MB3
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I heard that (but cannot find the source right now) basil improving taste of tomatoes seems debatable, as well as perhaps some of its disease and pest fighting, however same source said planted together it was shown to increase yield of tomatoes by 20%! so... still a good thing, even if this other (mysterious unnamed, lol) source debates the old touted pluses to this couple.

anyhow, thanks for this list.
I have been making lists of companion plants already, always good to have more resources.
I think this and native plants are lacking for my gardening (but then so is space, so only so much one can do with a few square feet of garden space and hopes for a few rented small comm garden plots if one has the cash to rent them).

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Here's a nice article about companion planting with tomatoes, which cites studies and discusses the mechanisms of how the companion makes a difference:

https://www.laspilitas.com/garden/conven ... plants.com

about the basil it says

Basil, Ocimum basilicum, an annual in the mint family, is pollinated by bees and flies (Raju, 1989), (Kuberappa et al., 2007), and supports arbuscular mycorrhiza (Wang & Qiu, 2006). Ocimum species are native to the Americas and Asia. Studies found that when basil was grown with tomato, the tomato plants were more vigorous, the tomato fruits were larger, and the tomato showed less damage by Fusarium wilt (Hage-Ahmed, Krammer and Steinkellner, 2013). ... This is important because arbuscular mycorrhiza helps to increase pollinator visits, they believe by way of higher nectar production, and also helps to increase yield of pollen (Gange & Smith, 2005).

The same mycorrhiza with the same benefits were noted for alliums planted with tomatoes.

The article also notes parsley as a good companion:

Parsley, Petroselinum crispum var. neopolitanum, usually a biennial, is pollinated by syrphid flies, honeybees, and other bees (Burgett, 1980). Parsley is native to Europe. Parsley, in adddition to coriander, and dill, is small enough not to overpower the tomato plant, and also attracts tiny wasps, that are parasites of tomato pests (Russell, 2013)

The tiny wasps are called braconids. This I have seen. I grew parsley in with my tomatoes and last year it was flowering (it is the nectar in the flowers that attracts the braconids). Every single tomato hornworm I found had already been parasitized by the braconids. I will always have parsley with my tomatoes now.
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gixxerific
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Thanks RBG great post. That is what I'm talking about, companion planting isn't fool proof but every little bit you can do to increase your odds is that much further to a successful garden. I haven't grown parsley in a while I saved a bunch that still seems ok.

But the basil I always plant it between rows, it stays short and allows light and air in while filling space and hopefully adding a benefit to my tomatoes and vice versa. Marigolds as well and yes parsley, the more the merrier.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Has anyone ever heard of the 3 Sisters garden? I stumbled across this about a year ago and thought about trying it out. https://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/3sisters.html
"According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash are three inseparable sisters who only grow and thrive together.
Corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb. Beans fix nitrogen on their roots, improving the overall fertility of the plot by providing nitrogen to the following years corn. Bean vines also help stabilize the corn plants, making them less vulnerable to blowing over in the wind. Shallow-rooted squash vines become a living mulch, shading emerging weeds and preventing soil moisture from evaporating, thereby improving the overall crops chances of survival in dry years. Spiny squash plants also help discourage predators from approaching the corn and beans. The large amount of crop residue from this planting combination can be incorporated back into the soil at the end of the season, to build up the organic matter and improve its structure."

The link provides directions and a matrix for planting.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

yes, gardeners know about the three sisters! :) You have to be careful how you plant them though. Plant the corn first, well spaced. Maybe three weeks later, when the corn is a few inches high, plant bean seeds near them. Maybe three weeks later, when the beans are at least a few inches high, plant the squash seeds around them. This keeps the plants from over running each other and works perfectly in terms of soil warmth needed. The corn seed can probably be planted even a little before all danger of frost is passed, as long as the soil is workable. The beans have to have all danger of frost passed and the soil warmed up a little. Squash are warm weather crops that don't get planted until the soil is well warmed up. Leave plenty of room for everything - squash are big plants
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Yep, the proper way to plant 3 Sisters is to plant one row of squash, move over six feet and plant 3 rows of corn spaced 30 inches, move over 30 inches and plant 4 rows of beans spaced 30 inches. Plant on the day of the average "last frost" in your area. Enjoy!

