Sunday, October 17, 2010

Companion Plants

Those of us who love gardens and gardening are always in pursuit of finding ways and means to improve the look of our gardens and improve the health of the plants and flowers. Of many remedial measures to save the plants from insects and other harmful effects, planting of companion plants is one of the best remedial measures. I hadn’t heard f this terminology or the technique before, until I sowed the bright coloured marigold flowers for this season.
 
Beside its majestic broad shaped flower spread, which comes in orange, gold and yellows, Marigolds are considered companion plants that keep insects away. So was I told by the wise man at the nursery, who confided that he gives this advice to everyone buying Marigolds from him to grow Marigolds amidst a wide variety of flowers and vegetables. Marigolds not only ward off insects but its leaves and stems are also used in preparation of the organic insect sprays.
 
When I came home, I did a small search on the internet about the companion plants and came to know that besides marigold, garlic, basil, nasturtium, rosemary, sage, thyme, borage and mint are also some of the best companion plants. The concept of companion planting hinges at the establishment of two or more plant species in close proximity so that some cultural benefit (pest control, higher yield, etc.) is derived.
 
  • Plant garlic in your rose beds – the mere smell of garlic would ward off aphids, insects and pests.
  • Basil when planted with tomatoes, marigold and peppers, keep the mosquitoes and flies at bay.
  • Plant nasturtium with squash, pumpkins and other vegetables to ward off cucumber beetles, aphids and squash bugs.
  • To deter cabbage worms, plant thyme with cabbage.
  • Mint and Rosemary are also best to keep the cabbage worms when planted with cabbage and broccoli.
  • Sage helps the carrots by keeping the carrot flies away.
  • Carrots are the best companion of English Pea, Lettuce, Rosemary, Onion Family, Sage, Tomato.
  • Celery yields desired effects when planted with onion, cabbage, tomato, bush beans and nasturtium.
I could go on and on as there is much more to companion plants. But for home gardeners, the above information should suffice as normally the plants and vegetables listed above are generally sowed in home gardens. Try it – it would help. Happy gardening.

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