Companion plants for veg?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by dandanuk, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. dandanuk

    dandanuk Gardener

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    So my lovely sister decided she wanted to treat me and bought me the Jamie at home DVD and he mentioned on it that a lot of his vegetables had companinon plants such as marigolds ( excuse the spelling) which invited certain insect life which ate the more harmful to your crop insects.

    So my question is which comanion plants do you have and what would you suggest I buy ?
     
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    • dandanuk

      dandanuk Gardener

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      Also by growing onions do they keep certain insect life away ?
       
    • Phil A

      Phil A Guest

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      I know Monty plants Chives around his Carrots to confuse Carrotfly with the smell. Things that attract Hoverflies are good as their larvae eat aphids. Poppies will do that, mind you, so will a Cabbage thats flowering.
       
    • dandanuk

      dandanuk Gardener

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      Thanks zigs, a lot to learn with this gardening lark, thanks again pal!
       
    • Kristen

      Kristen Under gardener

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      I think its mostly a waste of time. Maybe Garlic / Onions will deter Carrot Fly ... and allegedly Carrot fly cannot get airborne more than a foot or two, so a low barrier will do ...

      ... not in my experience! It just takes one or two carrot fly to muck up your crop, so why mess about with companion plants that, at best, will be 99% successful and that isn't going to be good enough.

      Get some Enviromesh and make an enclosure around the carrots (including making a roof rather than just some walls)
       
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      • nFrost

        nFrost Head Gardener

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        I work from this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants

        It probably doesn't make a massive difference to a successful harvest but every little helps I guess. Also, I think you have to plant at a high ratio, as in 5 helper plants to 1 helpee plant for example.

        I'm a novice gardener and veg grower so I find that list helps to plan what flowers to grow where to gain some benefit apart from it looking good. Obviously you don't have to limit your garden's success because of companion planting, it's just an aid in my opinion.
         
      • Kristen

        Kristen Under gardener

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        I take a different view I'm afraid.

        "Every little helps" is fine if an 80% solution/improvement is acceptable. In the case of Carrot Fly I think you need 100% solution as even a couple of fly will damage the crop.

        Companion plants have to be grown, and then take up planting space, thus your crop-density falls. That's fine if you have plenty of space, not so good if you only have a small area, or you are time-poor and don't have enough time to raise all the companion plants, in addition to your crop, and to weed and water them etc.

        Other issue is that if you move, say, Garlic next to Carrots you are mucking up the ideal crop rotation. That's not the end of the world of course :) but it certainly makes it more complicated. The last thing you need is something like Onion Rot, through poor crop rotation, as that will take 7 years, or so, to get rid of :(

        Having said that I do plant Marigolds in and amongst my Tomatoes. I still get Whitefly ... maybe I would get more whitefly if I didn't have them. I have to raise about 50 plants to have enough to do a decent job, which I always view as an "added burden" at this time of the year! It would be better if I loved Marigolds wholeheartedly ...
         
      • nFrost

        nFrost Head Gardener

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        Thanks for the info. I use companion planting as I find the idea interesting but I'm not a die hard veg grower unfortunately. Hopefully I'll find it fun and that's enough for me really. :SUNsmile:
         
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        • Kristen

          Kristen Under gardener

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          Well I certainly don't want to stop you :) there are definitely some upsides too.
           
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