Companion planting is something to consider when planning a vegetable or herb garden. Not sure what companion planting is? Well, offering the right companion plant for other plants in your garden can prove to be beneficial. For instance, there are some plants that can attract those beneficial insects and others that will provide better pollination as well as keep the unwanted pests at bay.
Some can even help others to better take up nutrients in the soil simply by not requiring the same nutrients, and thus, eliminating competition. One example is marigolds. When planted with most garden plants, marigolds will repel unwanted pests such as beetles, nematodes and animals in search of food. Marigolds also attract beneficial insects that can help keep the unwanted ones at bay.
Physical protection is another benefit certain plants can provide to others. For instance, taller plants can offer protection from the sun to shade tolerant plants. Taller plants can also provide protection from wind as well as physical support to weaker plants. Of course, companion planting alone will not ensure a successful garden. You still need to employ good gardening practices such as proper watering, spacing of plants and any needed pruning or weeding. It’s also a good idea to keep notes so that you will know what was successful and what was not.
Included is a link to a companion planting chart from the NC Cooperative Extension https://currituck.ces.ncsu.edu/files/library/27/COMPANION%20PLANTING%20CHART.pdf. It offers suggestions for several vegetable plants that work well together but you can also find out more from your local extension office. Happy Gardening!