Companion planting will help you to work with nature to achieve a thriving garden and keep pests under control.
As soon as you spray any chemical pesticide or herbicide in your garden you also kill of the beneficial insects that can help keep you garden in balance. They will keep the harmful pests at bay for you but if you kill them off you just have to keep using these harmful chemicals.
Nature is not tidy, so when you plant a vegetable garden it is bound to get untidy if it’s a healthy system. Plants going to seed look messy but without them you don’t get your next crop. It is best to plant a mixture of native plants to attract birds, herbs, flowers, vegetables and green manures.
Here are some of the beneficial insects. If you see them you know you are on the right track, never kill them.
Hoverflies, damselflies, dragonflies, bees, lacewings, assassin bugs and lady beetles. Bees love the flowers of mint, oregano, lavender, fennel, lemon balm, basil, coriander, thyme, borage, queen annes lace and brassicas.
Allelopathy means growth inhibition as the consequence of the influence of one organism on another. Many experienced gardeners have noticed many things as they work with nature and their companion planting and here are a few of those little secrets that have been passed down.
Companion Planting tips
Broad beans grow well with spinach. Beetroot don’t grow well with beans. Strawberries love borage. Brassicas don’t grow well with strawberries. Tansy will repel cabbage worm and cutworm. Plant Southernwood, tansy and pennyroyal to repel ants. Chamomile is known as the “Plant Doctor” because it has the ability to encourage other plants to taste and smell stronger. Chamomile is also a good compost activator. Dill, chervil and coriander grow well with carrot and deter predators. Cucumbers like to grow with radish, sunflowers, sweetcorn and beans.
Nettle makes a great tea for spraying fungus. Fennel is great to deter fleas. Companion planting is more than just planting things together that like each other, it is about natural pest control, keeping a balance in the garden and attracting birds and insects into the garden.