beginners gardening

A Guide to Companion Gardening

While companion gardening is a lot of fun and makes the vegetable garden much more attractive, both to the eye and the nose, you do have to realize that it has a more serious side to it. This is because it represents an effort on the part of some producers in order to manage agricultural systems according to principles that can be gained by studying natural systems.

Companion gardening is much more complex and diverse than any other type of gardening, however it can also be much more beneficial and advantageous and so it is often times well worth the extra bit of effort and knowledge that is required.

About Companion Gardening

Companion gardening is a term which refers to the planting of different crops in close physical proximity, and is based on the theory that they will help each other, as a form of polyculture. Companion gardening is used by farmers and other professional gardeners as well as private and personal gardeners, in both the industrialized world and third world.

The History

Companion planting is a type of gardening which was widely touted in the 1970s as being part of the organic gardening movement, and it was encouraged not for pragmatic reasons but rather with the idea that different species of plant may thrive when placed and grown more closely together.


There are quite a few different systems and ideas utilizing companion planting that are known, one in particular being square foot gardening. This is the version of companion planting that attempts to protect plants from many of the normal gardening problems that tend to occur, by packing them as closely together as possible without causing damage.

The forest garden version is another option here, and with this version the companion plants are intermingled in order to create an actual ecosystem, emulating the interaction of up to seven levels of plants in a forest or woodland.

There are also a number of ways in which companion plants can benefit each other, including: flavor enhancement, hedged investment, level interaction, nitrogen fixation, pest suppression, positive hosting, protective shelter, trap cropping, and pattern disruption.

It is very easy to see just how productive and advantageous companion gardening can be, as long as you are aware and informed and know what you are doing. It really pays to do your research and make yourself as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to a form of gardening such as this.

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Gardening Tip #7

Foliage plants usually have high nitrogen needs, while flowering plants, K2O is needed. Slow release fertilizers can be mixed with the compost. However, certain plants like cacti and orchids need special fertilizer. Feed plants during their most active growth period.