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 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.
Companion planting isn't complicated and it does work.
Want to try companion planting for yourself? Try these two experiments;
How can I know companion planting works when 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 as well. An article I read recently titled "what not to plant together" advised against growing Sunflowers near to anything. However. 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.
Here are the three examples of common pests that I know for certain from my own experience, can be stopped or at least deterred by companion planting;
I have listed more companion plants and effects below, some are tested, some should work. However, with a bit of practice and trial and error will do something for your garden, and it won't be 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
Take a walk in a local wood or a field that has been left to nature, even a disused petrol forecourt, runway or old factory gradually turning back to green. To see natural harmony at work There are bugs that feed the birds, small mammals managing ground growth, and larger mammals including badgers and foxes managing the smaller ones.
Every garden needs birds and wild animals. In addition to being a pleasure to watch, the birds eat greenfly and caterpillars from your plants, badgers frogs and hedgehogs eat slugs and snails.
As the farming countryside becomes more and more hostile to wildlife, our gardens are becoming an increasingly important habitat for wildlife.
This is the environment that can be created in your garden. Making it harmonious for the birds and the bees and other insects and animals and providing free pest control for your plants.
This doesn't mean you have to let your garden become over grown with weeds. They need to be controlled, some are beneficial, but all weeds should be removed before they go to seed. Companion planting can also be used to control weeds by planting non-competing plants closely together to crowd out weed pests.
Companion planting for garden pest control and being Eco friendly need not mean going to extremes. It doesn't mean turning into Eco Worriers.
It does mean caring about our environment, but it also means having a garden we and our family and visitors can enjoy, with patios and decking, etc. or what would be the point.
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.