The first time I learned about companion gardening from my Father-in-law, I looked at him a bit skeptically. It was hard to believe that by simply placing the right plants together, nature could "magically" boost flavors, growth and even provide pest protection. It seemed a nice idea, but really... how is that possible?? Well, nature works in mysterious ways, my friends...And, while I can't possibly answer "how?", what I can do is share the following companion techniques we have had success with in our garden: 1) Basil has repelled bugs from our tomatoes. In addition, our tomatoes are brilliantly delicious (another side effect of basil as a companion). Read more about our past experience here.
2) Corn and beans have benefitted from each other. Corn becomes a support structure for the beans to grow on and the beans help anchor the corn into the ground (and provide more nitrogen in the soil). Read more about our past experience here.
3) Four O'Clocks and flax have helped repel pesky potato bugs from our potatoes. Flax creates oils that those little potato bugs don’t like and Four O'Clocks attract the potato pests, and kill them (they are poisonous). Read more about our past experience here.
Because of successes like these, The Cabin Garden has plans to expand our companion gardening plans. How cute...our plants and veggies will have even more "friends"! We can't wait to share Jerry's final plan with you all.
In the interim, here is a handy graphic to help you navigate through some powerful companion plant combinations to try. So, go ahead... try a companion planting technique (or a few!) and put the power of nature to work in your garden this year.
FYI: Jerry is a big fan of the Golden Harvest Organics website... It is one of his favorite resources for companion gardening pairings (and was helpful in putting this graphic together). Check it out to learn some more companion tips: http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html
Happy planting, everyone! :)