Nature has its ways, and when it does it usually benefits the earth, in the wild, there is no external force interacting with plants and vegetation but it still flourishes, although weeds are a persistent bunch, the plants that often grow together usually complement each other offering different benefits to each other, this system of companion planting has been further built upon by gardeners and farmers alike, it is a great way to maximize the growth and health of your plants, vegetable and even the efficiency of your garden.
Several plants grow better together, support each other by preventing pests of the other plant, aerating and adding nutrients to the soil, providing beneficial pollinators and even providing shelter. It is a system that increases both plant productivity and garden efficiency, here are 10 plants that grow better together
Corn & Beans
Corn (Maize) and beans are perfect companions, they complement each other augmenting each weakness with a strength, a healthy symbiotic relationship. Corn stalks are tall and are perfect as growing stalks for the bean plant. The vines of the beans can easily grow around the corn stalk and beans being a plant that draws nitrogen into the soil is extremely beneficial to the corn plant. The presence of more nitrogen in the soil equates to a fuller and more nutritious corn cobs.
Beans also attract insects that prey on corn pests, effectively suppressing the pest infestation on the corn. To heighten the companionship, you can throw in some squash in a method known as the three sisters where the squash with its broad leaves often close to the ground will prevent weeds, predators and provides moisture for the pair.
When you have this pair growing in your garden, you should avoid planting tomatoes or celery near the pair as they are often plagued by corn earworms, if planted together it can increase the numbers of these pests in your garden.
Tomatoes and Celery
Several plants could grow well with tomatoes because it is helped by so many plants and helps just a few. Our pick was based on a healthy symbiotic relationship where the plants help each other. For this reason, celery is an excellent choice. Celery helps tomatoes produce greater yields and repels parasitic insects. The same goes for tomatoes, which helps the celery, as it does not compete for the same nutrient, it provides nutrients and prevents pest infestation.
Similar plants that can go with tomatoes, basil, leeks, cabbage among other and thyme, sage, basil and hyssop for celery. The plants you must avoid for this pair include; Black walnut, alfalfa, chili pepper, and corn.
Carrots and Onions
Carrots are grown in companion with tomatoes and onions but with tomatoes, they can add a stunted effect to the growth of the carrots. Onions work perfectly too and do not in any way stunt their growth. They are beneficial to each other. Planting onions with carrots will prevent onion and carrot flies altogether by confusing them. These plants are perfect for each other because they keep their pests away.
As far as protection and pest prevention goes, these plants can take care of themselves. You need to ensure that your garden area is well weeded and kept that way because onions find it difficult to grow in the presence of weeds. If you don’t need onions or perhaps have you have some onion farm somewhere else. Any other plant from the allium family will do, especially Leeks. They also share a symbiotic relationship where the repel and distract each other’s pests.
Avoid planting beans, peas, dill, parsnip and radish, these plants, do not help prevent carrot or onion flies and may even introduce some other harmful pests.
Peppers and Okra
Planting these two plants as companions work wonders. The Okra, a naturally tall plant will protect the pepper from excess sunlight in the summer and offer some wind protection, it also prevents pests such as aphids and flies. Pepper, on the other hand, is also a perfect plant in companion to okra, the pepper will deter most of the pests that are normally attracted to the okra, pests such as aphid and whitefly will rarely come near this pair.
Some other near-perfect companions for peppers are tomatoes, onions, and basil. The latter will help repel, aphids, mites, and flies. For okra other companions would be; lettuce, radishes, peas and sweet potatoes among others.
In general pepper plants like high humidity, so any companion that can help raise the humidity level would be a good choice, okra, on the other hand, have some restive pests that can cause infestation and molds on the plants if left unchecked so the plant you choose to plant as a companion should suppress the pests.
Cucumber and Nasturtium
Cucumber and nasturtium are very compatible and work together as companion plants. Cucumbers are a tropical plant that will normally need a trellis for support as the vines grow when planted together with nasturtium, the vining stems of the plant serve as a trellis for the cucumber. Nasturtium also suppresses pest’s infestation, it repels cucumber beetles and aphids.
A great alternative to nasturtium are peas, the peas help to increase the nitrogen content of the soil, which means, bigger and better yields for the cucumber. Nasturtiums are not just great for keeping cucumbers free from beetles and aphids, they also improve and enhance the flavor of cucumbers and some other vegetables in the cucurbit family.
Keep cucumbers away from potatoes and aromatic herbs and nasturtium away from cauliflower.