(Interesting this old thread got resurrected.)
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

of course, james is kidding, because he doesn't believe in companion planting... :) you would no longer call that three sisters, you would call it a squash patch and a corn patch and a bean patch.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I get so excited every time I see those tiny wasps.

I recently tossed a bunch of dill seeds in the beds. Wish I'd done it weeks ago. I'm so impatient.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I noticed something last summer that I hadn't seen before.

When I first started gardening, I bought a Russian Sage. Apparently, my reading skills failed and I did catch that it would spread about 3ft and grow up about 2-3 ft as a bush. I have trimmed it several times over the years.

Last year, I didn't trim it. I had so many little purple flowers this summer, right next to my basil, parsley and tomatoes.

I counted on a continuous basis all summer 5 - 6 different pollinators at that sage who then moved to other plants. I was able to ID Bumble bees, Honey Bees, and Green Metallic Wasps. I also had small square headed grey striped bees and some tiny black wasps or flies. They all love that Russian Sage and those tomatoes were so plentiful we made four different batches of sauce.

Just thought I'd share.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Thank you, this is very helpful for me

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Thanks gixxerific. I've heard of companion planting but didn't give it a second thought. After reading the responses it's interesting to learn how companion planting can help with pest control and crop productivity.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

This is amazing, thank you for sharing. I'm gonna copy and then start adding my own to the list. Good stuff.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

rainbowgardener " of course, james is kidding, because he doesn't believe in companion planting... :) you would no longer call that three sisters, you would call it a squash patch and a corn patch and a bean patch."

Giggling here............................

Truth be told...... in my limited experience of 70 + years of growing, it is my observation that plants do best when given their own space, (enough space) and good fertile soil, sunshine and water. The best thing we can do is work on our soil then give our plants the space they need. Weed and water and we will succeed.

Here is the challenge for anyone interested. Plant three rows of corn. Then plant three rows of beans (use poles). Then move over and plant 3 rows of corn and plant the beans right along with the corn so the beans can climb the corn. Now be careful to get the same number of plants in each planting. Now when harvest time comes carefully count and weigh the harvest from each and let me know how it goes?

The corn makes a stalk for the beans to climb. The beans supposedly make nitrogen to fertilize the corn. Is not that what the three sisters is about? Don't know what the squash is supposed to do for the mix. Looks like competition for water, nutrients and sunlight?
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

The squash functions sort of like mulch, shades the ground, holds water in. I do think it allows you to put more plants in the same space. If you have a 10x10 plot, you could make three 3x10 strips, corn, bean, squash. Or you can fill the 10 x10 with corn (as much as you would if you were just planting corn). Then plant beans next to the corn, then fill in all the space with squash. Since you are planting as much corn as you would just planting corn, then any beans and squash you get are a bonus. Unless the beans and squash reduce the corn yield so much that it cancels out what you get, it seems pretty clear that the total yield is more.

I would love to some day do the experiment, but I don't have enough ground.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I have not made the test either. One must be careful when planting corn though, if you get it too close in a patch, the inner stalks get tall but will have no ears on them. Just tassels. So it needs space too. Yet it does better if several rows or a patch is planted so that the ears get pollinated. A single row is not the best answer as sometimes the ears don't get pollinated and you have an ear with the kernels not filling out or patchy kernels.

I once thought I would grow a lot of corn on a 12 x 12 foot patch. I put about 200 seeds on that much space. What I got was a lot of tall stalks, but only those on the perimeter had any ears on them.

