Companion planting is a centuries old practice of growing various plants together with the understanding that they will assist each other in some way.
Here are some ideas for companion planting around the veggie patch:
🌱 Planting salad greens inside a row of onions or garlic can help create a “smell” barrier against slugs and snails.
🌱 Poached-egg flower and alyssum are great to grow near peas as they attract hoverflies which keep down aphids.
🌱 Cabbage moth caterpillars love nasturtiums so you can plant these near brassica veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy etc) to keep the caterpillars busy.
🌱 Aphids don’t like basil, so plant it next to any veggies that you feel need some protection from this pesky visitor. Perfect for planting beside tomatoes.
🌱 Many herbs have a strong scent which deters insects, plus their flowers attract bees. Where space permits, try to have one herb plant for every 2-3 vegetable varieties. The bonus is that they’re also immensely beneficial for human consumption.
🌱 Try planting two different vegetables in the same space (whether a box or a large pot) to confuse crop-specific pests.
🌱 Planting flowers near your veggies will attract beneficial insects which improve pollination rates and increase the harvest.
🌱 Grow a tall plant, such as eggplant or capsicum, alongside lettuce to help shade the lettuce during the hottest part of the day.
🌱 Perhaps my all-time favourite, courtesy of the Cherokee Indians, is the “three sisters” method. Corn is planted and acts as a trellis. Once the corn is a few inches high, squash and beans are added beneath them. The squash is a ground creeper and keeps down the weeds while also helping to keep moisture in the soil, by providing shade at the base of the corn. The beans improve the soil and in turn, use the corn as a trellis.
What’s your favourite companion planting combination?