So you are ready to start your Garden.
By now, you surly have picked your Spot or Containers and the ground is nicely turned You want to be sure that there is no more frost in the Ground. Check your local gardening calender
It is important to not just pick the right spot for good soil, sun and nutrients to have a successful garden, but also to make sure you are planting the right plants to grow together or apart to assure you will have a healthy garden with great crop
We will look at some plants to plant next to each other and which ones to keep apart. This is called Companion gardening.
For exsample, some plants attract insects that help to protect a companion, while other plants (especially herbs) act as repellents. Also some plants that require a lot of the same nutrients as there neighbors may struggle to get enough for themselves, what will result in smaller crops.
Benefits of companion gardening
When planting a Garden you should always know what plants require a lot of sun what like it shady. Which ones desire the same Nutrients or attract the same pests. You want to ,( what I call mix and match) to assure that every plant will receive the ultimate care. Just think, the Farmers switch out there Crop every Year from Corn to Beans and Wheat to Corn for example. This will assure that not all the same Nutrients are being pulled out of the Earth that feeds the Crop. If you do not take that in consideration you will end up with “dead Soil” that will not produce anything but dust.
Beginner gardening Tips for companion gardening
Let’s look at the benefits of Companion planting.
- Shade: Large plants will provide that shade for smaller ones and protect them from the sun
- Natural support: Large plants like Tomatoes, Corn and Sunflowers will help your sprawling Vegetables like cucumbers, Watermelon or Pumpkins
- Plant health: When one species will absorb certain nutrients from the soil, the soil biochemistry is changed and may profit another nearby plant.
- Healthy Soil: When growing beans and peas for example, they will help to make nitrogen available for other plants. When planting plants with long taproots like Carrots or burdock you will know that those will bring up nutrients from deep down in the soils and help your shallow rooted plants out that are not able to reach that far.
- Weed control: you want to minimize open areas where weeds will be able to take root. This can be accomplished by planting upright Plants together with sprawling plants like potatoes or Salads.
Home Vegetable / Herb gardening friends
Now let’s look at some Vegetables and Herbs that “like” each other :
Many herbs, act as natural insect repellents because insects get confused by the strong Odor and will avoid the plant they intended to invade or ( the person in it )
One of the Staples in my Garden is Marigold : It goes with almost any garden plant and works as a repellent for nematodes which will attack the roots especially of tomatoes. Marigold will extract oils from its roots that keep pests away. It is also a great Mosquito repellent as well as deter plant lice and rabbits.
Basil : plant it with your Tomatoes. The large Tomato Plant will give it’s needed shade and the basil will keep away Mosquitoes and Flies while protecting from tomato horn worms.
Chives: plant with carrots, cabbage broccoli, eggplant and squash as will as strawberries. They are all doing much better when in its company. For example Carrots may increase in flavor and size, other vegetables and fruits increase there yields and not to forget Chives repel numerous insects like onion and carrot flies.
Rosemary : plant near cabbage carrots, beans and sage to keep away cabbage moths, bean beetles and carrot flies.
Thyme: plant near Cabbage to keep the Cabbage worm away.
Home Vegetable / Herb gardening foes
Here are some examples of plants that ” do NOT ” like each other.
Dill: Broccoli, Cauliflowers Strawberries and Tomatoes are not likely to grow up to there full potential in the presence of Dill. Dill is knows to stunt their growth even though while in a young stage Dill may be a friend as is matures it will have an influence on your Vegetables.
Basel: Avoid planting near Beans and Kohlrabi
Do what works in your neck of the “woods”
While the above pairing and not pairing of Herbs and Vegetables is based on my own gardening experiences, there will be a lot of other Ideas and Opinions by other Gardeners.mostly because it all depends on your Location, differences in Weather and different growing seasons around the Globe.
The availability of water will also have a big impact and results in different plant zones in which some will do better than others. You would never plant a cactus in the rain forest would you ?
Best practice will be a close observation in your Garden, see who likes or dislikes whom and keep a Garden diary so you will be able to KNOW your garden. There is never a substitute for attention. I have kept one for many Years and know that I CAN NOT grow Rosemary in my Garden due to Soil issues, so I had to utilize my Container Garden for it.
Don’t ever get discouraged if something does not work out, we all learn from fails and success, and if you are like me you will find a way to be able to grow everything you like even if you have to find an alternative for the original spot you would have liked that plant in.
Remember the Farmer? he will be out in his fields looking, tasting, feeling every day to assure that the Crop will thrive and if one of them is not doing good he will grow something different next Year.
Wishing you much success