Better Together: Companion Planting
Written by: Sumati Shah, Go Go Green Thumbs
Individuals thrive in diverse communities. Same goes for plants. When plants of different types share space, they thrive. One plant’s natural state, is another plant’s shelter, shield or nurturer. Whatever seeds you intend to sow for the coming growing season, consider your garden’s bedfellows now – so the harvest you reap is one that naturally supports itself while each plant just does their thing!
Companion planting is the growing together of all those elements and beings that encourage life and growth; the creation of a microcosm that includes vegetables, fruits, trees, bushes, wheat, flowers, weeds, birds, soil, microorganisms, water, nutrients, insects, toads, spiders, and chickens.
The smiling faces of flowers are usually where I look to first for plant help.
Rule of Green Thumbs: Naturally functional companion planting with flowering annuals & herbs adds beauty and flavour to food crops.
Borage : pretty blue flowers and fully edible is a beauty that invites bees, helpful near strawberries, squash, and said to improve the flavour of tomatoes. I may just plant a small border near my strawberries – perfect because it’ll create a little shade for them too!
Basil: I have no idea why I’ve not planted it with my tomatoes before. It’s the perfect companion – in the garden and on the plate since they also improve the flavour! Basil of any kind repels hornworms, aphids, and deters a number of other beetles. Maybe even a few different types of basil….
Marigolds: I tossed around seeds of the big tall and simple flowered wild Mexican type last year to great delight all around. Any marigold helps by deterring soil nematodes that would nom your crop from under your soil. Beans, peppers, broccoli, cabbage (all brassicas) and corn are all gladdened by these cheerful bold and feathery companions, and I like the dappled shade they create for their neighbours while basking in a hot afternoon sun
Try something different ~ unexpected friends make the best companions!
Go Go Green Thumbs!