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Many vegetable gardens use a technique called companion planting that helps to reduce pest problems and is also beneficial for other plants. It is simple; some plants grow better near some companions than when they are alone. You cannot expect to see results right away but, if these techniques are used in a well-maintained garden, you can see results.
Here’s an infographic that can show you the different ways you can control pests in your garden:
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Companions help each other to grow – for example, tall plants give shade to short plants that are sensitive to sunlight. And through this, you can also use garden space efficiently.
It is an organic way of pest control; provide protection from heat, the wind and it can also be helpful in improving pollination of fruits and vegetable crops. Companion planting also helps balance your garden’s ecosystem.
By planting a particular type of plants near each other, you can repel certain types of insects. The combination of some plants can act like a natural pest control and can also attract beneficial insects. Mostly people think that companion planting can be beneficial only in vegetable gardens. But it can also be used in flower gardens and fields as well.
Companion plants must be planted near each other to produce the desired effect. So it is more suited for small gardens where plants are grown close to each other. Gardens that use raised beds, wide rows are natural candidates for companion gardening.
These types of planting must be carefully planned so that the plants can mutually benefit off each other. If properly mixed it can turn away pests as they won’t be able to find what they are looking for.
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Benefits of Companion Planting
• It offers physical support
• Improves the flavor of vegetables and fruits
• Repels pests and keeps them away from individual plants
• Gives shade and aids pollination
• Proper space utilization
• Increases health of soil
• Enhances the appearance of your garden
So here is a list of common vegetables and companions that are suitable for them.
Tomatoes benefit from the company of basil, onions, rosemary, sage, and parsley. Also, marigolds are planted among tomatoes to keep them away from insects. It should also to be noted that tomatoes and potatoes belong to the same family and should not be planted together.
Beans can increase nitrogen in the soil and are considered as helper plants in the garden. Beans are good for the following vegetable plants –carrots beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, corn, cucumbers, eggplant and peas. Avoid planting beans near onions, leeks, garlic, scallions as they prevent them from growing.
They are compatible with beans, celery, onion and spinach. Avoid planting peas, strawberries and tomatoes near cauliflowers. Also cauliflower requires a considerable amount of nitrogen for them to grow quickly so find plants that are rich in nitrogen and plant it near them.
Carrots are sensitive to heat and tomatoes can provide shade to them. Tomatoes also secrete a chemical called solanine that kills insects which harms carrots. Also, keep in mind that tomatoes stunt the growth of carrots so leave a gap of 15 inches between them. Other companions are Bean, lettuce, onion, pea, pepper and radish. Do not plant corianders and dill near carrots.
Dill is a great companion for cabbage as well as for other cruciferous vegetables because they attract wasps that will kill the pests on cabbage. Celery and onions promote the growth of cabbage, and chamomile improves flavor. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplants should not be grown near cabbages. Aromatic plants like onion and celery help to keep cabbages, acting as natural pest control.
Onions also do well with, beets, chard, lettuce, peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes. Onions should not be grown near peas and beans as they will hinder with their growth. Onions also do well with celery and carrots because they repel insect pests in these vegetables.
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The best companions for potatoes are beans, cabbage and corn as they help in better growth and improve the flavor of potato. You must also avoid planting potatoes near tomatoes, sunflowers, raspberries and pumpkins as they will be affected with blight.
Plants, like people, can be good or bad neighbors. Certain types of plants seem to get along better and improve the companion plants’ health or flavor. Companion planting must also be accompanied by other good gardening practices, such as pest control, timely watering and careful spacing between the plants.
For example, for controlling pests in your garden you can plant lavenders in the sunny areas of your garden which will help you to exterminate bugs. Chrysanthemums are an ornamental flower which contains ingredients that can repel beetles, bedbugs, ticks and fleas. You can also get in touch with pest control experts like Nycitypestcontrol.com for your needs.
Finally, each garden is different, and what works for one doesn’t work for another. It’s important, to keep good notes and to experiment with various companion plants and also new pest control methods until you find something beneficial.