A Guide to Companion Planting for Beginners

Despite the discovery of various gardening mechanisms at present, nature always has a way to take care of itself — companion plants are one of them.

Instead of spending a lot of money on availing chemical pesticides, companion planting can actually serve as your natural pest control! Though this method is more than a pest-repelling technique as you’ll see in the article below.

6 Things You Need to Know About Companion Planting

Surprisingly, the ancient method of companion planting is simpler than it sounds.

Though it may take a little time at first when you are doing all the research, like which plants to pair and which ones you should avoid sticking together. But the end result speaks for itself.

So, take on this ancient and time-tested gardening method and learn all the basics of companion planting!

1. Mix-it-Up


To stop pests and diseases from infesting your garden, avoid growing long rows or large clusters of the same plant. This technique will make it hard for pests to choose a single shrub and plague the entire bed. You can also use a greenhouse to provide a physical barrier between your flowers and pests/diseases.

You can mix in a variety of plants in one area. For example, chives or thyme are popularly paired with roses as they are useful in deterring aphids and blackflies.

2. Herbs on Mass


Strong-scented leaves are efficient in repelling a lot of critters. So, grow herbs in every possible space around the garden and in between veggies. Mint, for example, can be a multipurpose deterrent and can be grown alongside carrots, radishes, onions, and even tomatoes.

3. Shade-friendly


Though most plants need sunlight to grow, some varieties can thrive in low shade areas. So, you can plant taller ones, such as sweetcorn and peas beside smaller kinds, like coriander and lettuce, to create partially-shaded conditions.

4. Forget Pace


It may be tempting to grow plants together based on how quick or slow they mature and bloom. But, there is a more effective gardening method called ‘intercropping’.

It utilises any available space in the garden to deter weeds and stop them from robbing your plants of water, light and nutrients.

5. Prioritise Diversity


By having a diverse range of plants you are essentially inviting birds and other wildlife into your garden. All the different plants create a healthier ecosystem in your space that is beneficial to birds, insects, and butterflies.

For starters, you can pair milkweed and parsley, which are famous for attracting larvae, with the best nectar-producing flowers like buddleia to attract moths and butterflies.

6. Plant Bullies


Though there are plants that complement each other in deterring pests, stopping weed growth and inviting wildlife, others bring harm more than good. Some may exude toxins that can either limit another plant’s development or cause rapid growth and take an unfair share of nutrients.

For example, planting tomatoes alongside any member of the cabbage family can slow down the tomatoes’ growth. You also need to make sure not to grow plants that attract the same pests together.

Doing so would risk your crops getting damaged. For example, by planting tomatoes and corn in close proximity, pests are sure to increase in your garden!