Folklore or Fact?

Companion plants enjoy a long history in folklore and farmer’s wisdom, but scientist often scoff at the idea. But if the end result is fabulous tomatoes, then we as gardeners can leave the details of how it all happens to the scientist!

Types of Companion Planting

Trap Cropping – Using neighboring plants to draw pests from the main crop. Studies supporting it’s effectiveness can be found here and here.

Refugia – The practice of planting habitats for beneficial insects, such as planting yarrow near tomatoes to attract ladybugs, which eat aphids. Study

Microclimate – Creating microclimates for plants, such as planting lettuce under corn or squash to provide shade.

Symbiotic N-fixing – planting nitrogen fixing plants with heavy feeders.The classic example is planting beans with corn. Study

Pest Deterrent – Many herbs and flowers are used as deterrents. Study

Improving Flavor or Plant Health – This type of companion plants are perhaps the least studied, but most widely used.

Yarrow: Companion & Insectary Plant

Yarrow is a member of the Asteraceae family, along with sunflowers, daisies, and many others. It grows up to three feet tall with flat composite flower heads. Insectary Plant Insects…

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Bittercress: A Useful Wild Herb

Bittercress is an annual cool-weather mustard and member of the Brassicaceae family. It is a host plant for a few species of aphids (1), and cabbage moths will preferentially lay…

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