Companion Planting – Los Alamos Reporter

coqhon mcnaughton

One of the ways I get the most out of my garden is by adopting companion planting techniques. It is a form of multiculturalism in which certain plants are grown closer together to help produce more. This can be used by one plant to supply specific nutrients in the soil that other plants need, to deter pests to which other plants are susceptible, to attract beneficial pollinators for their mates, or simply It can take the form of providing shade or physical protection to fellow plants. Companion plants do not compete with each other for soil nutrients or atmospheric conditions, so they should be planted together to maximize growing space. I can.

Conversely, when certain plants grow too close together, it will adversely affect one or the other. Avoid planting onions and garlic (or other members of the allium family) next to peas and beans (or other members of the legume family). It is reported that there are

A Google search for “companion planting” brings up a nifty chart showing which plants are good companion planters and which combinations to avoid. You can print it for quick reference.

For thousands of years, Chinese farmers have planted kasida in their rice fields to increase yields. Here in the United States, ferns are considered invasive aquatic weeds, but ferns are hosts to air nitrogen-fixing bacteria whose growth keeps rice paddies free of weeds and supplies nitrogen to rice plants. To do. Serves as a sustainable feed for livestock. Another good example of companion planting is the “Three Sisters” system (see photo), in which corn, beans and squash are grown close together, a technique derived from Native American practices. Corn is first planted in the middle of a mound of soil. Plant the beans around when they are about 8 to 10 inches tall. Pumpkins are planted last, after the beans have taken root. By then the ground will be warm enough. They keep weeds under control, strengthen the mounds of soil that hold corn and beans together, and maximize horizontal growth space where neither beans nor corn are needed. It prevents small rodents from devouring the beans and corn. Meanwhile, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil and make it available to its two other “sisters”.

I plant perennial and annual herbs for reasons other than culinary. Many of them are great companion plants for my other veggies. I particularly enjoy sprinkling mint, borage, thyme, tarragon, oregano, sage, dill, parsley, coriander and fennel in my garden to deter a variety of pests such as cabbage worms, tomato hornworms, beetles and squash borers. Not only do their flowers look and smell great, they also attract pollinators to my garden. I like to grow flowers such as nasturtiums, marigolds, and calendulas because not only do the flowers last longer, but they also keep out harmful insects. A common method of companion planting is to sow a mixture of carrot and radish seeds. The radish germinates first and breaks up the soil as it grows, allowing the seeds of the carrot to settle. Make use of the space it occupies.

I’m not sure why, but planting certain veggies next to each other enhances their flavor. For example, chives are known to sweeten carrots, while basil is thought to sweeten tomatoes. I think. Basil keeps certain pests away from tomato trees, creating healthier tomato plants that are more likely to produce healthier fruit.

Choosing taller plants to provide shade for shade-loving plants like lettuce and spinach can prevent them from bolting too quickly. Place a few lettuce plants underneath and seed so that you can harvest fresh lettuce from late fall to early spring the following year.

Have you ever tried companion plantations in your garden?

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