plant, is a good starting point.  It shows what plants like to be next to and they don't.  The L is for "Like" and the D is for "Dislike/Don't".   Yes, it works both ways, some plants don't like to be next to each other, usually this is because one plant either takes valuable nutrients from the soil that the other needs, or it puts something into the soil that the other doesn't like to have.

This is not a new technique.
There is evidence going back to ancient Rome that farmers were doing this.
In fact, many of you may be familiar with the Native American Indian tradition of planting the "Three Sisters", corn, squash and beans. 

Part of organic gardening is this technique.  If you plant just one crop in one area, you force that plant to become dependent on you for it's nutrients and pest prevention that it might normally get from nearby plants.  That means adding chemicals and pesticides.  Think about what you see in a forest or a naturalized setting....plants thriving with no help from the outside.  Example, at the farm, we have a patch of wild dewberries.  They have been there for years, no one ever waters them, or puts nutrients on them or sprays them for bugs, yet every year, they flower out on schedule and provide buckets full of berries.

Another way to use companion planting is light requirements.  Take a look at this picture below.


Cucumbers like lots of sun, lettuce doesn't.  In this example, the cucumbers grow up the trellis and provide shade for the lettuce so that they can both be grown at the same time in the same space and benefit from each other.  Pretty cool huh?


So the next time you buy plants for your garden, check out what you can add near them, you might be surprised how much easier your gardening is!


Enjoy your garden!


6 comments:

  1. I'm so excited to give this a try this year! The pictures help give me a better idea of how to implement this method!

    ~Taylor

    ReplyDelete
  2. How/where can I get a copy of the companion guide? The one shown here is too small for my old eyes.

    Thanks...Katy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check your email, I just sent a copy to you. Hope it helps/works!

      Delete
  3. Add Moon Gardening with companion planting, results of your gardening will improve .

    ReplyDelete
  4. Could u send me the chart as well? My eyes must be old too lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandi, I'd need your email. Thanks!!

      Delete

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