Some plants make better neighbours than others! In fact some plants actually really LOVE the company of a few plants, while others detest each other.
And it is not just plants that sometimes don’t like each other. Too often if we see something munching on our vegies we reach for a spray to get rid of them – and this is a short term fix. But encouraging good bugs (predators) into your garden with some strategic planting can help reduce the risk of an on going bad bug invasion! And remember a lot of the sprays we use to get rid of the bad bugs actually kill the good bugs too!!
So companion planting can help with:
Improving biodiversity in your garden – eg. monocultures (or large plantations of a single crop) are more susceptible to attack from pests, because often the monoculture environment does not support the home or favourite plant of the good guys (or the good bugs that will eat the bad pests!). By selectively mix planting with plants that attract the good guys, you can naturally attack the pests causing your plants harm.
Warding off the bad guys and encouraging the good guys – stronger smelling plants or flowers can help to ward
off the bad bugs in the garden. Did you know that aphids don’t like garlic – so grow it under your roses. Having flowering plants through the year in the garden is also important to attract bees – as it is bees that often pollinant the flowers of the fruit & vegies we want to harvest! So plants like sweet alyssum, borage, lavender and marigolds are great companions for a vegie garden.
For detailed lists of good companions and bad companions checkout:
This listing is great because it also explains WHY plants make good or bad companions (eg. how they interact or attract/deter bugs).
Save a list like this one onto the notes section of your smart phone or bookmark it, so you can refer back to it next time you buy seeds or seedlings. That way you can always pick up your new plant’s favourite neighbour or good bug ally and hopefully improve the success of your crop!