Choosing the right plants is crucial because you need to consider many things to encourage growth. If you grow plants that are not suitable in your home garden, you will find many challenges to keep them thriving. When deciding what to put in your garden, you must consider several factors like soil type and temperature. As a gardener, you have to learn techniques that can help your plants in their growth. One way to do it is through companion planting.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is one of the best gardening methods that improve plants’ growth. It involves placing specific plants next to each other, which should benefit from their qualities and nutrients. If you choose the best companion plants, each of them can offer protection from predators, and it can also distract pests or necessary amendments to the soil.
The Benefits of Companion Planting
Picking the right companion plants can be challenging for someone new to gardening. But once you choose the right plants, you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Adds shelter and shade to other plants
Companion planting is highly recommended because it is beneficial to both plants. For instance, planting tall, sturdy plants with climbers can provide natural support within your garden. As such, it eliminates weeds and offers shade to the plants that require less sunlight.
- Attracts beneficial insects and pollinators
Insects like bees and butterflies help in pollination. If you want to attract these beneficial insects, you may consider adding companion plants, especially marigolds and nasturtiums. These plants attract pollinators that help deter pests. Not only that, but they are also a great addition to your garden.
- Boosts productivity
Besides promoting pollination, companion planting can also help in pest control. It also increases the available space, which is ideal for the increase of crop production.
- Fights diseases
Diseases are common to plants, but they can spread quickly through plants of the same species. When you grow companion plants, you can slow the spread of disease. Gardeners also use companion planting to lower the plants’ susceptibility to infection.
- Keeps the soil moist
Companion planting can produce space in your garden for you to grow more plants. It also holds the soil and keeps it most. Plants like squash and cucumbers are vining plants that are especially useful for shading the soil.
Best Companion Plants
If you have a hard time choosing which companion plants to grow, here are some plants to consider:
- Calendula + Broccoli
Calendula keeps the aphids off the broccoli, which makes it a good companion plant. It also attracts beneficial ladybugs to dine on the aphids.
- Corn + Pole Beans + Pumpkin
Corn, pole beans, and pumpkins are companion plants that are very common to gardeners. The corn gives the beans a place to climb. For the beans, they convert atmospheric nitrogen to a form the plants can use. Meanwhile, the leaves of the pumpkin create a living mulch that reduces weeds and holds moisture.
- Lettuce + Tomatoes or Eggplants
Tomatoes and eggplant grow tall, which provides an excellent shade for lettuce, which doesn’t like heat.
- Melons + Flowering Herbs
Do you love melons? Make sure to grow flowering herbs beside them. These plants require pollinators to produce, so having flowers can invite insect visitors into your garden.
- Nasturtium + Cucumber
As mentioned earlier, companion planting can attract pollinators and beneficial insects to your garden. When you do this method, you can improve the biodiversity in your garden. If you want to have more pollinators, consider growing cucumbers up a trellis together with nasturtiums.
Companion planting is a beneficial gardening method that can help gardeners in so many ways. Not only it boosts productivity, but it also helps plants fight disease and avoid pests. Whether you are a beginner or expert in gardening, you may consider companion planting to keep your plants thriving. If you grow plants that bear fruits and vegetables, then this method will surely help you in better food production.