Companion Planting: Why Vegetables Need Friends


| 1/4/2017 12:00:00 AM


Tags: companion planting, organic gardening, garden planning, Benedict Vanheems,

companion planting

Lure in Pest Predators. Monocultures of vegetables are easy prey for pests. By growing flowers such as cosmos nearby, pest predators such as hoverflies (syrphid flies) will be drawn into your garden.

Deter Pests. Growing flowers amongst vegetables creates a patchwork of textures, smells and colors that will confuse many insect pests — they are literally thrown off the scent!

Some flowers, such as marigolds, actively repel pests such as whitefly while attracting beneficial bugs. They’re ideal for growing alongside tomatoes that are prone to attacks.

Suppress Weeds. If beds will be empty for a spell between crops, sow a flowering cover crop to suppress weeds. Some, such as phacelia and buckwheat, also attract beneficial bugs and help improve soil structure. Low-growing, non-invasive flowers with dense foliage or broad leaves, such as marigolds, can also be used to help suppress weeds between rows of vegetables.




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