There is a real beauty to understanding how different plants grow together and knowing the tricks to matchmaking vegetation. We have a few simple tools to tuck into your gardening belt — so pull out your trusted garden equipment and get ready to discover the wonders of companion planting.
Plant like a pro: understanding companion planting
If you have ever struggled to achieve ideal plant health in your garden, companion planting is just the trick you need. This method utilises growing different plants in such a way that they enrich growth, provides protection from pests and enhances the flavour in vegetables. Think of it as super symbiosis. While you apply these handy tips to your gardening knowledge, also read up on our guide to beneficial insects for your garden vegetables.
Pair, produce, prosper: a guide to companion planting
Before you get started on your garden project, always do research on the vegetable families you intend to grow in your garden. This is an important point, as it will determine additional vegetables and plants you may need to add to your plots.
For example, the cabbage family (which includes broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collards and kale) thrive when planted next to beets and their family members.
Companion planting traces well back to early civilizations, such as the Indigenous peoples of North America. By learning and tapping into their well-applied knowledge, we now know of one of the best vegetable trinities: corn, beans and squash. Quite cleverly realised: the tall and sturdy stalks of the corn support the travelling beans as well as provides shade, while beans assist in providing nitrogen to the soil and thirdly, ground growing squash prevents weeds from growing at the base. For additional protection against weeds, explore our comprehensive range of weed control products. Choose from concentrates, sprays and systemic herbicides for a complete approach to weed elimination in gardens, pavements and lawns.
Another example of beneficial bunching includes planting onions near leafy greens and spinach. Carrots, asparagus, celery, and squash are compatible with most plants and do not have a forbidden plant partner, whereas other particular plants, however — don’t coexist quite as nicely.
In certain situations, badly paired garden vegetables will lead to not only stunted growth but also a poor yield of crops. Tomatoes happen to fall under this category, as they pair poorly with corn and potatoes. This is due to competition for the same soil nutrition, as well as blocking light. Pole beans also do not agree with vegetables like beets, the cabbage family, and the allium family (bulbous herbs which include onions, leeks, garlic and scallions).
Garden vegetable allies
Other than the mentioned above pairings to avoid, these plants have great properties that benefit your garden vegetables with companion planting.
Onions and odour
This superpower comes in the form of odour. Onion, in addition to garlic and chives, tends to deter pests with their strong smells. Plant them around spinach, lettuce and cabbage.
Herbs: flavour and fortification
Due to the essential oil, beneficial herbs include nasturtium, rosemary, thyme, oregano and mint. They also deter pests, while also bringing out flavour in surrounding vegetables.
Marigolds tend to do best around tomatoes and repel certain insect pests, like certain worms and caterpillars. Additionally, by planting sunflowers, birds will get attracted to the scrumptious seeds and then also notice the surrounding crawling pests. Clever convenience? You are welcome. To reinforce your pest protection efforts alongside companion planting, explore both our natural pest protection range as well as an extensive collection of insecticides available. These products achieve pest protection with the best of both worlds of either eco-friendly or specially formulated solutions — you decide which range is best for you and your garden.
Tips, tricks and terrific ideas
In addition to companion planting, try these:
- Using taller plants to provide cover for shade dwelling plants.
- Varying root systems to avoid competition for space. Interchange deeper and shallow-rooted plants.
- Adding beans where possible to add nitrogen to the soil — a great benefit for many vegetables.
- Consider elements like sun exposure, soil pH, water drainage and the layout of your land.
- Choose to grow in flatter, level ground as hills and inclines tend to experience water runoff and loss.
If your companion planting and garden vegetables require more assistance to stay pest-proof, explore the benefits of using eco-friendly pest control.
Go grow — we’re rooting for you
We hope you enjoyed learning these tips and tricks with companion planting. For ideas on how to protect your garden and home, contact us.