What Is Companion Planting?
Companion Planting is planting one or several plants which bring a particular benefit for other plants which are already growing in the garden.
For example, you may plant some Marigolds near your roses to attract ladybugs which prevents aphid infestations. Or, you may plant some lavender near your courgettes to attract some pollinating insects to improve crop yields.
It is all about cultivating a natural balance in your garden–prompting nature to do the work of nature and minimising reliance on man-made chemical pesticides and fertilisers as much as possible.
For centuries growers have planted particular plants in particular partnerships to improve the vitality of their plants. This organic approach to gardening provides a natural solution to pest control, fertilisation and weed prevention.
Here we have listed a number of great companion plants to include to garden:
Best Plants For Deterring Pests
The strong scent of mint is fantastic for deterring a number of pests such as Onion Fly (onions), Aphids (tomatoes, roses, cucumbers, courgettes, peppers, runner beans) and Flea Beetles (cauliflower, cabbage, kale).
If you are planting mint then you may want to grow it in a pot as it is a relentless grower which will quickly spread and crowd out other plants.
Marigolds are an incredibly effective plant in attracting ladybirds and hover-flies which will eat known garden pests such as aphids.
A brilliant herb to plant near brassicas. Will deter Cabbage Root Fly and Cabbage Moths among other pests.
A fantastic companion for a number of different plants. Chives draw aphids away from your plants so are great for planting among celery, tomatoes, peppers, and pease.
Garlic Chives are also used near carrots to deter Carrot Root Fly. People also use chives near Roses to prevent black spot. Additionally, chives help prevent apple scab so is a great plant to have near apple trees.
Like Chives, Garlic is an allium and has a similar deterring effect, especially against aphids. If growing a veggie patch, grow garlic near plants threatened by aphids
Nasturtium is a fast growing plant that will cope in areas of part shade and poor soil. It is used to lure away aphids from your other crops and is known as an ‘aphid trap’. They are also fully edible.
Fennel is incredibly effective at attracting predatory (and pollinating) insects such as hover-flies and ladybirds.
Best Plants for Attracting Pollinating Insects
A superbly scented flower that will draw in many pollinating insects whilst also deterring pests. It is frost and drought resistant and will grow well in partial shade so perfect around a host of other plants,
A true favourite of bees, lavender will bring literally hundreds of bees into your garden and promote fantastic pollination.
Draws in bees into the garden and will also improve the taste of your tomatoes (whilst they're still growing, not just when you cook them together!)
Best Plants to Help Fertilise your Soil
A real growers champion–Comfrey taps nutrients with its long roots from deep in the ground. You can then clip the leaves and use them as an organic mulch for wherever needed throughout the garden. It is incredibly hardy and will survive throughout the year all around the garden.
Absorbs nitrogen from the air and then fixes it into the soil to promote green, leafy growth. Also very attractive to different pollinators.
Is fantastic for fixing nitrogen into the ground. You can plant peas somewhere after you have grown something that has taken a lot of nitrogen out of the ground. This will be most plants but especially any brassica such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts etc.