Beneficial Garden Companion Plants

Companion plants in the gardenYou probably know that many there are many plants that make excellent companion plants. There are really two different reasons to consider companion planting. The is to save space by matching quick growing plants with slow growing plants. See my article called “Companion Plants for Intensive Gardening.” This articl will discuss companion plants which benefit each other socially, organically, or chemically.

There are many combination of companion plants; this article will discuss only some of the most beneficial, most versatile.

Onions and Garlic

It is said that the onion family is the gardener’s best friend. This family includes traditional onions, Welsh onions, shallots, leeks, chives, and garlic.
Beneficial to almost all plants. Two very clear and strong exceptions are beans and peas, both legumes. But nearly all other plants in the garden are benefitted by carrots. For example, carrots benefit, since the onions and leeks act as a repellant to the carrot fly. Onions get along well with all of the cabage family, but they also like beets, strawberries, tomatoes, and lettuce. The ornamental version of onions are also helpful to roses.

Carrots & Parsley

Carrots and Parsley are good companion plants. Parsley mixed with carrots helps to repel the carrot fly because it masks the aroma that attracts the carrot fly. Carrots also are good to grow with tomatoes.

Peas

Peas are legumes and they are excellent for building soil. They have the ability to pull nitrogen from the air and store it in the nodules in the soil. Therefore, they are a natural fertilzer. Because of this, they are an excellent crop to plant ahead of others plants. Also because they are very early season, you can plant peas in the Spring. Then till the plants into the soil and plant another crop in late spring. This is especially true if you prepare your soil in the fall of the preceding year. See my article “Fall Garden Tasks-Preparing Raised Beds for Spring Planting.”

Asparagus with Tomatoes

Asparagus and Tomatoes are natural companions. Each produced a chemical that benefits the other. ┬áRead my article “Tomato and Asparagus-Natural Companion Plants” for more information on how to plant and make these two natural companion plants thrive.

Squash and the Cucuribits

Squash is an excellent vegetable to create organic material for your soil. The large leaves should be tilled into the soil.

Corn and Cucumber, Squash, and Pumpkin

Cucumbers, squash, and pumpkin are excellent companion plant to corn. You have no doubt heard how the Native American tribes planted corn and squash together. One of the most significant advantages is that the cucuribit family will spread their vines all around the corn. The spiny nature of the vines tends to keep the racoons away. It is not fool-proof, but my neighbor routinely loses most of his crop to racoons. I rarely lose my corn to racoons. Last year I did not plant squash around my corn and I lost nearly the entire patch.

Radishes with Squash, Cucumber, and Pumpkin

Sow two or three radishes (particularly the icicle radish) in each hill of cucumbers, squash, or other melons to repel the striped cucumber beatle and other insects. Go ahead and let the radish continue to grow and even go to seed.

Horseradish

Horseradish can be an invasive plant. It is said, once a horseradish patch, always a horseradish patch. Having said that, horesradish and potatoes have a symbiotic effect upon one another. Horseradish tends to cause the potatoes to be more disease resistant. It does not protect against the potato beetle, however. The best way to benefit potatoes is to plant horseradish at the corners of the potato patch only, because horseradish tends to spread. At the end of the season, dig up the horseradish and move it. If it is removed each season in this way, it does not spead.

Tomatoes with Roses

Tomatoes are very helpful to Roses. Plant a tomato plant or two among your roses. The tomato will protect roses against black spot. The active ingredient in tomato leaves is solanine, which is a volatile alkaloid that has been used as a natural insecticide. Use a juicer to create tomato leaf juice. Then add four or five pints of water and one tablespoon of cornstarch. If you can’t plant tomato plants among your roses, then strain and spray this solution on your roses.
Now read more articles at The Living Garden. Our articles and video training will show you more about preparing early-season beds in the fall and easy methods to keep in-the-garden diseases from recurring in your Living Garden. http://www.livinggardenseries.com

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