There’s a secret to make a garden productive in terms of diversity and amount of produce. It’s called companion planting and it is the practice of planting two or more plants together because they benefit each other.
Some benefits of this practice include provision of nutrient requirements for each plant, developing growth habits, and even pest-repelling abilities.
Other advantages of companion planting include the following:
1. Risk reduction – If one crop gets attacked by pests or diseases, having other varieties around can provide diversity while also securing any chances of harvest despite on plant being damaged.
2. Crop protection – Growing delicate plants next to sturdy ones that can handle harsh weather conditions can guarantee the growth of the smaller plants. For example, growing sunflowers next to tomatoes or cucumbers can help inhibit the harsh sunlight or wind from damaging the plants.
3. Trap cropping – Companion planting is actually a natural way to manage pests. When planting high-value crops or the like, place plant species that pests are known to steer clear of.
4. Positive hosting – Planting fruits and vegetables next to certain plants, like flowers that produce large amounts of pollen and nectar, can increase the population of pollinators thus increasing the chances of having other plants pollinated.
While most results of companion planting come from trial and error as well as decades old traditions, it is still necessary to take into consideration the area where they will be planted and whether or not the match-up would thrive in such conditions.
In the next article, a chart will be provided on the kinds of plants that grow well together.