Companion planting is necessary when growing your own food. This type of planting basically means combining the right type of plants together so that one can act as protection for the other giving organic gardens as an alternative to using unnatural harmful pesticides. Companion planting can repel specific insects but also attract bugs that are beneficial to the growth of the plant.
Basil – Basil can be planted next to most vegetables. It has a strong scent which keeps many garden pests away including mites, aphids, white-fly, fruit-fly and mosquitos. We often plant basil alongside tomatoes in our greenhouse which helps tackle our aphid problem. If we find lady birds in the house we regularly transport them to the greenhouse to help clean up our big issue as well. Tomatoes and basil work well together also because they have similar growth requirements – both of them require a lot of sun and water (naturally) and an environment which is warm and moist. Since the weather here in England is forever unpredictable, we tend to keep our tomatoes well sheltered in a greenhouse most the year round, but bring some varieties out out during the summer months to blossom, surrounded by basil. Other vegetables that do well next to basil are asparagus, beans, beetroot, cabbage, chilli, bell peppers, eggplants, marigolds, oregano, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Planting chamomile and anise next to basil will also enhance it’s benefits.
Borage – borage is a must when it comes to growing your own. It is renown for attracting bees and wasps and great for warding off various plant diseases as well as getting rid of aphids and other insects. It is a good companion plant for squash, tomatoes, strawberries and fruit trees.
Chamomile – chamomile can benefit mint, onions, cucumbers, cabbage. Like borage, it also attracts bees and wasps, but it’s other benefits include activating compost so if your use chamomile for tea and make your own compost, make sure you add the leaves to your compost pile afterwards.
Chive – chives can be planted next to broccoli, parsley, cabbage, rhubarb, squash, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and carrots. They help protect by keeping aphids far along with japanese beetles and carrot fly. Planting them in-between carrots will help with the growth and flavour of the carrots and planting in-between cucumbers will aid in warding off cucumber beetles.
Cilantro – Cilantro helps attract insects, but the good type. The ones that gobble up all the bad ones. It makes a good companion plant for spinach and tomatoes and good herb choices for companionship are basil, mint, yarrow and tansy.
Dill – Dill is a natural insect repellant against aphids, spider mites, bugs and repels pests such as aphids. It works well with asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuces, onion and tomatoes and will help bring out the flavour of these vegetables.
Garlic – garlic works best around peppers, spinach, eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, apples, peaches and carrots. Garlic aids in repelling aphids, beetles and bugs and if you click on the ‘going organic’ tab, it will show you a guide to how to make your own garlic pesticide which will instantly repel most bugs. This will deal with your bug problem above ground, to deal with bugs below the ground you can plant marigolds, nasturtiums and geraniums.
Lavender – Lavender! We plant this everywhere, and I use it in everything, especially homemade skincare products. Anyway enough waffling. Lavender attracts butterflies and bees which is great for pollination of course, but fleas, moths and other bugs. It is a good companion plant for cabbage and cauliflower.
Mint – Mint is a great companion plant for beetroots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, peppers, aubergine, kale, lettuce and tomatoes. Mint attracts bees and repels ants, mosquitos, beetles, aphids, earwigs, slugs, snails, spider mites, white cabbage butterflies and cabbage maggots. It Is possible to make up a natural pesticide made out of mint oil (or peppermint oil) thyme, rosemary and clove. If you combine about 8 drops of each in a spray bottle full of water and spray anywhere you need to get rid of bugs it will work effectively however be careful not to spray on flowers since it will repel butterflies.
Marigolds – Marigolds work well with tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels and broccoli.
Marigolds have a scent that repel aphids, mosquitos and other bugs.
Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums help keep bugs away from tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, collards, broccoli, cabbage and radishes. However they attract a lot of caterpillars
Rosemary – planting rosemary near sage, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and peppers will aid their growth.
About the author
Jwaydan Moyine is a classically trained Film Composer, Pianist, Cellist, Singer/Songwriter, and a Writer and Entrepreneur. She founded Earth Children to bring awareness to matters regarding the Environment, Animal welfare, Sustainable & Conscious living, Wellness & Humanitarian issues. She is heavily involved with activism for animal welfare in the UK and Egypt and child welfare in Syria, Thailand and Romania. She resides in Berkshire Running an organic food farm, an organic skincare company, and an online platform called Vegans & Elephants, bringing awareness to matters regarding the Planet, Plant based nutrition, Cruelty free living & the necessity of adapting to Veganism for the sake of Sustainability, Animal welfare and our Health. She has several qualifications in nutritional therapy, culinary medicine & holistic healing. You can find out more on what she is doing over at the Earth Children Facebook Page!
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