Companion Planting Primer for Vegetable Gardens


| 6/23/2020 11:28:00 AM


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Companion planting is the practice of grouping plants together that have beneficial relationships. Companion planting isn't an exact science, and takes experimentation and observation. The goal of companion planting is to increase the yield of plants by controlling for pests and encouraging pollination, whereas monoculture, or the practice of planting a single crop year after year, typically reduces the soil's nutrient levels over time.

A well-known example of this practice is the Three Sisters garden, consisting of corn, beans, and squash. Various Native American tribes discovered this practice thousands of years ago. These three crops work together symbiotically. The squash’s large leaves shade the ground and retain moisture in the soil. The corn provides a tall stalk for the bean vines to climb, and reduces weed competition on the ground.

Companion Planting with Vegetable Crops

Besides the Three Sisters, there are hundreds of beneficial crop combinations. Here's a quick summary of the main groupings:



Legume family plants, such as peas and beans, pair well with brassicas, carrots, lettuces, spinach, strawberries, corn, and cucumbers.





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