Thursday, February 10, 2011

Companion Planting - Almost Magical!

Companion planting is the practice of planting different crops in proximity to each other, on the basis that they help each other in nutrient uptake, pest control, pollination, and other factors necessary to increase crop productivity.  Many of the modern principles of companion planting were present many centuries ago in cottage gardens in England and home gardens in Asia. 

Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, and leaves that can either repel or attract insects, depending on your need. They can also help enhance the growth rate and flavor of other varieties.   Using companion planting throughout the landscape is an important part of pest management. Companion planting helps bring a balanced eco-system to your landscape, allowing nature to do its' job.  You will find that you can discourage harmful pests without losing beneficial allies by using companion planting instead of harmful insecticides.

There are many herbs and flowers that can be used for companion plants and many ways to use them.   You can use them as a border, or a backdrop, or interspersed between vegetables.  A good idea is to use plants native to your area so they can attract or tackle the insects you deal with.  A great benefit to companion planting is that you can combine beauty with purpose and throughly enjoy your gardening experience.

There are even beneficial weeds that will help your garden grow!  And that's good news for any gardener who hates the toil of bending over and pulling weeds.  Some of them are actually good for the garden and the soil.  Weeds should only be removed if they start to crowd or shade your plants too much.

Gopher Spurge (Euphorbia lathyris) is known to repel, guess?  Gophers and moles!  Duh.  The common clover, dandelion and wild garlic are all good for distracting or repelling distructive insects and animals from your valuable herbs and vegetables. Companion planting is a fun and exciting way to liven up your garden and boost productivity.

I suggest you search for some websites that focus on companion planting.  A few sites I visited are listed below.

Gardening Know How


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