Like people, plants enjoy better, healthier lives when they have god neighbors. The reason is that they complement one another and something one plant does helps the other grow and vice versa. While it isn’t something many gardeners will tell you, it’s a reality. Here’s how you can boost your harvest by choosing the best plants you should grow side by side.
Planting the right kind of plants alongside one another has been shown to help each other grow. It’s called intercropping. And in doing so, the plants are able to benefit because of the companionship of their neighbor.
The benefits range of protection from disease, pests or other critters all the way to helping them grow bigger and healthier.
Lettuce and Tomatoes
Lettuce and tomatoes are great plants to grow in your vegetable garden. They’re both staples in salads which means you will find yourself harvesting them a lot.
Planting tomatoes beside lettuce is a great way to help boost your lettuce harvest. Although tomatoes take quite a bit of space, they also grow tall. This means they can provide shade over the lettuce to shade it from the harsh sun on summer days.
Tomatoes and Asparagus
Another good neighbor for tomatoes is asparagus. This time, it’s the nutrients of tomatoes that helps asparagus grow better. Tomatoes contain solanine which is a chemical the repels beetles that invade asparagus.
The benefit is also reciprocated by asparagus which contains chemicals that keeps nematodes away. This pest is harmful for tomatoes. So, the asparagus helps your tomato grow without intrusion.
Cucumbers And Radishes
Cucumbers are another popular vegetable to enjoy. They’re great because they’re a zero calorie food. What that means is that your body burns more calories digesting cucumbers than it contains.
This is why it’s a popular diet food. It helps you reach a caloric deficit.
To help cucumbers grow, try planting them alongside radishes. Radishes help repel cucumber beetles which can wreak havoc on your crop.
Carrots and Radishes
Right beside your radishes, try carrots. Carrots are great because they’re tasty and rich in nutrients. Plus, they’re one of the veggies that kids will eat, even the choosy ones. I should know because one of my kids is really picky.
The reason why carrots are radishes grow well together is that they have varying root systems. Carrots go deep into the soil, radishes much shallower.
So, they absorb nutrients from different sections of the soil. Since they aren’t competing for the nutrients, both can enjoy all the nutrition they need to grow optimally.
Onions And Carrots
A good neighbor to the carrots is onions. Onions are delicious because they offer a lot of flavor. While you won’t really eat them on their own like you may with carrots and other veggies, they’re great for adding taste to food.
Onions keep pests that bother carrots away. This makes them good to plant beside the orange vegetable because it will enjoy sustained growth without being damaged by pests.
If you aren’t a fan of onions, you can go with other members of the allium family. Garlic is a good choice. If not, you can also plant leeks or chives in place of onions and they will protect your carrot harvest as well.
Lettuce and Onions
If you do decide to go with onions, you’ll be happy to know that they are great neighbors to lettuce. This lets you plant them in rows right by each other.
The two vegetables are great because they protect one another from different things. Lettuce help keep weeds away from onions. This gives them time to mature without being disturbed by invasive plants like weeds which can rob them of their nutrients.
Similarly, onions help lettuce grow because they keep certain animals away. If you have a farm or animals coming around destroying your crops, onions help keep creatures like rabbits away from your harvest.
Spinach and Peas
Spinach is a great plant to grow in your garden because it works very well in a variety of dishes. Plus, it’s very healthy because it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Spinach works very well on salads. You can also cook it as a side dish or enjoy it as a snack. If you’re into smoothies or juicing, spinach also makes a great ingredient to increase the health benefits of these beverages.
To get all those nutrients, spinach needs to absorb a lot of it from the soil. To help it achieve this, peas are a great option. Peas belong to the legume family. This makes them a good source of nitrogen which is one of the ingredients in fertilizer that helps enrich the soil.
Just by being beside the spinach, peas are able to help it grow better.
Cabbage and Sage
Cabbages are delicious because they are crunchy have a sweetness to them. But, you’ve probably noticed that some of them can get riddled with holes or these black spots on their other leaves.
The reason some supermarket cabbages have these defects is that they’ve been damaged by caterpillars and other critters. These pests eat through the leaves and destroy the lovely green leaves of the cabbage.
To keep the cabbage in your veggie garden free of these creatures, it’s a good idea to plant them with sage. Sage is an herb that has a strong aroma. The aroma keeps pests like caterpillar and some worms away. In doing so, they help keep your cabbage healthy and looking nice.