So according to some intelligent people and the internet (surely if it is on the internet it must be true), Companion plants can assist in the growth of other plants by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support. Best of all, they can be part of a biological pest control program. They had me at “assist”, I need all the assistance I can get!
I have mostly read about companion planting ‘here and there’ with most articles and books being pretty standard and traditional in their approach to planting methods in and around the garden, and to gardening as a whole. And this is the methodology I have applied in my approach as a newbie/wannabe/gardening farmer.
Another method I have recently been paying more attention to (and also found on the internet so naturally 100% true), is a combination of common sense, logic, and creativity. Hmmmm….
I am considering arranging a garden using this approach because my tomatoes are being eaten by mice and I suspect the carrots are not showing face due to a impending “seedling mass murder” charge, laid by the lettuce on behalf of the beans. I suspect the basil has already started building the guillotine for my execution. However, unlike my turnips, an idea has sprouted. The facts are, it is well documented that certain herbs and veggies are greatly beneficial when planted around each other and can even affect their taste. Most importantly, I believe, is to keep in mind that every single garden is unique, and that you do not have to be bound or restricted to general and conventional practices. And don’t even get me started on charts and moon phases. It also appears that the weather, leaf eating bugs and pests are in cahoots.
Starting with the basics I will be putting a lot more effort into the compost. Having a challenging irrigation system that is dependent on rain water, as well as different soil structures, will mean I need a much stronger rooting foundation for the plants, vegetables, herbs and flowers alike. A compost heap is not difficult to maintain in terms of putting together, but does need physical maintenance. Also it needs to be in a location that is easily accessible, by this I mean unless you are keeping it in a bin in your back garden, trotting wheelbarrows of soil around over uneven terrain is no easy task. I would like to incorporate the compost area into the ‘main’ garden by planting flowering hedges and also trap crops. Any suggestion would be most welcome.
To me, Companion planting means a combination of all of the different aspects involved from the type of soil you have to the environmental factors that are out of your control. We have water loving mint wildly growing next to succulents that hardly get any water and thrive in sandy soil.. sooo…..in the words of the farmer.. “time to turnip the beets.” May your new year be abundant with crops of blessings and baskets of fruitfulness. Happy gardening!