What is companion planting?
Companion planting has been going on for many centuries and is pretty much where different species are planted together for mutual benefit. This could be one plant providing shade for another, a neighbouring plant boosting nutrients in the soil or in garlic’s case keeping pests away. Whilst it hasn’t been scientifically proven companion planting is being used more and more by organic farmers in a bid to use fewer pesticides.
Arguably garlic is one of the most reliable plants to grow in your garden. Not only is it relatively easy to grow but it takes up next to no space and improves the soil quality for the plants around it. Due to its pungent scent, it is great at keeping pests away including:
- Cabbage loopers
- Spider mites
- Codling moths
- Fungus gnats
- Even rabbits!
So here’s everything that you can plant with garlic.
The deliciously sweet strawberries are a favourite among many pests but Russian gardeners have discovered that planting garlic nearby keeps pests at bay.
Spinach is almost as hardy as garlic which is why they make great winter companions. Plant garlic in a row or circle around spinach to protect it during cold winters.
3. Cabbage family
The cabbage family (cabbage, broccoli, kale) in particular are susceptible to insect attacks which is why garlic makes a perfect pairing.
Garlic is known for its ability to keep even the nastiest red spider mites at bay.
Roses and garlic are the best of friends. The stinky smell of garlic leaves (which is covered by the delicious smell of roses to the human nose) keeps roses many pests away including black spot.
Planting onions and garlic together won’t have a drastic impact on either crop but it will have a big impact on those around them as like garlic, onions, chives and other members of the allium family repel many mites and grubs.
Although garlic has many friends, it also has a few enemies. Garlic actually inhibits the growth of peas and beans so keep them at a safe distance.
Homegrown garlic takes between seven to eight months to grow, once you’ve harvested the crop you should look at planting something different in the nutrient-rich soil that it has left behind.
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