Companion planting means putting together plants that can help each other in some way; they can provide nutrients, attract beneficial insects, discourage pests, or offer support or shade. One of the classic combinations is the grouping of squash, corn and beans, called the “Three Sisters.” The tall cornstalks provide support for the beans, which shade the young ears of corn and repel squash vine borers. The squash below shades out weeds and keeps the corn roots cool. This is a win-win-win!
Another favorite combination is marigolds and tomatoes. The tomatoes look so pretty surrounded by bright gold and orange pom-poms. Beneath the surface, the marigold roots put out a substance that is poisonous to nematodes that attack tomato roots. On the other hand, marigolds sometimes attract white flies which damage tomato plants. Culinary herbs are aromatic to us, but their strong scent can confuse destructive insects that find their food by smell. Planting herbs like rosemary, basil, and mint among the flowers or vegetables will discourage pests.
A tall plant can offer shade to lower-growing plants. For instance, if you plant your delicate lettuces under the tomatoes, they will find the shade they need. This can also apply to flowers. If you don’t have a shady enough spot in your garden, plant your shade-loving plants under a taller companion. Following cheat sheets show other effective companion planting combinations.
Companion Planting Vegetables:
Companion Planting Herbs:
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