Sunday, February 28, 2010

What is Companion Planting?

Companion Planting is an old practice that dates back to the Native Americans. It simply means to plant specific crops together for the benefit of both plants. An example of this is planting pole beans next to corn. Pole beans fix nitrogen for the corn. The corn provides a "living trellis" for the beans to climb. Both crops benefit! Some crops provide protection from pests. If you plant squash in with the corn its leaves and vines provide shade around the bottom of the corn and help to preserve soil moisture. Also the squash vines help to deter raccoons who will eat the corn. They don't like trudging through the prickly vines to get to the corn. So how do you know what to plant where?? Here is one good list I found. There really are entire books written about this topic but a good list will get you started.

Companion planting can also be practiced in containers too! You may have to get a larger container based on what you will be planting but many of the vegetables "companion" plants are herbs which don't take up a lot of space. Here is a website dedicated to seeds specifically for containers. Check it out!

Spring is not far off! Get your seeds now! I have heard from more than one source that the prices on produce in the grocery stores will be significantly higher. So get yourself all of your produce will be virtually free!

No comments: