Complimentary Vegetable Garden Plants

┬áCompanion planting can greatly enhance the productiveness of a gardenComplimentary or companion planting can be an important factor when planning a vegetable patch. Some crops offer protection from pests and disease to other plants, while others spread disease to neighboring crops and should never be planted near or in place of each other. Herbs and flowers can also be good companion plants, providing not only protection but also making the garden more attractive. Beans Beans are a good source of nitrogen, so any plant that grows in the same spot following the beans will generally benefit from this. As the bean plants die back at the end of the season, they replace any nitrogen used up by heavy nitrogen users like corn. Beans are a good companion for carrots, corn, celery, peas, potatoes and brassicas. Potatoes These are particularly good to plant near cabbages, peas, onions and corn. Planting horseradish near potatoes can provide a good general protection by increasing their resistance to disease. There are several crops that should absolutely not be planted near potatoes, however, including tomatoes as they can encourage blight and contaminate both crops. Sweet Potatoes As these are not in the same family as the regular potato, sweet potatoes tend to do well among root crops like beetroot and parsnip. Sweet potato are more of a spreading crop and so don’t fair well with squash, which will try to compete for ground cover. Summer savory is a perfect companion for sweet potatoes as it tends to repel the sweet potato weevil. Broccoli As a calcium loving plant, broccoli is happiest near plants that require little calcium. Nasturtium flowers are a good choice and can provide an attractive ground cover beneath the broccoli plants. The flavor of the broccoli can actually be improved by planting celery and onion nearby. Other complimentary crops are beans, lettuce garlic, radish and potato. Herbs Planting herbs can be incredibly beneficial to nearby crops. They can be used to deter pests from attacking and can improve pollination. Basil is good near tomatoes as it helps to prevent white fly. Lavender, marjoram, basil, coriander, thyme and mint are all very attractive to bees and therefore encouraging pollination, which can increase yield. Rosemary helps to repel slugs, snails and cabbage fly, and sage equally is useful as it also keeps away cabbage white butterflies. Flowers French marigolds are particularly important, as they seem to be good at deterring pests. They are especially useful near tomatoes for repelling white-fly, which hate the smell of marigolds. The only downside is that marigolds tend to attract slugs. Catnip can also be useful for driving away ants and weevils, although unfortunately this can also encourage cats to roll in it. Geraniums are able to deter cabbage worms and are useful when planted near tomatoes, pepper and cabbage.

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