Vegetable Garden Companion Planting "Vegetable garden companion planting" is a great way to deter pests, increase plant-health vitality, and improve taste. In your veggie garden, what could be better? The result of companion planting: big, juicy, shiny fruit that's totally nutritious. Yummy, yummy!
Photo above left:Echinacea growing in a community garden on the Gold Coast Australia attracts native Bees and insect pollinators.
Century Old Methods Still Work Today!
The truth is you don't have to use chemicals to grow healthy plants. You just don't need them. Companion planting and other natural gardening methods were used for centuries before the 'chemical revolution.' Companion planting is based on the repelent properties provided by the plants themselves: herbs, flowers and vegetables. These, when mixed right, promote healthy growth and control pests and diseases.
Companion planting is attained by placing beneficial deterrent plants near to others to assist with protection both above and below the ground. For example, Parsley attracts lady beetles. Lady beetles love to feast on Aphids and scale, so the nearby plants benefit from the removal of these pests. The lady beetles get a feed. You get unblemished, pest free veggies. Don't laugh- this little insect can eat hundreds aphids in a day. Some farms actually release them as a pest control method.
Also, the secretion of aromatic oils by plants provide beneficial protection bydisorientating pests. These oils upset their sensory organs. . In such a 'non-monoculture' planting, pests have a lot more trouble finding a vegetable to devour. They sort of become 'babes in the wood' who can't find anything to eat.
"Additionally, companion planting can help improve the soil. The companions provide nitrogen to their neighbours, thus improving health and vitality all round."
Vegetable Gardening Companion Planting & Plants that improve the soil
Alfalfa is a wonderful plant. It's terrific at grabbing nitrogen from the air and adding it to the soil, thus increasing soil nutrition. Actually all Legumes can do this. But Alfalfa is the best, as it has very deep roots. An Alfalfa plant's roots can travel up to ten metres, bringing nutrients from the deepest soils up to surface feeder roots, where these nutriments can be of benefit to the companion plants as the Alfalfa dies and decomposes.
Borage is fantastic as a cover crop to raise potassium, calcium and other minor nutrient levels.
Dandelion is well known for breaking up heavy soils. Its roots push deep and raise nutrient levels. The nutrients that are lost in the sub-soils are brought back to the surface through the Dandelion's roots. These are dissolved back into the soils through the plant's decomposition. Also, worms love to travel along a Dandelion's deep thick tap root after it has decomposed. This allows oxygen and water to penetrate into the soils profile, providing real benefits to its neighbours.
Black Alder (llex verticillata)
In much the same way as Legumes, this plant is also a wonderful nitrogen fixure. A great addition to any garden.
Three Sisters Companion Planting Video
Vegetable Garden Plants & Pest
Ants- Plant Penny Royal, Peppermint, and sprinkle Peppermint oil in your garden to deter these pests.
Aphids- Aphids are rampant through many gardens but can be controlled by planting nasturtiums. In a greenhouse, you can burn oak leaves to deter these blighters.
Cutworms- Plant African Marigolds and use oak leaves as a deterent.
Flies - Plant any of the Basil family and Tansy.
Moths- Plant lavender to make these flying devourers flee.
Container Vegetable Gardening
Container Vegetable Gardening can get a little confusing at time.
Why? Because you want a productive garden that produces abundant healthy food.
That's why your doing it right?
If you want a list and lots of advice visit the Authors website at the Potted Vegetable Garden.
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Vegetable garden companion planting
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