While both my sister and I LOVE to garden, we are at heart, kinda lazy people. SO… I am going to share some of the best advice out there that saves me from working more than I have to and still get some amazing organic produce from my garden.
Plants are like teenagers, they are really clicky and just want to be with their favorite peeps. This is referred to as “companion planting”. If done right, companion planting should significantly reduce pests and diseases while also increasing pollination and feeding the soil.
One of the most famous companion plantings is known as “three sisters” and was a method used by Native Americans long before European settlers arrived. They planted corn, squash and beans together because they all did better growing together than separated. The corn gives the beans a structure to climb up, the beans increase the nitrogen in the soil , and the squash provides ground cover which increases moisture retention and reduces the weeds. Everyone is happy!! I utilized this method last year and had amazing results. The only thing I’m changing this year is I’m allowing the corn to get a head start. Last year the beans outgrew the corn and some of the corn stalks even collapsed!
Companion planting is also about NOT putting plants near each other that don’t get along. It seems the onions and garlic are the outcasts of the vegetable world. Many plants do not want to be anywhere near those guys….probably because they stink! But that smell also benefits some plants be keeping specific pests away. I like to plant onions around my brassicas beds, Tomato beds and leafy green beds. I found my chickens would not pass the smelly onions to get to the tasty tidbits behind them.
Herbs are not only tasty additions to our meals, they are some of the best companions to the vegetables as they are good deterrents for many pests. I have major issues with cabbage worms and I planted some Sage and Thyme in the Brasicass bed this year as those herbs should help repel those little cabbage killers!
There are some great charts out there that shows which plants like each other and which plants do not want to be around each other. I have done the search for you and here is one of the best I have found. Link to chart…..
So take some time, plan your beds with companion planting and you can have amazing organic vegetables with less toxic chemicals and best of all less work!!!