But first, let’s talk a little about what companion planting is, how to design companion plant groupings, and why it’s gonna rock the socks off your garden! 1.1k. In a polyculture (also called “guilds” in the permaculture world), plants are intentionally grouped together to maximize the benefits that each one can offer. These crops are generally not prone to disease, but do we employ a 2 year rotation period for carrots, since they can be affected by root maggots, while greens can be planted in the same bed repeatedly without a problem. For example, group brassicas together in one family, tomatoes and peppers together in another. Helps prevent pest problems: Mixing plants together makes it more difficult for pests to find those they like to eat. Some vegetables like tomatoes, green beans, peppers, and peas are considered self-fertile. sweet peppers Required fields are marked *. nasturtium, bush beans Thanks so much! You may even be familiar with the “Three Sisters” garden. I love these ideas to get started with companion planting. lettuce Here's a quick and easy guide to this awesome gardening technique. Your email address will not be published. You can check out my own neighborhoods below to see what some possible groupings might look like. Providing shelter and water entices the insects to remain close by, which will increase their foraging in your garden and further reduce the numbers of pests preying upon your crops. marigolds I absolutely avoid using straw as a mulch because slugs and snails love to hide in it during the day, then lunch my tender brassicas during the cool nighttime. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the suggestions, which are sometimes confusing, unscientific, and even contradictory. brussels Here are some things to consider when designing your companion plant groupings: Lettuce growing in the shade provided by zucchini plants. Note:  This is not an affiliate link, though I do highly recommend “Great Garden Companions” to anyone interested in this method of growing and raising crops. Companion Planting Chart . Experience has taught us that planting some vegetables together leads to enhanced quality and growth. They shoo away all the undesirable creatures. marigolds, kale Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or if I can help out in any ways! Some plants just grow well together, while others might be terrible matches. radish. I’ve been meaning to try companion planting for a while but never got around to really doing my research. I experiment with new companion plant groupings every year, and I probably mess up far more than I perfect! I do think that this article gives a good overview of some of the studies that have been done and a realistic look at the advantages/disadvantages. When my garden was smaller, serving just our own family, I would plant my onions, and then scatter-sow carrots between them, using the thinnings in salads. This is an awesome post. Catniprepels fleas, ants and rodents. Keeping a permanent bed in the garden not only gives you a place to plant perennials like rhubarb and asparagus, but also offers a dependable habitat to beneficial insects. Peas, which grew on the poles, died back toward the middle of summer as the other crops filled in. 4. borage 2. So, I’ve taken a lot of the work out of the equation for both you (and me!) radish Frankly, there just aren’t tons of scientific, controlled studies regarding companion planting. radish In this grouping, one family member may help repel pests that attack another family member. nasturtiums Greets! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Certain plant combinations have extraordinary+ Read More This kind of grouping can help you make the best of limited garden space, with the added benefit that insects may become confused by the close placement of the two unrelated crops, and they may not be able to find their target crop. Old wives tales or not, I do believe that there are benefits to companion planting, including: Poppies attract beneficial pollinators to the garden. Using Companion Planting in Your Vegetable Garden. Boragein the strawberry patch will increase the yield. These groupings are awesome! I can’t wait to get out into my garden to try them. In other instances, following a group of heavy feeders such as tomatoes or cucumbers with a planting of light feeders such as beets or carrots, can help you utilize your soil most efficiently. Humanity’s modern gardening methods disregard and destroy the natural systems in effect on Earth because we often feel the need to interfere with the links of the living chain, which causes the system to begin to collapse. Interested in using companion plants for your vegetable garden but overwhelmed and not sure where to start? We employ a 4 year rotation with nightshade crops, which are known for spreading a number of viral diseases. This week, I wanted to share something new with you that I am super excited about: Companion Plant Groupings! Plant allies are protector plants, or trap crops, which deter, or lure pests away from your vegetable crops. Let’s get started! Corn, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and squash are all crops who need a rich, well