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COMPANION PLANTING Author: Charmain Wilson The most effective gardens contain a variety of plants. Seasoned gardeners suggest a mix of plants to ensure a healthy and beautiful garden. Many believe that certain plant combinations have extraordinary (even mysterious) powers to help each other grow. Companion planting has been proven to produce unique benefits for specific pairs of plants.Companions share the garden space efficiently and help each other grow. Tall plants, for instance, provide shade for shorter sun-sensitive plants. A patch of land can be occupied by two plants simultaneously, with vines covering the ground and tall stalks growing upwards. These combinations of plants do way better together:
Broccoli and Calendula These flowers exude a sticky substance on their stems that attract and trap aphids. Planting Calendula next to broccoli keeps the aphids off the broccoli and brings in beneficial ladybugs to dine on the aphids.
Tomatoes and Cilantro or Basil Some gardeners believe basil improves the flavour of tomatoes, but it's primarily planted because its strong scent may repel pests. Allowing some of your basil or cilantro to flower attracts pollinators to your garden.
Tomatoes or Eggplants and Lettuce In this instance, cool season crops that don't like heat, like lettuce, are granted shade by eggplant and tomatoes that grow tall. You may lettuce season utilising this trick.
Flowering herbs and Squash or Melons These vegetables require pollinators to produce, so invite insect visitors into your garden by planting flowering herbs such as dill, fennel, and parsley near melons and squash.
Garlic or Chives and Lettuce Plant these smelly vegetables near your lettuce to repel aphids. Alternatively, add alyssum nearby to bring in the beneficial insects.
Swiss Chard and Sweet Alyssum Alyssum is an annual easy to grow from seed between rows of vegetables. This plant attracts hoverflies which help to control aphids—plant pretty Swiss chard as a border, interspersed with these delicate low-growing flowers.
Radishes and Carrots These two plants take up nutrients from different places in the soil, so they aren't competing for resources. Radishes mature quickly and don't grow as profoundly as carrots, which have a long tap root and take more days to mature.
Chives Roses and Geraniums Plants with a strong odour or taste discourage beetle and aphids. While there's no guarantee it works, it's worth giving it a try to prevent roses from getting eaten by these pesky little bugs, which seemingly multiply overnight.
Cabbage and Chamomile Chamomile brings in beneficial insects for brassicas, such as cabbage. Chop it up in Autumn and toss it on the bed to decompose while leaving the roots intact to decay and enrich the soil. There may not always be scientific evidence to back up these pairings but try them out to see what works. Experimentation in the garden is half the fun.