Plant Partnerships – Growing Stronger Together

There are a lot of dangers to your garden – be it pests, disease or just poor weather. While you cannot control everything, you can protect your plants with a little forward planning. By planting certain plants together, you allow them to benefit from one another. Some plants are great for attracting beneficial bugs, which in turn keep the bad ones away. Others encourage growth and strength in the plants around them, or shelter smaller, more vulnerable plants from the elements. Here are some green partnerships that are bound to improve your garden!

Carrots and Leeks

These two are a match made in heaven. Both are susceptible to different bugs. When planted together, they mask the others scent, confusing the pests. Not only do their scents mask one another, but they also act as a natural repellent.

Tomato and Basil

Not only does this make the classic Italian sauce, but when grown with basil, the flavor of the tomatoes is improved as they share nutrients in the soil. Basil also repels many insects (including mosquitoes), keeping the tomatoes safe from bugs.

The Three Sisters

Going back centuries, this ancient trio was originally used by the Native Americans all over North America. Squash, Corn and Beans, when planted together, provide each other with a number of benefits. The corn provides a structure on which the beans can climb, saving space and labor putting poles in. The beans in turn enrich the soil, providing nitrogen and encouraging the others to grow stronger and tastier. Finally, the squash covers the ground, blocking sunlight and preventing weeds from growing as well as retaining moisture in the soil. The squash vines, with their prickly surfaces, also prevent pests from staying. Plant some parsley nearby to attract bees to pollinate the others and you’re set!

Marigolds, Nasturtiums and Dill are all good for general pest control as they attract a variety of the good bugs that keep the bad ones at bay. Keep dill away from carrots and tomatoes and be sure to cut the seed heads before they ripen as they reseed quickly!