The Nuts and Bolts of Companion Planting


 

red swiss chard

This month, in many areas of the country, signs of spring are in the air and with that comes the first symptoms of spring fever where gardeners start dusting off their garden tools and get to work. In honor of gardeners everywhere, I have dedicated this month’s blog posts to helping gardeners get started.

 

This week I want to talk about another way to protect and nurture your plants.  I want to discuss companion planting.

 

What is Companion Planting?

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac defines companion planting as:

 

“Time-honored gardening wisdom says that certain plants, when grown together, improve each other’s health and yields. For instance, some plants attract beneficial insects that help to protect a companion, while other plants (particularly herbs) act as repellents. Additionally, plants that require a lot of the same nutrients as their neighbors may struggle to get enough for themselves, producing lackluster crops.”

Companion planting certainly makes sense when you think about it. Have you ever noticed that nature doesn’t grow just one type of plant in an area, but likes to throw numerous varieties together? It is not natural to grow a monocrop and a lot of the reason for that the variety supports the natural balance of nutrients in the soil.

 

The Benefits of Companion Planting

 

The benefits of companion planting include

 

1.       Shade Regulation where the taller plant shades a shorter more sun sensitive plant.

 

2.       Natural Supports where sturdy, fast growing taller plants provide natural support for vining plants.

 

3.       Improved plant health-one plant provides nutritional support for another plant species.

 

4.       Healthy soil-some plants have deeper taproots that prevent soil compaction.

 

5.       Weed suppression-planting sprawling plants around upright plants to suppress weeds.

 

Three sisters Gardening is the best-known form of companion planting.

 

Three Sisters Gardening Style

 

https://hubpages.com/living/A-Three-Sisters-Garden-Bed

 

Here are some related articles about the individual types of plants grown in a three sister’s garden.

 

Growing All Varieties of Winter Squash

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-All-Types-of-Winter-Squash

 

Extend Green Bean Harvest Upward with Pole Beans

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Gardening-with-Pole-Beans

 

For the Best Sweet Corn, Grow It in Your Own Backyard

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Raising-Your-Own-Sweet-Corn

 

Three sisters isn’t the only way we can use companion planting. Here are a few other articles that explain how other plants can be part of companion planting. 

Growing Beets in the Home Garden

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-Beets-in-a-Garden-Bed

 

Sweet Peppers Companion with Sweet Basil

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Plant-Sweet-Peppers-with-Basil

 

The Hottest Tips for Growing Hot Peppers at Home

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Hot-Peppers-in-the-Garden

 

Growing and Saving Seed from Heirloom Tomatoes

 

https://hubpages.com/living/Growing-and-Saving-Seed-from-Heirloom-Tomatoes

 

 Simply Vegetable Gardening

 

These and many more tips can be seen in my book Simply Vegetable Gardening. Simply Vegetable gardening is available on Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JHV15G6

and in Print:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/donna-brown/simply-vegetable-gardening-simple-organic-gardening-tips-for-the-beginning-gardener/paperback/product-21579298.html

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2 comments
  1. This is something I learned the past three years or so. Didn’t know it until then….very important for gardeners to learn this…this and crop rotation!

    • 1authorcygnetbrown said:

      Yes, plant rotation is very important as well. That would definitely be another article I could write.

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