I have so many people ask me what companion planting is. In my garden and in any garden I do I always use companion planting practices because I see the results working again and again.
What is companion Planting?
As I watch the ladybugs multiplying on the little daisy like flowers of my feverfew plant I am thankful I don’t need to spray my plants at all. The beauty of Gaia works her magic by supplying everything needed in order to create a perfect balance. A balanced eco system means there are fewer pest take overs devouring my crops. It’s when that balance is out that 1 species will take over and become a problem. To create the balance we have to mimic nature as closely as possible.
Companion partners and their enemies.
There are so many partners that will benefit each other when using companion planting in the veggie patch- strawberries and thyme, basil and tomatoes, and there are a few that are enemies- Beans and onions, parsley and Mint. Take a look in your garden if you have these things growing next to each other see how they are performing and consider planting them according to these suggestions. By taking into consideration the plants needs you can best plan where to plant them and what will work better. It also maximises the space which is great for most of us who have suburban farms where space is lacking.
Here is how I use companion planting in my own back yard veggie patch.
I just planted out my winter crop in my own back yard vegetable patch. It’s only a medium sized raised bed about 2m x 2m with a few extra pots around but it produces ample for my family of 3 plus a mini zoo of animals and I always have heaps to give away to my family friends and neighbours. I used companion planting when planting it out, including interplanting with pungent herbs and edible flowers. So here’s what I did, I placed the onion and garlic edge and the Lettuce, Spinach and Kale in the centre amongst one another. There are some of my summer crops still producing in the veggie patch, some capsicums and chillies still pumping out those hot little fruits of joy, some pumpkin vines around the base. I planted some cabbage and broccoli under some of my tall peppers and all around the outside are Nasturtiums and Violas, edible flowers, protecting my crops like a front line of solders. They are distracting and confusing the pests trying to sniff out my family’s tucker.
Edible flowers are number 1!
Edible Flowers are the perfect companion plant. I am a firm believer in growing useful plants, so edible flowers have so many uses and befits that they fall straight into this category. They attract pollinators and predator bugs, deter pests and look amazing while doing it! Take the simple viola, or heartese, many names this flower has, and many uses as well. The entire plant is edible. They contain vitamin A and C as well as antioxidants AND anthocyanin’s. But did you know it has a seed pod that can shoot its seeds several meters!! That tiny flower is mighty powerful!! Try it candied on the top of your cupcakes! It can decorate salads and deter the cabbage moth all at the same time. This is my favourite flower by far, but there are so many other edible flowers to decorate your garden with!
Plant some Powerful Companions for FREE that you might not know about.
Planting out seeds from your pantry is also another FREE way of increasing your veggie patches harvest. Things like mustard, coriander, dill & fennel can be planted straight from seeds you use for cooking in the pantry, these seeds are not only extremely viable but great companion plants. They are super pungent and their aroma confuses the pests who are honing in on your precious lettuce plants. So go on, don’t be afraid, go and grab some of those coriander seeds out of the pantry and scatter them amongst your veggies or in your garden somewhere today!