Companion planting is a beneficial practice in gardening where different plants are planted near one another to improve their growth and help protect against pests and disease. When done properly, companion planting can bring many rewards such as increased yields, improved flavor of fruits and vegetables, more pest and disease resistance, soil enhancement, and even enhanced beauty of the garden! Here are some examples of companion plants you may want to consider adding to your own garden:
Tomatoes & Basil: Planting tomatoes and basil together can have several benefits. Not only do they look nice when paired together, but their scent is believed to deter pests from tomato plants. Tomatoes also provide some shade for the delicate basil leaves which helps prevent sunburn.
Carrots & Radishes: Carrots and radishes can make a great pairing for any garden bed. Carrots are a slower growing crop than radishes which allows them space to mature without crowding out other plants. Additionally, radish roots repel carrot flies from invading carrots, making it easier for the carrots to reach maturity without pests interfering with the harvest.
Marigolds & Peppers: Planting marigolds near peppers will create an attractive display while protecting the pepper plants from nematodes. Marigolds’ bright yellow blooms will attract beneficial insects such as hoverflies which feed on aphids that like to munch on pepper leaves. In addition, marigolds have a strong scent which can keep away some destructive insect species from bothering peppers.
Lettuce & Beets: These two vegetables have an important partnership in your garden; beets produce an abundant amount of nectar which attract beneficial insects like lacewings that prey on aphids that love to feast on lettuce leaves. Lettuce in turn provides natural mulch that retains moisture around the beets’ shallow roots. The result is larger harvests of both beets and lettuce!
As you can see there are numerous ways you can pair up different types of plants in your garden so they complement each other rather than compete for space or resources. When choosing companion plants be sure to research what grows well with what as there are always certain combinations that work better than others due to soil composition, light needs or even height difference between them all. With a bit of experimentation and knowledge about each plant's needs you should soon find yourself enjoying an abundance of beautiful flowers or delicious fruits and vegetables right in your very own backyard!