To continue our theme on gardening I wanted to address companion planting and share a handy chart and a very informative website I found. As I have mentioned this is our first year to plant a true garden and we know that we have a lot to learn. The idea that some plants are beneficial to one another is not a new idea to me. I was introduced to that idea in various biology and ecology courses at University but when I decided to take on gardening I knew it was time to revisit the idea. I started searching and I have found that the concept of companion planting fits us well. I unfortunately did not think to plan my garden layout so I had to do the best I could while winging it this year. But I have learned. This winter I will take the time to plan exactly what to plant, where I want it planted, and exactly how much room I need to give each plant. As a part of that process I intend to maximize my companion planting. So what exactly is companion planting? It is defined as the close planting of different plants that enhance each other’s growth or protect each other from pests. A perfect example of this is Marigold planted with squash. The Marigold puts off a scent which helps to repel animals and insects and the roots repel nematodes. To top it off, some Marigolds can also be eaten. The bright petals of signet marigolds add color and a spicy tang to salads and other summer dishes. (almanac.com) Here is one of the handier companion planting charts I’ve found so far.
As for helpful sites, Growing Anything has another great companion planting chart as well as tons of helpful information. Another great site for planting information is Almanac. Good luck with your planting this year! I can’t wait to see how ours turns out this year.