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Fun Fact Friday - Companion Planting

In this week's #FunFactFriday we talk about the practice of companion planting. When done correctly, companion planting aims to help increase productivity and the health of food producing plants. A few of the goals for companion planting are to aid food producing plants by reducing the chance of harmful pests on food producing plants, providing structure and support, amending soil, attracting pollinators, creating microclimates, among others.

The most popular example of companion planting is the "3 sisters" model of growing corn, pole beans, and squash. Companion planting is modeled by how these three plants contribute to the success of each other.

The beans fix nitrogen into the soil which is beneficial to the corn and squash as plants need nitrogen to be stronger and healthier.

The corn provides support for the bean vine to climb. It also provides a little bit of shade for the squash during the hotter seasons.

The squash, with its large leaves, helps to retain moisture in the soil while also chocking out weeds from competing for nutrients in the soil.

In the video below, I use an example from our own foodscape where I like to grow pentas, zinnias, marigolds, basil, and pennywort around some raised beds.

The pentas and zinnias attract pollinators which help increase yields and are essential for plants that require pollination.

The marigolds, basil, and pennywort are there to help reduce the chance of harmful insects finding the food crops planted in the beds. Many harmful insects and worms find their intended host plant through smell. Or at least that is what most of my research points to. The marigolds and other herbs are fragrant enough that it helps confuse or mask the scent of the food crops. Even something as small as a few basil plants alongside a raised bed has helped reduce harmful plants in the bed.

I plant on making a much more in depth video that I will likely post in our Gardening Forum that will have way more information on Companion Planting. I just wanted to touch the surface in this week's #FunFactFriday.

Have you tried companion planting in your garden? What were your results? Comment below and keep the convo going.

See you........................

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