Companion planting is a way to encourage a healthy garden. Certain plants, when planted together, protect each other by attracting pollinators, repelling pests, and increasing plant productivity. this can reduce our use of pesticides. Even organic pesticides can be toxic to bees and other pollinators. As well as companion planting, we can practice crop rotation, use row covers, and trap and hand pick pests. If, as a last restort, we have to use a pesticide always try to choose a pest specific one, such as BT for caterpillars. To protect pollinators, do not use pesticides on open blooms. If using a broadcast spray, beneficial insects can be collateral damage and the damaging bugs can return in force. So be specific when spraying.
Plant as many flowers as vegetables for a health population of pollinators. Weave clusters of old fashioned open pollinated flowers in and around your fruits and vegetables.
Some plants, such as tomatoes, can be self-pollinating. For these plants companion planting is mostly to repel damaging insects.
Marigolds are one of the most effective repellents for bad bugs and can be interplanted with all your garden vegetables. Other flowering friends for vegetable gardens include: Alyssum, Bachelor's button, bee balm (monarda), nasturtiums, California poppy, phacelia, calendula, cosmos and cleome. Leaving some herbs to bloom in the garden also attrracts both beneficials and pollinators. Particularly effective are basil, thyme, hyssop, dill and oregano. Catnip repels flea beetles - plant close by peas and beans. Borage repels tomato worms.
Companion planting is about creating plant communities which have mutual benefits to each other. With some planning, we can create a healthy garden that provides us with food and joy.For an amazing amount of information on pest management and organic gardening check out Dr. Linda Gilkenson's website here.
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Located: 5km. South of Duncan, BC on Hwy #1
Mailing Address: 2205 Phipps Road, Duncan, B.C. V9L 6L2 Canada
Phone: 250 748-2023