Have you ever heard of companion planting? It means grouping plants together that will enhance or benefit each other in different ways. Companion plants can help enhance growth and flavor, or can help to deter pests that feed on other plants. It’s a fascinating topic. Here’s a great list of companion plants on Wikipedia.
Not only are there good companion plantings, but there are also plants that hate each other, and have negative effects when planted together. So companion planting is about the good, as well as the bad planting combinations.
I’ve read a lot about companion planting over the years, and have tried a few things here and there. Every year I think I should do more, but I usually forget. This year, I decided to make companion planting part of my garden plan.
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As a (sorta) newbie to this, I decided to just focus on the good companion plantings this year. Hopefully once I get better at remembering all of this, I will start purposely avoiding the bad combinations (I already planted cilantro next to some dill this year, which is apparently a bad combo – oops!).
Companion plantings I’m trying this year:
- Rue with roses – Helps deter Japanese beetles (I’ll try anything!).
- Dill with cabbage family and cucumbers – Helps to deter the flea beetle and squash bug. Also attracts pollinators and predatory insects.
- Nasturtium with squash – Deters squash bug, and I also read somewhere that it might help with the squash borer bug too – well it doesn’t hurt to try. I bet it will also look beautiful flowering in with the squash.
- Basil with tomatoes and peppers – Basil is said to enhance the flavor of tomatoes and peppers, and it deters many pest insects. It also attracts pollinators if allowed to flower.
- Cilantro with spinach – Cilantro encourages the growth of spinach, and is great for repelling pests like aphids and white flies.
- Spinach with peas – Help each other grow. Peas help to shade the spinach.
- Marigold – A good all around companion plant that helps deter pests and attract pollinators and predatory insects. You can never have too many marigolds.
- Geranium – Another good companion to most plants. Helps repel many pests, and works as a trap crop for others.
It’s very interesting to read about companion planting, but it’s also very overwhelming. I can’t wait to see if I notice a difference with companion planting in my garden this year.
Have you ever tried companion planting? Tell me about your favorite combinations in the comment section below.