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What seeds should I be sowing now? Companion Planting Guide Companion planting is all about creating plant communities which have mutual benefits to each other.

Companion Planting - Urban Farmer Seeds

Hints and tips Avoid monocultures. This is where the same type of plant is grown en masse or in rows. Monoculture makes it much easier for pests and diseases to find their favourite plants and then spread quickly. Use tall plants such as peas or sweet corn to create partially shaded conditions for crops prone to bolting, such as coriander , lettuce and spinach.

Plant herbs throughout the garden and vegetable plot, as most have strongly scented leaves which help repel insects.

Vegetable Companion Planting List

Try intercropping. This is where fast-growing crops such as lettuce or radishes are sown between widely spaced rows of slower-growing crops such as Brussels Sprouts or parsnips. It utilises the space available and helps prevent weeds growing weeds take nutrients, light and water, and spread disease. Plant lots of insect-friendly or bird-friendly plants , either amongst your crops or nearby.

Companion Planting: Why Vegetables Need Friends

They attract natural predators such as birds which eat slugs, hoverflies which eat aphids and bees which pollinate your crops. For a list of wildlife-friendly plants click here. Take care with some companion plants such as mint - these are fast-growing plants and will quickly smother your crop. Grow mint in containers to keep it under control. Companion planting chart Companion plant 1 Companion plant 2 How does it work Cabbage , kale , cauliflower Nasturtium Plant Nasturtiums as a sacrificial crop. Cabbage white butterflies will lay their eggs on Nasturtium plants, keeping caterpillars away from your Brassicas.

Cabbage , kale , cauliflower Mint Mint helps to deter flea beetles, which chew irregular holes in the leaves. Courgette Calendula English Marigold Calendula flowers are highly attractive to pollinating insects which will in turn pollinate your courgette flowers. Broad beans Summer savory Summer savory helps to repel blackfly, a common pest of broads beans. Carrot Spring onions Sow spring onions amongst your carrots - the smell of onion deters carrot root fly.

An In-Depth Companion Planting Guide

Carrot Leek The smell of leeks deters carrot root fly. The smell of carrots also helps deter leek moth from leeks. Carrot Mint The aromatic leaves of mint help confuse carrot root fly, who find their host through scent. Chrysanthemum Chives The onion scent will deter aphids.

Onion Mint The aromatic leaves of mint help to confuse and deter onion fly. Radish Mint Mint helps to deter flea beetles, which chew irregular holes in the leaves.

What is Companion Planting?

Roses Garlic The smell of garlic helps to deter aphids. Roses Mint , Chives , Thyme The strong scent of these herbs deters aphids and blackfly. Companion planting is the art and science of laying out a vegetable garden so that complementary types of vegetables are planted in the same bed. Unlike crop rotation, which means successively planting vegetables from different plant families in the same garden area season after season or year after year to minimize insect and disease problems, companion planting aims to create a harmonious garden by allowing nature to share her strengths.

The rule of green thumb for companion planting is to note which family the vegetables come from, and think about planting vegetables from complementary families together. Vegetables from the cabbage family, for example, like to be planted with beets and members of the green leafy vegetable family.

Certain herbs will help them by deterring pests.

Vegetable Garden Companion Plants Guide

Mint will also improve the flavor of cabbages. You could plant any member of the cabbage family such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, and others alongside these plants and see a higher yield and improved disease resistance. Just like people have likes and dislikes, vegetables actually have likes and dislikes as well, particularly for their "next door neighbors" planted alongside them in the garden. Some vegetables will stunt the growth and yield from other vegetables. Consult a companion planting chart, such as the one provided below, to make sure you plant vegetables next to each other that do well together.

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The chart below provides quick and easy references for not only which vegetables grow well together, but which to avoid planting together. Many old-fashioned vegetable gardens, which are also called kitchen gardens, mixed vegetables, herbs and flowers together.

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Not only does this type of garden look beautiful, but it also harnesses the power of nature to create an organic garden that naturally repels pests.