fertilized soil to produce well, while beets, carrots, onions, and turnips all do well in average or even poor soil conditions. garlic I love this! You want everything you plant to flourish to the best of its ability. It’s a win-win-win and an ideal polyculture grouping! That can be difficult to figure out, especially as a beginner. Companion planting is all about creating plant communities which have mutual benefits to each other. Now, I have lots of ideas! A good companion planting scheme often has a ripple effect that will enhance the health of your vegetable garden. A helping hand: Some companion pairings help each other grow, such as corn that’s planted beside lettuce, shading the lower growing crop from the hot summer sun. Crops like cucumbers, squashes, and pumpkins need plenty of space to spread out, rich, fertile soil, and hot, humid weather to perform well. Your posts are always so thorough and jam-packed with useful information! 2 Rules for choosing ally-attracting plant-friends. But, if you are like me, it gets dizzying to look at a million different charts (because each one is a bit different) and try to make everything “fit” together! This post is super helpful! To add a companion plant between two crops, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on each crop. Companion planting isn’t limited to bugs. We’re Kaylee & Lindy – two girls on a mission to grow food, live simply and cultivate happiness! Creates biodiversity:  Planting flowers and herbs among your vegetables in the garden creates biodiversity, which means having many different plants and animals in the area, and supports the natural systems at work, creating a healthier, stronger ecosystem. I’ve made it easy by creating 25 companion plant groupings that are ready for you to use in your vegetable garden this year! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a resource to get you started. Basilhelps repel flies and mosquitoes. Companion Planting Made Easy By Gfl. Group plants according to their nutrient needs, as some are heavy feeders, while others are moderate to light feeders. Now that we have a much larger market garden, I plant in wide beds, alternating carrots, onions, and beets. spinach, amaranth Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. I can carry them with me in my back pocket when I go out to the gardens to plant, and I double check them constantly to make sure I’m putting the right seedlings together, and laying the correct form of mulch. Companion Planting Made Easy is your guide to using time-tested techniques for healthier plants, bigger harvests, and fewer pest problems. Now we are dedicated to starting a homegrown food revival! Elderberrya general insecticide, the leaves encou… Once you’ve grouped your crop families it’s fairly easy to pair them with beneficial allies to create neighborhoods that suit your specific preferences and gardening principles. Some crops need well fertilized, rich soil, while others do just as well in average, or even fairly poor soil. Thanks for the printable! A good example is pairing potatoes with beans, potatoes are heavy nitrogen feeders, and since beans effectively fix nitrogen into the soil this is a great companion pairing. There are thousands of possibilities but choosing the correct plants can be tricky. Companion Planting Made Easy is your guide to using time-tested techniques for healthier plants, bigger harvests, and fewer pest problems. Historically, Native Americans perfected this method of planting. Even on a larger scale, as in our market gardens, companion planting can be utilized to reduce the need for pesticides, and to improve the efficiency of the garden. Companion Planting Improves Soil. It’s like putting together a puzzle – a puzzle that grows food, if you do it right! I spend a lot of time and energy planning out my garden, but I think it’s only really worthwhile if I get to share it with others! What a great post! The science behind companion planting is that because there are different nutrient requirements of plants, placing ones together that require different nutrients from the soil will ensure a high yield in both. You will get tips and techniques, fun projects, recipes, and expert gardening advice delivered to your inbox twice and month. Wow! 3 year rotation to avoid reintroducing pests, like the Cucumber beetle, which overwinter in the soil, mulch, and nearby logs or the debris of the forest floor. Now it’s easy to get all the answers to companion planting and pest control. The selection bar will then show only those plants that your chosen crop will love. marigolds Happy gardening! brussel sprouts celery Don’t plant the same garden crop in the same spot for consecutive gardening years, as this can lead to pest and disease problems, as well as nutrient imbalances. There are 4 ways to group your vegetable crops into families, by botanical family, feeding needs, performance benefits, and pairings that benefits each other by deterring or warding off harmful pests. Article by Weed 'em & Reap. We are actually planting our squash in beds that aren’t in our primary vegetable garden in an effort to reduce the squash bugs! About 10 years ago, I was lucky enough to stumble