Growing different plants together to improve their growth and health is an ancient agricultural practise known as companion planting. This method is based on the idea that some plants naturally help each other by interacting in beneficial ways, such as repelling pests or improving soil fertility. In this article, we’ll look at the advantages of companion planting in your Ontario garden.
Increased Soil Fertility
Improved soil fertility is one of the primary advantages of companion planting. Certain plants are natural soil builders, and when grown in groups, they can improve soil health and increase nutrient availability for all plants. Planting legumes such as beans or peas, for example, can improve soil fertility by fixing nitrogen into the soil. When planted near other plants that require a lot of nitrogen, such as tomatoes or peppers, the legumes can provide a natural source of fertiliser, reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers.
Organic Pest Control
Companion planting can also aid in pest control and reduce the need for hazardous pesticides. Some plants, like marigolds and nasturtiums, have natural insect repellent properties that can keep pests away from other plants. Planting marigolds next to tomatoes, for example, can help control nematodes, a pest that can damage tomato roots. Planting onions or garlic, for example, can help repel aphids and other common garden pests.
Biodiversity has increased.
Companion planting can also help your garden’s biodiversity. Planting a variety of plants can attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, which can pollinate your crops and improve overall garden health. Furthermore, different plant species can provide different garden benefits, such as improved soil health, natural pest control, and increased nutrient availability.
Weed Growth Has Been Reduced
Companion planting can also help to reduce weed growth and control. Plants grown in groups can help shade out weeds, reducing their growth and spread. Planting lettuce or other low-growing vegetables, for example, beneath taller plants such as tomatoes or peppers can help shade out weeds and reduce the need for hand weeding.
Garden Yield Increased
Finally, companion planting can help increase garden yield by improving your plants’ overall health and growth. Companion plants can help your garden thrive by providing a diverse range of nutrients, reducing pest damage, and improving soil health. Planting certain plant combinations together can also help improve yield by providing natural support or shade. Planting beans or peas next to corn, for example, can provide a natural trellis for the beans, eliminating the need for additional support structures.