Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves etc. that can alternately repel (anti-feedants) and/or attract insects depending on our needs. In somesituations they can also help to enhance the growth rate and flavour of other varieties. In nutshell, companion planting helps to bring a balanced eco-system to the garden, allowing nature to do its' job. Nature integrates a diversity of plants, insects, animals, and other organisms into every ecosystem so there is no waste. The death of one organism can create food for another, meaning symbiotic relationships all around. By using companion planting, we can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many varieties of herbs, flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. We should open to experiment and find what works for us. Some possibilities would be using certain plants as a border, backdrop or inter planting in flower or vegetable beds depending on our needs. We have to use plants that are native to our area so that the insects we want to attract already know what to look for! Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most popular with beneficial insects.
Companion planting can combine beauty and purpose to give you an enjoyable, healthy environment. There are many ways we can find to incorporate these useful plants in our garden, orchard, flower beds etc.
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