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South Williamsport, PA
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Companion Plants

Companion Plants

Plants like to have friends around while they are growing. These friends are called companion plants, and they play an important role in the growth and quality of fruits and vegetables. My father always planted marigolds in his garden. He explained that it was to help control insects, but talking to other farmers and reading

Plants like to have friends around while they are growing. These friends are called companion plants, and they play an important role in the growth and quality of fruits and vegetables.

My father always planted marigolds in his garden. He explained that it was to help control insects, but talking to other farmers and reading articles, I learned that marigolds also help enhance the growth of vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, squash, and potatoes are just a few that benefit from having marigolds nearby. The bright orange and yellow flowers attract bees and other pollinators to the garden, which helps to pollinate vegetable blossoms.

To help control mosquitoes and flies, you can plant mint, rosemary, or lavender. Planting rosemary with broccoli will help stop insects from gathering in the broccoli crowns. Planted with carrots, it will help keep carrot root flies away. Lavender is my favorite. I like to plant it near the entrance of my garden. As I enter, I rub the leaves on my hat and skin to keep the mosquitoes away. I also plant some to cut and bring inside; it always smells so fresh and clean.

Some vegetables prefer other vegetables as their companion. For instance, corn and pumpkins. If you plant pumpkins under corn, it not only saves space, but the corn offers the pumpkin protection from the sun, and the pumpkin helps hold moisture in the soil for the corn.

My favorite companion plant herb is basil. Basil, in my opinion, is the one herb that should be in every garden.

Basil has been known to help enhance the flavor of other vegetables plus keep unwanted insects at bay. I planted basil around our house, and I believe it does help keep the mosquitoes away; plus, I really love the smell.

Some people say planting basil near tomatoes will help enhance the taste of the tomatoes. Fresh Caprese salad is one of my favorite summer dishes. Planting basil and tomatoes together makes it easy for me to quickly pick what I need for this dish.

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