The Q&A Archives: What Plants Are Companions For Best Yields?

Question: What plants are best companions for disease and insect control?

Answer: Companion planting means growing a planned diversity
of veggies, herbs and ornamentals together. Pest control is
the aim, but it can also include better space and nutrient
efficiency. Put companions to work in your garden by
arranging them as borders or mix them with the veggies in
your rows and beds.

Beneficial insects, like parasitic wasps or predaceous flies
depend on pests for nourishment. Attractant plants offer an
alternative food source for beneficials when pests are in
short supply. Many of these attractant food plants are
members of the carrot and daisy families. They have tiny
flowers to provide the pollen and nectar that maintain
beneficials. Encourage these little insects by mixing flowering
plants among your veggies. Some good choices are:
angelica, anise, dill, fennel, yarrow and zinnias.

Other plants like tansy, mint, basil, thyme and santolina will
repel pests from vegetables planted nearby. Mix and match
to see which combo works best for you.

Marigolds are said to control root-feeding nematodes. Plant
them thickly as a cover crop and turn them into the soil at
the end of the season.

There are many books on the subject, including:

Carrots Love Tomatoes, by Louise Riotte (Garden Way
Publishing, 1976)

A-Z of Companion Planting, by Pamela Allardice (Angus &
Robertson/Harper Collins Publishing, 1993)

Good Companions, byBob Flowerdew (Summit
Books/Simon & Schuster, 1991)

Companion planting is just one of the ways to reduce the
pest population in your garden. By keeping your plants
healthy and happy, you'll make them less susceptible to
insect and disease problems. Plant your veggies in a sunny
site, in well amended soil. Water and feed regularly, and
inspect your plants frequently, removing any leaves that look

Good luck with your garden!

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