January 20, 2009

Try growing companion plants

Companion plants are very useful to gardeners or farmers. They have natural substances in them that will repel or attract insects. In specific cases, they can even increase the growth rate of plants, even improve the flavors these plants produce. Not only that but they help to bring a balanced ecosystem to the landscape. Overall then, growing companion plants will result in much healthier and productive plants and better crop production.

There are many kinds of companion plants available. If this is the first you've heard of them, you'll probably be very surprised by what you'll find. These are some examples of companion plants:

- Tomatoes for cabbages. Some moths feed on cabbage leaves as well, producing the same problems caused by cabbageworms. Worse, moths give birth to larvae at such a rapid pace that a full blown infestation is almost always guaranteed.

Growing tomatoes alongside cabbage plants will help ward off moths. Tomato plant emit a particular odor that moths just can't stand. It is loathsome to them. As such, moths will stay away from the garden and lay their larvae elsewhere. - Chives or garlic for roses. Roses are grown for their beautiful flowers. But pests can destroy these flowers and make a quarter of a year's labor go to waste. Growing chives near roses will help repel the usual pests that feed on rose flowers.

Garlic is said to have the same effect of repelling such pests. Garlic actually collects sulfur, which is a natural fungicide, and can greatly increase disease prevention.

- Beans for corn. A pest infestation on corn crops can be very harmful, even dangerous for the entire farm or the surrounding area. Growing beans in the garden or backyard will help to attract beneficial insects that will prey on and help to eradicate the common pests that haunt corn fields. Armyworms, leaf beetles and leaf hoppers will all be but sad memories when bean plants accompany growing corns.

Sunflowers are also very good for corn. Just planting them around corn it is said will increase their yield. And if you've got aphid problems, you won't for long. Your unknown friends, in the form of ants, will herd the aphids like cattle onto the sunflowers. It's a curious thing. The sunflowers themselves are so tough that the aphids can do no more than very little damage at best.

- Nasturtiums for cucumbers. Cucumber attracts cucumber beetles. These are small insects which have strong jaws that are even able to cut right through the cucumbers themselves. Nasturtiums, on the other hand, drive off cucumber beetles and allow for the healthy development of cucumber plants.

These are only a few of the many types of companion plants that are available for you to use. Some of them are actually crop plants. Many can be found in varying types of vegetable gardens. Give yourself time to discover what these companion plants are. You may surprise yourself with the combinations you can create.


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