upon Sally Jean Cunningham’s book: “Great Garden Companions“, in which she lays out her companion-planting system–a system that takes the confusion out of companion planting and makes it easy to employ this method to aid in your pursuit of a chemical-free garden. In other instances, your companion plants may camouflage your vegetables. That’s why I started developing a list of companion plant groupings for vegetable gardens! nasturtiums Inter-planting flowers and herbs among your crops confuses the insects in some cases. The brassica neighborhood has a 2-3 year rotation period in my gardens, so they won’t be in the same plot again for at least 2 years, and we always remove spent plants at the end of the season because they can harbor pests and diseases over the winter. Companion planting in gardening and agriculture is the planting of different crops in proximity for any of a number of different reasons, including pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial insects, maximizing use of space, and to otherwise increase crop productivity. It’s like a symbiotic relationship. However if we set up our gardens to take advantage of the natural processes that make nature so successful, we can create a self-sustaining system that is a benefit not only to ourselves, but to the ecosystem that we are a part of. Click on the heart-shaped Companion Planting button. Use nutrients efficiently: Make the most of what your garden’s soil has to offer by pairing plants according to their nutrient needs. Please note that there are endless polyculture combinations that you can create! You want blousy heads on your dahlias, an abundant harvest in the vegetable beds and beautiful lush fruit crops from your bushes. Generally, these heat-loving, nutrient-demanding crops will go in the garden around the same time. Sets of intercropped plants that grow well together and benefit from each other are called companion plants. It was my father in-law who first introduced me to the concept of companion planting, as we discussed gardening, and he sagely shared the secret of planting marigolds with tomatoes in order to repel nematodes. And by arranging your garden into “neighborhoods” you’ve created an easy rotational system. peas onion 344 School Street This was so helpful! Research studies have indicated that bush beans planted in alternating rows with potatoes can significantly reduce the numbers of Colorado potato beetles afflicting your potato crop. Sign-up for In season, Organic Gardening's free gardening newsletter. To add a companion plant between two crops: Companion planting doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing. peas, tomatillos marigolds Another companion planting strategy is to plant cucumber among your cabbage-family crops early in the season; you will have harvested the brassicas by the time your cucumber-crops need more space. Chances are you’ve Googled companion planting and discovered the 1,410,000 results that come up, clicked through the first few links, and quickly became overwhelmed by the vast number of recommendations for pairing combinations of plants–I know I certainly did! 7. Because potatoes are susceptible to a number of diseases we give them a minimum of 3 years in our crop rotations. Typically these include common annuals (ie-marigolds, etc.) beets Radishes, too, are a great trap crop used to lure flea beetles away from your greens–just pull up the infested radishes and destroy them to get rid of the flea beetles. Bee-friendly farming for a sustainable tomorrow. Oh squashes! bush beans Definitely saving this. cauliflower Depending on your circumstances you may choose to employ just one of these groupings, or all of them. Vegetable companion planting makes sense for a few reasons: First, many companion plants are already plants you would grow in your garden. When your ecosystem is strong, the plants and animals therein are stronger and healthier too. One of the most well-known companion planting practices is known as The Three Sisters – made up of corn, beans, and squash. Too many members of the same family shouldn’t be seated together. tomatoes marigolds, squash/pumpkins beets This was great! lettuce borage 5. Genetically related plants can be grouped together, since they typically have similar needs for light, moisture, and fertility. Plant friends attract beneficial insects to the garden–beneficials are those who either prey upon garden pests, or those who pollinate, thus increasing the yield of your garden. Wow! It’s the agricultural practice of growing different crops  together in order to maximize the benefits of each plant. You may have come to know it by the more common term: “companion planting”. It can be an organic way to protect your crops from pests or it … I think that was the best choice I’ve made for my garden. (Annette’s other high quality gardening books are best sellers in 85 countries. pole beans I’m glad you found it helpful! Companion planting is just like planning the seating at your wedding reception. Some may call the companion-planting method merely an “old wives tale”, but just because something is folklore doesn’t mean it’s fiction. 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