Enriching Your Garden: What is Companion Planting?

Companion PlantsGardening can be a hobby that is fun, enriching, exciting and….stressful! Whether you’re just starting out with gardening or are a seasoned green thumb; things can get pretty complicated when it comes to where and when to plant certain things. One term you may or may not have heard of is companion planting. This is something that can make your gardening life a lot easier and mean being able to really enjoy this hobby more than ever.  Just like a lot of things in life, if the plants don’t mix well, they aren’t going to last for a long time, and if they do mix well, they are going to thrive.  If you want to think of companion planting when it comes to your garden, think of everything that you already have planted. Certain plants you have can actually provide other plants with nutrients that make them grow faster and healthier. This could mean having more bountiful flowers or even seeing more tomatoes growing. Two plants that work with each other can give each other strength to be the best plants that they can be!

Planting Your Garden

So you want to use companion planting in your garden, but you don’t know where to get started. This is a concept that has been around for quite some time, so this means a lot of people have their own thoughts and ideas on it. Some people simply continue to garden how their parents or grandparents taught them. While some of these passed down theories might be correct, that isn’t always the case. Recent studies have been able to shed a lot of light as to which plants really are beneficial to others and why.

Understanding the “why” is one of the ways you can increase your knowledge of companion plants.  You don’t have to take college courses or even garden your entire life to find out what you need to know about companion planting. Information is readily available and new facts are always coming out to help make your life easier.  As always, if you want to learn the science behind it, to see exactly what chemicals are at work, you can become a companion gardening expert, but that isn’t needed.   Follow the guides linked below, also  search around the internet,  you will be able to get all the information you need, without getting a degree!

Benefits of Companion Gardening

  • The biggest benefit of changing up your gardening strategy is being able to enjoy healthier plants. Most will even grow more quickly so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor without having to wait. If you’re impatient, this is definitely a perk! Healthier plants look better visually and can provide you with some delicious fruits or veggies throughout the year as they continue to grow in abundance. *Tip* Don’t throw away extra fruits or veggies that you have too much of. Cook them up in fun recipes or freeze them after steaming or boiling.
  • As if the perfect pairing of plants couldn’t get any better, it does! This way of gardening can actually help keep bugs away from your precious fruits, veggies, flowers, etc., so you don’t have to spray pesticides or other harmful chemicals. This also might mean not having to hold a stakeout in your garden until you see the bugs that are chewing up your plants! A big reason why bugs will go elsewhere is because some plants help to mask the scent of others, which the bugs are attracted to. An example of this in your real life would be a protective big brother or sister keeping bullies away!
  • The food you grow in your garden will also taste a lot better when you practice this method of gardening. This can mean tasting an entire new level of flavor from tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, strawberries and any other goodies you have in your garden. When compatible plants are sharing roots and in the earth right next to each other, they will change the taste for the better. Of course just the opposite can happen if you plant the wrong things next door to one another. Better taste is also a result of fruits and vegetables being able to reach their maximum potential instead of needing to be picked before they are done developing. Think of this in your real life as a baby growing in the mother, who needs 9 full months in order to be ready.

Organic Gardening Tips:

  • This way of gardening means lack of chemicals on your food, which is great for your body.
  • Companion planting has been made easier than ever. There are lists that lay out everything for you so there is no guess work involved. You can use these to re-vamp your garden and make things better than they have ever been before, so get started now!

 Companion Plants