There is some talk on Wikipedia of the "Three Sisters" look it up.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I read, that just not pleasant smelling French marigolds repel pests, not new fancier varieties. What plants repel ants? We have aphid farming ants, and despite of having good bug population, cucumbers and melons get killed each year by large amounts of aphids. I did set out borax sugar baits for ants, and I was wondering, if there any plant, that ants hate.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Ants hate aromatics and strong smelling things particularly mints - spearmint, peppermint, pennyroyal. Pennyroyal is a very strong mint, that is most effective for pest control. But alliums like garlic and onions also help repel ants. Anything pungent, such as basil or sage, helps repel them, also tansy, citrus peels.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I do have mint in my garden (which I am trying to eradicate and plant just in pot), I can certainly dry up some of it and sprinkle around cucumbers and melons. I never grew pennyroyal, but I could -in the pot, of course. I was wondering, could I plant any of these in the same pot with a tree -I will have moringa, dwarf mulberry, Brazilian grape, truly tiny banana, and kiwis in the pot. And loquats once they sprout (I will graft them, when they will be a year old.) Or they would take too much from the soil?

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

This has been an amazing discussion. Thank you all for your comments. Yes, we can learn from each other, and we also learn to do by doing. Hope you are having a great gardening summer?

Yes, there are many ways to garden. From my youth I tagged my Dad around the garden. His garden was just a corner of the wheat field where he planted corn, beans, squash and taters. What I call the big 4. These are the foods that fed us. Other veggies add color and flavor. Many of you talk about your "Beds", Well for me, my bed is like Dad's a corner of the field. Yes, I have wide open spaces. I can spread out as far as I like. Actually think I have too much garden. Can't keep up.

No matter how we garden, the principles are the same. Give the plants what they need and they will respond with a bountiful harvest.

Here it started out wet and cold and we got a late start so things are running late. I am getting loads of zucchini, and the green beans are starting to bloom. Looks like I will get a crop of beans. The corn is just tasseling and the bees are working it for the pollen. Had great early onions and the carrots have done well.

Have a great day!
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Its been a good season even though it got going rather slowly. No frost yet. Still getting zucchini and crooknecks. The corn did fantastic this season. Just picked the last of the corn yesterday.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Quote: "The squash functions sort of like mulch, shades the ground, holds water in."

Are you kidding? Squash is a large plant and sucks up water like a sponge. I am sticking with what I originally said: "Give each plant its own space and enough space, and you will be successful."
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Some plants really do need there space no doubt. But there are some I have found you can crowd. Hot peppers I put really really close together. Tomatoes and cucumber that I am going to grow vertically I will also plant pretty close.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

jal_ut wrote:rainbowgardener " of course, james is kidding, because he doesn't believe in companion planting... :) you would no longer call that three sisters, you would call it a squash patch and a corn patch and a bean patch."

Giggling here............................

Truth be told...... in my limited experience of 70 + years of growing, it is my observation that plants do best when given their own space, (enough space) and good fertile soil, sunshine and water. The best thing we can do is work on our soil then give our plants the space they need. Weed and water and we will succeed.

Here is the challenge for anyone interested. Plant three rows of corn. Then plant three rows of beans (use poles). Then move over and plant 3 rows of corn and plant the beans right along with the corn so the beans can climb the corn. Now be careful to get the same number of plants in each planting. Now when harvest time comes carefully count and weigh the harvest from each and let me know how it goes?

The corn makes a stalk for the beans to climb. The beans supposedly make nitrogen to fertilize the corn. Is not that what the three sisters is about? Don't know what the squash is supposed to do for the mix. Looks like competition for water, nutrients and sunlight?
Jal is right. I don't believe in companion planting either experiments I tried long ago did not work. I have been gardening for 55 years. I believe in scientific experiments to prove what works and what does not work. Old folks like my grandparents know things that work but don't know why. I like to know why. I learn new things all the time, one thing I know for sure you can ask questions on this forum and the answers someone gives is correct for them but may not be correct for you. You live in a different geographical location, different weather, more or less rain, more or less clouds, different soil, different bugs, etc. Sometimes you can duplicate what other people do but you can not duplicate their weather, bugs, and other things. I learned in college a plants root system is as large as the plant you see on the surface. If the soil is hard and restricts root growth the plant will only grow as large as the roots. For a long time I had trouble with bell peppers then I remembered what I learned about roots so I dumped 6" of peat moss on the garden soil and tilled it in now my bell peppers grow 7 feet tall and the bell peppers are 5" and 6" diameter. Just because this works for me in my geographical location with my weather conditions it may not work as well for others. We get 300 days of rain every year you might need to water your garden a lot to equal what I have. I heard beans add nitrogen to the soil if you pull your beans up after first harvest and plant corn it will grow much better but I have not tried it yet. For 20 years I lived in a subdivision where all the top soil had been removed soil was clay and the garden would not grow until I added lots of things to make soil better but now I live in a different house that has real top soil, WOW I wont know how to act this year it will be a whole new learning experience to have good soil. I use to plant 300 corn plant is a 10'x10' space in my tiny garden because corn does not pollinate well in a small crop but, lack of sun, lack of root space, etc, you only get 1 ear of corn and sometimes only 1/2 an ear. Long ago I planted pole beans with corn it did not work, corn grows faster than beans, beans get too much shade, beans leaves shade the corn, both plants so bad. The only companion planting that might work is plant your corn where the beans were yesterday.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Wow! interesting this old discussion from way back in '09 got re-upped.

