Companion planting has been going on for a long time. One great example is the three sister's garden. Corn is planted with beans growing up the stalk and squash (or another vine plant) around the bottom. The beans draw nutrients that the corn needs from their leaves and put in the ground, the corn provides something for the beans to climb on, and the vine plants give shade cover to roots and also act sort of like a mulch holding in water.
We have done a little companion planting in previous years such as planting marigolds near the veggies - especially tomatoes. I'm on the fence as to how effective this is. I don't see many hornworms, but I do get a few of them each year. Perhaps it would be worse without the marigolds?
I can't say this with certainty since I don't have enough room to experiment. E has gotten into companion planting so I suppose we shall be doing more of this in 2014.
What are our companion plans you ask? Well the three sisters of course, which is a new one. Also our other garden plans (yes we planned it all out- though knowing us we will change it a little) have been made with us making sure no foes are planted near each other. We will be combining more herbs in the garden. We have grown some herbs in the past, but kept them in their own herb garden. However, some go well with tomatoes and peppers, so we will be incorporating them in where there is blank spaces. (When we post plans later you will see that we don't have many herbs listed, but will instead fill in places with them). Below we list some companion plantings pertaining to some of the things we will be planting. There are certainly more companion plantings.
We have learned a few interesting things (according to the companion planting school of thought).
- Basil grows well with oregano, peppers, and tomatoes.
- Beans do not grow well with: chives, garlic, leeks, onions, peppers or marigolds.
- Beans grow well with: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, peas, rosemary, strawberries, Swiss chard and tomatoes.
- Carrots do not grow well with: dill and if planted with tomatoes they will have good flavor but stunted roots.
- Carrots grow well with: beans, broccoli, cauliflower, chives, cucumbers, dill, garlic, lettuce, onions, parsley, peas, peppers, rosemary, sage.
- Chives do not grow well with: beans or peas.
- Chives grow well with: broccoli, carrots, parsley and tomatoes.
- Corn does not grow well with tomatoes.
- Corn grows well with: beans, cucumbers, dill, melons, parsley, peas, squash, and sunflowers.
- Cucumbers do not grow well with:sage.
- Cucumbers grow well with: beans, broccoli, cauliflower, corns, dill, onions, peas, peppers and tomatoes.
- Lettuce grows well with: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, dill, garlic, onions, spinach, squash and tomatoes.
- Onions do not grow well with: beans or peas.
- Onions grow well with: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, dill, leeks, lettuce, parsley, squash, Swiss chard, and tomatoes.
- Peppers do not grow well with: beans, broccoli, or chives.
- Peppers do grow well with: basil, carrots, dill, oregano, parsley, peas, rosemary,squash, Swiss chard and tomatoes.
- Spinach grows well with: carrots, chives, leeks, lettuce, peas and strawberries.
- Strawberries do not grow well with: broccoli and cauliflower.
- Strawberries do grow well with: beans, garlic, lettuce, peas, spinach and thyme.
- Sunflowers grow well with: corn.
- Tomatoes do not grow well with: bean, carrots (see above), cauliflower, corn or dill.
- Tomatoes grow well with: basil, beans, cilantro, cucumbers, leeks, lettuce, onions, oregano, parsley, and peppers.
- broccoli and oregano
- cauliflower and oregano
- cilantro and spinach
- marigolds and squash
- nasturtiums and squash
- oregano and broccoli
- oregano and chives
So, if you don't plant any herbs, maybe you should consider some of the above just to put here and there and help out your plants. We will be researching more about planting flowers amongst plants and will share what we find. Thus far, we haven't delved much into the world of flowers as I haven't had much luck growing them in the past. To be fair though, I haven't tried much aside from a potted one here and there and the marigold since I've had E- maybe he will be the good luck charm. This year we have many areas planned that will include flowers so we shall see if we have any better luck than before.