BeneÅts of companion planting
Companion planting is when plants that have been shown to have beneÅcial effects on each other, particularly herbs and vegetables, are planted together.
It also increases the biodiversity of your garden due to the variety of plants.
Different plants bring different life forms and good guys to your garden, including birds, pollinating insects such as bees and butterAEies, ladybirds and other welcome guests that help keep it healthy and pollinated and ward off the bad guys.
The beneÅts of companion planting vary. They may include physical reasons, such as taller plants to provide shelter from sun and wind for plants that need protection. Some plants make good companions because their roots grow to different depths, therefore do not compete with each other for water and nutrients.
Plants such as peas and beans promote growth in nearby plants as they increase the nitrogen in the soil. These plants are also deep rooted, which promotes aeration of the soil, therefore beneÅting nearby plants.
Some plants assist with pest control, particularly herbs. Many herbs release a scent through their leaves which can overpower odours emitted by other plants and confuse insects that are seeking out a particular plant they like to munch on, or lay their eggs on.
Studies have shown that companion planting really does work, but it is unlikely to totally prevent insect attack. However, it is one method used by gardeners who prefer organic produce and don’t want to cover their lovely fresh homegrown vegies and herbs with pesticides.
Another tip is to plant in scattered groups, rather than in lines. This helps confuse the pests and may act as an isolation area where one group of plants may be attacked, while the other groups are left alone. When planted in straight lines, pests will happily munch their way down the line.
HERE IS A LIST OF SOME GOOD COMPANIONS FOR YOUR GARDEN AS SUGGESTED BY SUSTAINABLE GARDENING AUSTRALIA:
Basil: helps repel AEies and mosquitoes. Borage: planted in the strawberry patch, it will increase the yield. Catnip: repels AEeas, ants and rodents. Caraway: helps break down heavy soils. Chives: grown beneath apple trees will help to prevent apple scab; beneath roses will keep away aphids and blackspot.
French marigold: root secretions kill nematodes in the soil. Will repel white AEy among tomatoes.
Mint: repels cabbage white moth. Dried and placed with clothes will repel clothes moth.
Nasturtium: secretes a mustard oil, which many insects Ånd attractive and will seek out, particularly the cabbage white moth. Alternatively, the AEowers repel aphids and the cucumber beetle. The climbing variety grown up apple trees will repel codling moth.
Pyrethrum: will repel bugs if grown around the vegetable garden.
Rosemary: repels carrot AEy. Sage: protects cabbages from cabbage white moth.
For information on plants that provide beneÅt to each other when grouped together, please chat to the Billabong team. We will be happy to provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to start companion planting and encourage healthy biodiversity in your garden.