Companion planting is simply one plant helping another to grow. Growing certain plants close together creates a habitat for beneficial insects that feed on, or deter pests. Close planting can also crowd out weeds and some plants help keep the soil healthy.
Companion planting is that simple.... A natural and organic method of pest control. More examples and information in this article, including (as shown in the picture) nasturtiums helping to protect cabbages from caterpillars.
Companion planting is an organic and natural pest control method that can be used instead of pesticides that wipe-out every living thing they touch with resultant damage to the environment. Companion planting lets the plants, insects, animals and birds do what comes natural, prey on pests or in some cases simply deter them (natural insecticide).
It can be fun it will be rewarding, the food tastes better and it is satisfying knowing you are harvesting safer fruit and vegetables that aren't full of pesticides and herbicides.
Growing the different species of plants I have listed below close together creates habitat for beneficial insects and animals (frogs eat slugs), and deters problem pests and enriches the soil.
Companion planting isn't new, it can be traced back to ancient Roman times and probably all the way back to 2000 BC (that's Before Chemicals) when cottagers, gardeners and farmers used companion planting to deter pests and protect the harvest. And now the Eco worriers have arrived companion planting is back in fashion..... They probably think they invented it.
It all started to go wrong (that's wrong for gardeners) but right for chemical man, when we started to separate crops thus taking the natural predators of pests out of the equation and creating fields and gardens dependent on pesticides or herbicides.
The manufacturers and sellers who are dependent on plant pests ruining harvests, will tell you that companion planting is complicated and doesn't work.
I can tell you companion planting isn't complicated and it does work.
Want to try companion planting for yourself? Try these two experiments;
How can we know companion planting works, we can't really, there's very little scientific proof. Most of the knowledge has been passed down from gardener to gardener over the years and in my case it's been a bit of trial and error. An article I read recently titled "what not to plant together" advised against growing Sunflowers near to anything, but I know that they do amazingly well when planted near corn and actually increase the yield, they can also purify and detoxify soil, don't ask me how or why, I don't know, I just know they do.
Three more examples of common pests that I know for certain from my own experience, can be stopped or at least deterred by companion planting are;
I have listed more companion plants and effects below, some are tested, some should work, but with a bit of practice and trial and error will do something for your garden, even if it is just adding a bit of colour.
I have probably missed a lot of your favourite companions plants, please let me know if you have a tried and tested plant we should know about, or any I have got wrong. Thanks mike
Companion planting really is that simple! Try it.
Try the old tried and tested, Corn, Squash and Bean combination in a small corner of your garden
Read this BBC report on a company set up by Brazilian scientists Diogo Rodrigues Carvalho and Heraldo Negri de Oliveira that is at the forefront of the growing global biological pest control industry - it produces bugs that kill other creepy crawlies, thereby removing the need for chemical pesticides.
Fuelled by growing demand from Brazil's vast agricultural sector, Bug has developed a way to mass produce a tiny wasp called trichogramma that eats caterpillars and other pest insects.