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Published on November 20th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


Companion Planting Techniques

The science of companion planting is simple: it provides you with a varied and beautiful garden, and it allows your plants to help each other grow healthier and deter pests.

There are several ways that companion planting helps to minimize the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers in your garden:

  • Planting a plant that pests hate–such as marigolds–in close proximity to those that pests love will prevent them from coming to dinner where they aren’t invited.
  • Similarly, planting insectary plants that draw beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and damselflies, helps to populate your garden with natural garden pest predators.
  • Planting trap crops, such as nasturtiums, near the crops you’d like to keep draws pests in to the trap crop so they avoid the plants you’d like to keep around.
  • Some plants function as natural trellises for others.  Planting corn among bean plants allows the beans to snake up the cornstalks.  Other plants shelter and protect more delicate plants from wind or harsh direct sunlight.
  • By implementing the “buddy system” for your garden, you can minimize pests while maximizing the nutrients in your soil and the “fruits” of all your hard work.

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