Gardening is such a great activity. Through it, we connect to nature in ways we’ve forgotten and it also keeps us active. That’s before you even get to the main benefit – organic, healthy foods and amazing taste of homegrown produce.
When gardening, you can opt for fruits or vegetables. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can do both and kill two birds with one stone. If you ask experts, they wouldn’t recommend it – it’s apparently a lot more work and you’ll need to know which goes best with which. Thanks to our companion planting tutorial below, however, you will learn which fruits and veggies are mutually beneficial so you can plant them both at the same time.
A new revolutionary technique, the idea behind companion planting is learning which plant families are “friendlies”. This means that they can support each other and grow together. The technique has been used for centuries so it’s not new-age mumbo-jumbo. For example, in North America, corn, squash, and beans are grown together thanks to companion planting.
Here’s how each of these 3 plants supports each other:
- The leaves of the squash provide shelter to keep the soil moist and cool
- Corn serves as stalk for beans to grow
- Beans pull away nitrogen from the soil and hold all three plants together
As you can see, each of these plants has a role to play and this kind of support keeps them growing together. As all plants need protection from pests and the sun, it’s the perfect technique to grow strong plants.
Other Plant ‘Pals’ You Can Grow Together
Radishes, bush beans, and spinach also play nice. The radish and bush beans provide shade to the spinach and boost their nutrient absorption as well. Tomatoes, on the other hand, work great with basil and carrots, but not with cucumbers. The red veggie also works great with potatoes just like peppers and beans.
Flowers work great with vegetables as well. Marigolds attract pollinators, for example, so they work great with melons, peas, squashes, and tomatoes. Although we’ve grown to see vegetables in separate rows, that’s not how nature does it. Nature is messy, but it develops plants and veggies better thanks to biodiversity.
Benefits of Planting Companions
Companion planting helps gardeners in many ways. It attracts beneficial insects, lowers the risks of losing an entire yield, protects delicate plants, and keeps the garden free of pests. It also allows you to use your garden space more efficiently – this also means a better harvest.
If you want to give it a try yourself, use this guide and enjoy the upcoming planting season!