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Companion planting is the practice of growing plants together to benefit each other, whether by attracting pollinating insects, deterring pests like aphids or slugs, or improving plant health and flavour. Try it for yourself and see what works for you. Sometimes just the physical presence of a plant helps to distract pests. Nasturtiums are often planted as a sacrificial crop, drawing aphids and slugs away from other plants.
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Growing plants indoors offers many benefits to both novice and experienced gardeners alike, often triggering a desire to grow as many plants as possible. Fortunately, there are many herbs that grow well together while simultaneously increasing the overall health of all of the plants, and making the gardening process easier. Companion planting is a natural way to increase the health of herbs planted in fairly close proximity to one another. When planted closely, companion plants develop symbiotic relationships enhancing the growth of both plants and sometimes all of the plants in their vicinity.
These symbiotic relationships may manifest whether the herbs are planted in separate containers or in one, large container; the relationship does not need shared growing media to exist. Their tendency to not deplete soil nutrients as quickly as other indoor plants makes them suitable to be grown together in shared containers. People are often unaware that growing a group of herbs is easier, and has benefits over growing one or two lone plants.
They assume more plants equals more work, and shy away from increasing their cache because of the perceived greater difficulty. Sign up to receive our newsletter and get access to 10 printable plant info cards from our e-book for free. Also receive:. When deciding on how to group your herbs together, there are a couple of different ways you can amass your plants.
Some gardeners choose to group them based upon similar light requirements, watering needs or container requirements. Organizing or grouping them in this manner is one of the best ways to arrange them since light drives photosynthesis, resulting in foliage growth. These classifications are based upon the hours of light they need daily for growth. Full sun plants require a spot receiving six or more hours of direct sunlight each day. Many herbs are classified as full sun: rosemary, lemongrass, sage, marjoram, oregano, and most microgreens.
South windows are the best spot for full sun plants. Partial sun and partial shade requirements are fairly interchangeable and mean the plant needs between four and six hours of direct sun daily. Partial sun plants prefer as close to the six hours of sunlight as possible; partial shade plants prefer less light, while still hitting the minimum threshold of four hours of sun.
East or west-facing windows are great locations for partial sun or partial shade plants like catnip, chamomile, dill, and fennel. Full shade plants want less than four hours of direct sunlight each day.
They thrive with filtered sunlight or some direct sun in the early morning. North facing windows are appropriate locations for the following plants that grow well in full shade: mint, parsley, cilantro, thyme, chives, and lemon balm.
Along with the amount of light exposure herbs need for growth, they can also be grouped by whether they prefer direct or indirect sunlight when grown indoors. Most herbs prefer direct light, making them great specimens for growing indoors on a windowsill. Direct light comes through south windows all day long and west-facing windows during the middle part of the day. This light is bright and the sunlight falls directly on the foliage of your plants. For many houseplants, this light is too intense, but herbs and microgreens typically withstand direct sunlight with little ill effects.
Indirect light is bright light without direct sunlight, usually found as you move away from the rays streaming in through the windows towards the center of rooms. Most houseplants prefer bright, indirect light when grown indoors but full shade herbs perform well in indirect lighting conditions. Herbs can also be grouped together based upon their soil moisture preferences.
Meaning how they like soil conditions between waterings. Moisture-loving plants prefer their potting soil to stay slightly moist — but not saturated — between waterings. They should be watered before the containers are allowed to dry out completely or the herbs will suffer from stress responses that result in reduced growth or subpar plant health.
Basil, parsley, coriander are a few herbs that like wetter soil conditions and work well when grouped together. They typically like longer stretches between waterings, allowing the top one to inches of the container to dry out before watering the plant again. Bay, chives, fennel, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano prefer drier, sandy soils. Another great way to group herbs together is to consider the container size needed to grow the types of herbs you desire.
Plants that have deep root systems can easily be grouped together in a deeper container to allow for proficient, healthy root growth. Some examples of deep-rooting herbers are dill, fennel, cilantro, and parsley. Herbs with shallow root systems grow well together in shallower, wide containers. Most herbs have shorter roots and grow sufficiently in shorter containers, but mint, basil, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, and thyme make do with as little as six inches of depth for their root systems. It takes the guesswork out of grouping specimens.
As an example, Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram are adapted to climates very similar in nature and grow well together.
A couple of plants are also known to get along with almost anything they are planted in close proximity to. The strong scent from the essential oils also acts as a natural deterrent to insect pests. Calendula is another excellent herb to grow with other plants through its ability to promote beneficial soil microbes and fungi. Most herbs play well with others, and can successfully be planted en masse with others.
Care needs to be taken though when dealing with mint. Anyone who has grown it outside in their garden knows how quickly it can take over any area it has access to. Even when grown in containers it will take over any available space. Mint is also a known enemy of parsley. When planting herbs together as companion plants, make sure to allow enough space between plants.
Grouping them too closely causes them to compete with one another for resources such as light, water, and nutrients, having a negative impact on overall plant growth.