Comes to corn, I suggest planting rows spaced 30 inches apart with the plants 10 to 12 inches apart in the rows. You need a plot with at least three rows to do a good job of getting pollinated. You could do that in a 10 X 10 area. (about 36-40 plants, not 300) Usually given this much space corn will make two ears of corn per stalk. If corn is crowded, it may have no ears. You should be able to get 60 - 70 ears from that 10 x 10. Variety is a variable too. I find Ambrosia to be excellent.

Yes, crop rotation is good. Corn where the beans were.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Also in looking at corn seeds be aware of the number of days to maturity. 70-75 day corn does well here. The 105 day stuff won't make it in this area.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Companion planting may be a mixed bag of lores from different sources. But there is plenty of scientific evidence (which I am not going to bother trying to look up and cite right now -- trust me or do your own research) for at least pieces of it.

Planting pungent things like onions and garlic and herbs among/ around your smaller tenderer crops like lettuce, cabbage, etc., does make it harder for insect pests to find them (note that snails and slugs are NOT insects and this may not apply to them). Planting nectar plants, especially those with nectar in tiny florets like the carrot family, tansy, sweet alyssum, buckwheat, and others, in and around your crops does help attract beneficial insects. Beneficial insects include pollinators, without which many fruits and veggies, like squash plants, will not produce at all. But it also includes many predators of the pest insects, such as the braconid wasps and tachnid flies. I haven't grown tomatoes here yet, but in my previous garden, I hardly ever saw a tomato hornworm that wasn't already parasitized by the braconids and dying.

Some marigolds do exude chemicals from their roots which keep bad soil nematodes away. You have to know which marigolds and it takes a lot of them.

Some things do work well as trap crops, to draw pests away from your main crops. Two examples that worked well for me: One was having velvet leaf planted in various places around my garden. The leaf miners LOVE them and leave everything else alone . AND grape vine including the wild grapevine weed, is a great trap crop for Japanese beetles. That's not such a good thing if you are trying to grow grapes. Otherwise it works well. I had a lot of wild grapevine and I hardly ever saw a Japanese beetle anywhere else.

As far as the rest of it, I don't know. But I know some of those "old wives" had a lot of wisdom and in our zeal for modernity, we have thrown a lot of baby out with the bathwater.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I think originally companion planting started as a grass roots kind of things. Farmers just figured out certain things grew well together and some did not. The science came later, and I think in many ways the science is still trying to explain the lore.

I do know from experience that plants in the parsley family dill, fennel , carrots, parsley and coriander, in bloom, all attract a host of beneficial insects to the garden and that is always a good thing.

I also learned not to plant dill or fennel near plants once they are in bloom. Dill is only around a short time, but I did notice that while the dill was young and not blooming, it attracted lady bugs to the leaves. Mainly because the dill was a trap plant for aphids. Planted next to the tomatoes, the aphids went for the dill and pretty much left the tomatoes aloneand they grew and produced nicely. The lady bugs hung around eating up all of the aphids. Once, the dill bloomed it was like being next to fennel. Tomatoes and other plants around them stopped growing and tomatoes did not produce any more fruit. Perilla would be healthy but stunted compared to its sisters planted at least 10 ft away. I don't know what actually causes plants to react that way once the dill and fennel bloom and are not bothered by them when they are not in bloom.

