Companion Planting – A Brief Description
The act of companion planting is a gardening technique who’s roots can be traced back to about a thousand years ago. At it’s heart it’s the technique of pairing up different types of plants with the understanding that they would help each other. If companion planting is done properly the two plants would benefit one another creating a symbiotic relationship.
One of the first examples of this method is found in China with the all-important rice crops. The rice would be planted together with the mosquito fern. The fern’s large leaves would keep sun from reaching any plants besides the rice, which would grow above the fern.
Doing this pairing made it simpler for the rice plants extract all the vitamins and minerals it needs. The Native Americans also planted corn and pole beans together. The pole beans would make use of the corn stalks as a base to grow on.
Many Organic Gardening techniques utilize a variety of companion combinations instead of pesticides and fertilizers. The usage of “good weeds” can help bring vitamins and minerals to to the desired crops. A number of plants such as Nasturtium in fact attract caterpillars. They tend to be planted near other plants so that caterpillars will not harm the main harvest.
There is evidence that some herbs can a little change the flavour of vegetables when they are grown close together. Another common technique is placing a couple of nectar-rich plants in a garden to attract a variety of insects. This insect will then help pollinate additional plants around.
There are many different types of companion planting and it offers an endless amount of uses. When starting a garden, or if your already a devoted gardener, it might be beneficial to head over to you nearby library and get some literature on what sort of plant combinations might be best to meet your needs. Besides giving you better final results it may give you deeper understanding of the plants in your garden which may only make you a more accomplished gardener.