In the Garden: Companion Plants

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EUGENE, Ore. — It can be tricky designing the layout of your vegetable garden, but one thing that helps is knowing what plants grow well together.

Gardeners call this companion planting. And Caleb Johnson from Johnson Brothers Greenhouses gave us some tipsĀ for planting this way.

First, marigolds and lavender are great for attracting pollinators to your garden, but marigolds can also attract lady bugs and the smell is known to deter aphids.

Sometimes plants, like nasturtium, can be a decoy. Caterpillars are going to get on your cabbages, broccolis and cauliflowers, but they also love nasturtium, maybe even a little more, so use this plant as a decoy to keep them away from the plant you really want to harvest.

Another way to prevent damage in your garden is alternate your plants. So instead of planting them in neat, pretty rows, alternate the plants within that row–onions, beets, carrots, onions, beets, carrots. If one vegetable is getting a disease or an insect, this way of planting might slow the spread of that because you can identify and contain the problem before it goes across one crop really fast.

Plants can be a barrier, like shade. Peas, for example, when grown up a trellis, can actually act as a sun block for lettuces that like to enjoy a little bit of afternoon shade.

For more information on companion planting, click here.

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