Benefits of Companion Plants

Companion planting is the partnering of plants beside one another to provide benefits to each other.  These benefits can take numerous forms including:

  • Pest prevention – certain aromatic (e.g., herbs) and spiny (e.g., squash or cucumbers) plants when grown beside your crops will deter pests from the primary crops – plus you get another item to harvest
  • Weed suppression – putting spreading but non-invasive and low-feeder plants such as oregano or lettuce beside your desired plant will suppress new weeds from germinating
  • Fertilization – placing nitrogen-fixing plants (e.g., beans) beside crops will improve the growth rate of your crops – also, as companion plants die, they return nutrients to the soil if you leave their stems/roots in the ground
  • Flavour – sowing certain plants beside others can change their flavour profiles – for example, planting bee-balm or basil beside tomatoes
  • Changing soil type – partnering plants (such as carrots which break up soil particles) with those that prefer loose, well-drained soil such as tomatoes can improve the soil
  • Providing shade and/or windbreaks – planting partial-shade plants on the north side of tall, sun-loving plants will assist each of them
  • Trellising – plants such as sunflowers and corn make great trellises for climbing plants such as pole beans and pickling cucumbers

Companion plants are usually planted amongst your “primary” vegetable plants in order to provide all of these benefits.  You can squeeze in companion plants wherever you have bare soil.  Feel free to reach out via email if you’d like a list of companion plants.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us at info@homesteadto.com if you have questions about our Grow Veggies program or any of the topics in our newsletters!

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