Experiment with companion planting which has by now proven its effectiveness in organic gardening. It’s all pros and no cons: no treating and less work!
A vegetable patch that is always green is the golden rule of companion planting: green manure and vegetables run an uninterrupted relay. No need to spade nor fertilize!
Simply run the cultivator once a year just after the last fall crop before sowing mustard seed. For the pathways you follow all around the garden, seed it over with clover, its roots work the soil loose and the greens will serve as compost for the surface.
Match-making with vegetables
Organize your vegetable patch with spinach alternating with companion crops. Spinach will provide for the basic structure of your garden and will act as mulch, whereas its roots will feed the micro-organisms in the soil.
The three sisters corn, beans and squash is a triple-play score since these plants complement each other wonderfully:
- corn makes a great stake for the beans,
- squash covers the ground,
- corn and squash maximize the capacity of beans to extract nitrogen from the air to pack it into the ground.
Supportive vegetable patch neighbors
Plant leek or chives within your strawberry bed, so that the fruit bush may benefit from the disinfectant properties of these Alliaceae family members. Carrot and onion are fast friends: each protects the other from its specific parasite fly.
Pair savory with beans to fend off aphids. Chervil and basil will protect cucumbers from downy mildew and will also attract pollinating bees that will ensure fruit formation. With a few season’s practice, you’ll be finding your own successful companions!
- Read our article on vegetable companion planting.