How is your plant life? Many people are wising up to the spiritual and health benefits of keeping a small vegetable patch in the yard or window box. Done right, it’s a very satisfying way to spend your R&R time, and you’re sure to taste the difference in the things you cook.
If you don’t dare dabble with veggies, then there’s always the aesthetic option of flowers and shrubs. But in any case, the pleasure of keeping your own garden can quickly give way to frustration if you don’t know what you’re doing.
One way to give yourself a better chance of a horticultural triumph is to utilize the techniques of companion planting. Just as in the wild, plants exist not just by their own volition but as part of a complex environment of give and take, mediated of course by insect life and other natural conditions.
In the garden, you can use this to your advantage by keeping complementary plants in close proximity to each other. In some cases, it really is about regulating this insect life: some plants will deter insects from attacking their neighbor plants, while others will attract friendly, useful insects.
Some bigger plants will also provide protection for smaller plants – while the wrong ones will covet all of the best nutrients from the earth. And perhaps the nicest side-effect of companion planting is that you can actually improve the flavor of different veggies by planting them closely to each other. Herbs, spices and garlic can be particularly social in this respect – so it is worth paying close attention to flavoring only the veggies that you want flavored.
The people at Home Advisor have created an ace new visual guide to which plants go well with which companions. Take a seat, study it carefully, and design your composition before you next head to the vegetable patch.