As we don’t have an allotment but we do have a long back garden that is now our vegetable garden/allotment/potager, it would be good to have it looking good as well as being productive. On our allotment we did some basic companion planting but this time I want to be bolder. I want something good to look at as well as being productive.
Having read a few sites and books, I think there are 3 sorts of companion plants
- Attract insects and pollinators
- Deter pests and
We grew nasturtiums, marigold (tagetes), sunflowers and sweet peas. I am not sure how well they all worked though. I am pretty sure that the nasturtiums were useful – they attracted black flies away from the runner and broad beans during the plague we suffered. Then later in the year they had lots of cabbage white butterfly larvae on them and our brassicas didn’t get eaten. My Dad has also sworn by tagetes with tomatoes in the green house. They are supposed to deter aphids and to be fair his toms are aphid free and so was our greenhouse. We also planted them around and about outside last year. The roots and smell of marigolds is also supposed to deter some of the soil bound parasites.
Sunflowers and sweet peas went in too. They both attract beneficial insects and pollinators. I am not sure how well they worked but we got lots of peas, beans and tomatoes and who doesn’t smile when they see a few sun flowers?
As well as flowers, we grew basil with the tomatoes, the smell is supposed to deter aphids, and chives with carrots. Chives and other onions confuse the carrot root fly. I am pretty sure that that worked. The carrots we planted after the early potatoes had a lot of root fly damage.
I am interested in trying out some other ideas this year. I have heard that borage is good for beans as it attracts pollinators, so that will get a try out this year. One other idea I heard was fox gloves and potatoes. The fox gloves have something in the roots that keeps eel worms away.
Its sunny outside and I am going to get out and sow a few nasturtiums and a few marigolds. Any ideas for other companion planting would be greatly received 🙂