When two garden plants thrive in each other’s company, we call them “companions.” No one knows exactly why this is true. But, companion vegetables suffer fewer pest attacks, grow more vigorously, and have better yields. And, ofteh they even taste better.
While the science of companion planting is not complete, gardeners do have a long history of experience and observation to draw upon. Gardeners have been experimenting with companion planting since at least 300 B.C.
Companion planting in our time is especially effective because our plots are mostly small. Their chemical secretions either stunt the growth or boost the yield of the plant in the close vicinity.
Vegetable growers find that companion planting provides many benefits. One is protection from pests.
Not only do the plants attract insects to pollinate your vegetables – some pests actually prefer the flowers and will leave the vegetable alone.
Nasturtiums and Nicotiana are the most popular flower trap crops used to attract aphids. If you are interested in attracting hummingbirds or butterflies, there is nothing better than flowering tobacco-Nicotiana.
Nasturtiums planted with squash will keep away squash bugs. When planted near broccoli in the garden, they will keep down aphids and benefit potatoes, radishes, cucumbers, and any member of the cabbage family.
I have also noticed that when I plant nicotiana between tomatoes; it increases tomato yields. Lettuce and nicotiana are very good companions because flowering tobacco gives lettuce light shade in which it grows much better.
Another good garden companion and fly repellent is Tansy. I use this plant for grapes and raspberries. It is also a good companion to roses.
Tansy attracts dozens of ladybugs during certain weeks of the growing season. They love to lay their eggs on tansy. These feeding ladybugs will stick around to feed on the pests in your garden. The smokey-tar aroma of tansy makes it a moth and ant repellent.
Dill is a good cucumber companion from seedling to pickle jar because it directly repels aphids and spider mites, and attracts beneficial insects like parasitic wasps and lacewings that control cucumber beetles and other pests. This herb also appears to stimulate a better flavor in cucumbers as the two plants mature.
Another flower that attracts butterflies and increases tomato yields is garden heliotrope. It bears highly fragrant flowers in summer.
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Yours truly for a great garden with outstanding veggies and flowers.