BeneÅts of com­pan­ion plant­ing

Shepparton News - - WEEKEND GARDENING - TRACY LA­MONT Bil­l­abong Gar­den Com­plex man­ager www.bil­l­abong­gar­den­com­

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.


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.

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