Vegetable Garden Companion Plants
- sorting out the friends from the foes -

Posted on April 26, 2018

Vegetable Garden Companion Plants

Mother Nature’s approach to gardening is pretty haphazard compared to us humans. Plants will take root just about anywhere in their battle to secure the space and resources needed to extend the survival of their species. Gardeners, on the other hand, usually operate with a plan - especially when it comes to vegetable gardening. Plants are chosen carefully, planted in neat rows with spacing that will allow every plant to reach its full potential.

But plant locations in nature aren’t always as random as they may appear. Often plants are found growing together because they benefit each other. It may be something simple, such as a shade-loving plant growing in the shadow of a sun-loving tree, or complex such as an orchid growing in the branches of a tree. Some plants support each other’s survival by providing natural pest control; they may attract beneficial insects for pollination, or repel insects and wildlife that may damage a plant. Some plants affix nitrogen to their roots and nourish the soil for surrounding plants. Some combinations actually enhance the flavor of fruits or vegetables. These happy relationships are what we call good “companion plants”.

Smart gardeners can use companion plantings to their advantage when planning a vegetable garden. Note that there are also some plants that don’t get along and may even interfere with the health and productivity of plants nearby. On the other hand, there are a few plants that are always good vegetable garden friends. Petunias, Marigolds, Oregano, Mint, and Nasturtiums are natural insect repellents. All are excellent for planting around the perimeter of the garden to create a barrier, or grown in pots placed throughout the garden. Bonus: flowering plants also attract pollinating insects that are necessary for good fruit production.

Looking for more vegetable gardening tips and ideas? Find more here!

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