Companion Planting: Crank up flavor and repel insects naturally!
As mentioned last week, we started to germinate our geraniums because they are slow from seed and you want flowering plants for the spring. Geraniums not only add colour but are a great inter-planting trap crop that deters egg laying cabbage moths from cabbage and other brassica family members.
Other inter-planting plants to consider for brassicas, especially for cabbage would be dill. Dill will repel aphids, spider mites, squash bugs and will add flavour to your cabbage. Dill will also attract swallowtail butterflies which whom are pollinators.
Crank Up the Flavour with Inter-planting Herbs...
Also we have started herbs like oregano that repels flea beetles that you would want to place near your gourd/vine crops. Basil and bee balm should be planted with your nightshades that will add flavour to your tomatoes and wards off mosquitoes and white flies.
Consider chamomile between your leeks that is in your allium family bed to attract beneficial hover flies and wasps. Alliums such as onions, leeks, garlic and chives can be interplanted with your root family, especially carrots. When inter-planting leeks and carrots, their scents act as a repellent to deter each others pest invaders.
Tip: When inter-planting your leeks with your carrots, remember to succession plant these two cold season vegetable varieties later in the season (late July), for an extended cold season winter harvest....
For your legume family, beans and peas, you will want to interplant nasturtiums as a companion plant because aphids prefer nasturtiums over beans. They also attract beneficial insects and are edible, adding a colourful presentation to any entree. Summer savory is considered the bean herb and is favoured by many chefs as a culinary partner.
These steps to companion planting is a good start to create a level 1 garden insectary. These basic inter-planting companions will contribute to support a natural ecosystem and diversity in any back yard.
So now your intensive/square metre garden rotation is starting to take shape with this interplanting and succession overview.
…....more on this, next week