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Companion Planting

The companion planting technique is based on using certain plants to benefit other plants by planting them next to each other. There is no need to use chemicals; because, some plants are known to act as natural pesticides. Marigold is a well-known companion plant. The root of the marigold releases a natural chemical that works as an insect repellent.

Legumes feed for example nitrogen into the soil; thus there is no need for fertilizers. Certain plants can hinder one another. Research shows that planting chives next to peas can prevent the peas from growing.

There are various types of companion planting. Nurse cropping for example is where tall plants are used to protect smaller more vulnerable plants. The taller plants provide windbreaks or shade to the other plants. Beneficial habitat also known as refugia is another companion gardening method. The focus is to create a symbiotic environment for insects, arthropods and other parasites that helps to control pesticides.

Included are few plants that are compatible with each other:

  • Asparagus – Parsley, basil and tomato

  • Beans – Strawberry, carrots, cucumber, celery and potatoes

  • Carrots – Sage, peas, radish and rosemary.

  • Dill - onions

Starting a companion garden requires knowledge. You need to be able to understand the compatibility between the plants. Use the internet as a tool to find compatibility lists. As soon as you get the hang of companion gardening you will want to learn more and experiment to see if it truly works.

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