Planting herbs together via companion planting provides many benefits to indoor gardeners. Companion planting of herbs encourages sustainability, helping to reduce insect problems, and other natural stressors while improving the overall health and growth of all plants. Herbs can be grouped together in a variety of different ways such as light requirements, watering needs, or known symbiotic relationships between given types making it easier overall to care for plants versus when they are grown singularly.
Franck G. Companion planting: Successful gardening the organic way. Wellingborough, England: Thorsons Publishing Group. Parker, J. Snyder, W. Hamilton, G. Companion planting and insect pest control. Larramendy Eds. With an M. How to group indoor herbs together for the best results Skip ahead. Companion planting Benefits of grouping herbs together Different ways to group herbs together Plants that grow well together Situations to avoid Conclusion.
Benefits of grouping herbs together People are often unaware that growing a group of herbs is easier, and has benefits over growing one or two lone plants.
Some of the benefits include: Grouping herbs together promotes health amongst all of the companion plants. Planting herbs together in containers takes up less space than using individual containers for each plant.
Certain herbs contain chemical properties which can repel or deter pest insects,  providing natural protection to the entire group of plants. For example, chives are known to repel aphids; basil plants repel a handful of harmful insects as well as mosquitos. The flavor of neighboring plants may be enhanced. Growing plants together increases the relative humidity levels amongst all of the plants, contributing to a better-suited growing environment.
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Most people plant one plant per pot. So far, so ordinary, and maybe even rather lonely. In some cases you can mix your beloved plants together in one pot very successfully, creating your own miniature garden. Combining several plants in a single planter add some zing to an indoor space or patio, and allows the plants to help each other grow.
Cerastium; Sunflower; Marigold; Alfalfa; Red clover; Chervil; White clover; Peppermint; Lavender; Coriander; Chamomile; Yarrow; Dill; Lemon balm; Sweet basil.
Companion planting is an inexact science. There are plenty of unknowns in this arena. Surprisingly, we still have a patchy knowledge of the interactions between different plants. But what experienced organic gardeners do know is that there are certain combinations of plants that seem, at least anecdotally, to work better together than others. And there are certain plants that do not thrive when grown close to one another. In this article, we will explore a range of companion plants for peppers — whether they be hot peppers or sweet peppers — so you have a clearer idea of what might work well in your garden. When planning an organic garden, companion planting is a great idea. Experimentation can help you come up with diverse polyculture planting schemes and plant combinations that work well where you live. Understanding the characteristics and requirements of different plants will help you to work out which ones are the best combinations to grow together.
Many vegetables grow well with other plants in the garden and, using a few basic principles, organic gardeners can really have nature on their side in the biological control of pests. The most commonly documented companion plants help to repel pests when planted alongside vegetables. Other plants attract pest predators to the vegetable patch. Some plant roots secrete substances that repel pests or provide nutrients to the plants around them.
Companion planting is the practice of growing certain crops near each other and keeping others separated so that they all thrive. Companion planting is based mostly on observations passed down from gardener to gardener through the generations, but science can also explain many of the effects, both positive and negative, of growing certain plants together.
But choosing the right plant combinations is vital. The species you choose to grow will depend a lot on the light and space you have available, of course. This is because most plants need quite a bit of sunlight to grow properly. An exception to this, of course, would be plants that grow in partial shade. For example, many people try to cram as many plants together as possible, which is bad for all the species involved.
This post may contain affiliate links. Throughout this website, I may recommend products I have used and trust from Amazon and other companies. If you purchase through these links I will earn a small commission. It is at NO additional cost to you. I really appreciate it! Companions are important for everyone and plants, as living breathing creatures are no different. They choose their partners and even prefer one over the other. They grow fast and yield better when planted with the chosen ones.
Companion Planting. Broccoli is a good companion to dill. Mediterranean gardeners have always put basil and tomatoes together in the kitchen as.
Find detailed info and links for specific companion plants and planting techniques for popular vegetable garden crops in our alphabetical list, from beets to zucchini. Companion planting is all about diversifying what's grown in a vegetable garden to boost plant health and reduce potential problems with pests and diseases. When flower, herb and veggie "companions" are grown alongside vegetables in healthy soil, the vegetable crops often grow better with fewer issues and less need for insecticides or chemical fertilizers.
Bread and milk? Oh, no, […]. Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison As organic vegetable gardeners, we know how important it is to become familiar with the various plant families and to develop an understanding of how they relate to one another in the garden. Botanical knowledge is key to avoiding many pests, diseases and cultural problems. Having recently reviewed the topics […].
These are plants which can be included in your vegetable garden, planted near their companions or planted around the garden where they fit.
Basil — A popular herb with flowers that attract beneficial insects and bees. The aromatic foliage may repel aphids and tomato hornworms. Centaurea Cyanus Cornflower — Good flowers for attracting beneficial insects, including bees, lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies and parasitic wasps. Dill — This herb can be used as a trap crop for aphids. The umbel flowers attract ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies and parasitic mini-wasps. Marigold — For bees and hoverflies. Roots produce a secretion that kills root-eating nematodes in the soil.
Share this. Companion planting is the practice of growing several different types of crops within close proximity of each other to enhance crop production. Interplanting, the practice of planting different crops between one another, is especially ideal for small gardens to maximize space and improve productivity.