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Lifestyle Collection - Companion planting to improve your harvest

November 2019

Companion planting is a great tool for helping fend off pests that play havoc in your vegetable garden and orchard.

Take note of these great companion plants, placing them strategically in your garden and orchard, to help provide you with a healthy crop this spring and summer.

Here’s how companion plants help your garden thrive:

  • Attracts beneficial insects who aid pollination, while other plants lure predatory insects.
  • Acts as ‘sacrificial’ plants by being eaten by insects before your vegetables. They can also be hacked back regularly, removing pests at the same time.
  • Acts as ‘repellent’ plants as, when located near your veggie patch, can lessen pest invasions by, for example, emitting smells or secreting chemicals.

Recommended Companion Plants

Alliums

Plants in this family help deter slugs, snails, aphids and carrot flies and are good to plant around fruit trees, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, brassicas and carrots.

Alyssum

A low growing honey scented plant which self-seeds and attracts a range of beneficial insects.

Basil

Drawing butterflies when it flowers, basil also repels flies and mosquitoes as well as being particularly effective when planted by tomatoes, improving their flavour and helping deter pests and diseases.

Borage

Borage attracts predatory insects and pollinators and is a great companion for strawberry, tomato and cucumber plants.

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Cleome

This large, fast growing annual herb looks great and helps attract beneficial insects including shield bugs, drawing them away from tomatoes and beans.

Parsnips

Let a few go to seed for the bees in your garden or scatter near fruit trees to aid pollination.

Dill

Place by brassicas, cucumbers and corn as dill works as a natural repellent against aphids, some caterpillars and spider mites.

Yarrow

Yarrow lures beneficial insects such as ladybirds, predatory wasps and hoverflies while also being a useful addition to your compost, adding minerals and accelerating the composting process.

Thyme

Thyme is excellent planted by cabbages, eggplants and strawberries.

Marigolds

Marigolds are often planted as a border around other flowers or veggies as their scent wards off many pests. Their roots produce an insecticide that will often deter pests in the soil (such as nematodes). The larger Mexican marigold may help keep rabbits from coming into your garden.

To read more of the Lifestyle Collection magazine by click here

Kings Plant Barn has been a leading garden centre for 25 years, with eight branches Auckland wide. They have a strong reputation as gardening experts who help Kiwi gardeners grow with confidence.

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