Some things like cabbages and strawberries do not go together. I am guessing because they like very different soil conditions.

The no brainer of course is putting a sun loving plant that likes to be relatively dry next to a shade loving plant that likes to live in mud.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Tagetes is good against some nematodes and against alot of pestfull bugs(allthough avoiding monoculture type gardening is the best way to prevent harmful nematodes).
Its generally a good plant to have in between rows here and there. And looks pretty neat as well. I grow a red and yellow variety that is pretty short like 15cm tall they get, so they don't shade out anything either. And were i have planted it it doesnt have any negative effects on yields. Which is usually tighter between rows than is recommended.

Forgot to mention: the snails does not like tagetes either!
And its good for adding as mulch at end of season, you can use the flowers in cooking as well.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Btw did the list end at Chamomille?
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I don't think it did originally, but there is a comment at the bottom of p.3 from 2013, asking why it stops at chamomile, so I guess between when it got posted and 2013 the rest of the list disappeared... too bad.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

For sure try some things. Also keep a notebook and make notes and take pictures. In the notes also note the weather patterns and anything else of note like bug outbreaks etc. I hate to say it but a year or two down the road, The ol memory banks are apt to be asking..... now what was that again? So if we have made note of it we can refer back.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I planted marigolds with tomatoes once it did not seem to do anything.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Hello fellow gardeners!
New gardener here and I would appreciate your feedback about the companion planting lists you have here, in terms of how to do it. I see there are many plants that go well with tomatoes. I am wondering if the 2-2.5 feet space between plants refers to how far between a tomatoe plant and any other plant, or between tomato plants only. How far should companion plants be planted from tomatoes? Thank you! :?:

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I repeat what I said earlier:

Garden veggies grow best when given their own space and enough space.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

stephers wrote:Hello fellow gardeners!
New gardener here and I would appreciate your feedback about the companion planting lists you have here, in terms of how to do it. I see there are many plants that go well with tomatoes. I am wondering if the 2-2.5 feet space between plants refers to how far between a tomatoe plant and any other plant, or between tomato plants only. How far should companion plants be planted from tomatoes? Thank you! :?:

Personally, I believe in the benefits of some companion plants. I think the 2.5 ft of space is between two tomato plants. You can stick other things in that space, depending on what it is. I always have rows of carrots down the outside of beds with tomatoes in them ("carrots love tomatoes" is the title of a companion planting book). Carrots and tomatoes grow well together because carrots are root crops, so need different nutrients at different times and don't compete with the tomatoes. Carrots don't get very tall so they don't shade the tomato plants, but the carrots being heat sensitive benefit from the shade of the tomatoes. Tomatoes also secrete a natural insect deterrent called solanine which kills insects that could otherwise harm carrots. Carrots break up the soil so that more air and water can go to the tomato plants’ roots.

Onion and garlic are good companion plants for almost everything, because the strong smell helps repel insects. I scatter them all around my garden. They don't take up much room and don't compete with other stuff or shade anything out.

You can plant spinach between the rows of tomatoes and the shade will help the spinach survive the heat longer. And then the spinach will be out of the way quickly.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

The insects laugh at my onions. IME planting anything to repel things does not work at all.

Onions don't compete well with anything. They really need their own space, for bulbing. I have also not found carrots to be heat sensitive.

I grow lettuce at the base of my tomatoes simply because it works and is an efficient use of space but not because they "like" each other. They are competing for nutrients and water and there are very limited circumstances where planting things together can be of any real overall benefit (except in folklore.) JMO.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I am reposting this from the previous page, since people don't tend to look back:

Companion planting may be a mixed bag of lores from different sources. But there is plenty of scientific evidence (which I am not going to bother trying to look up and cite right now -- trust me or do your own research) for at least pieces of it.

Planting pungent things like onions and garlic and herbs among/ around your smaller tenderer crops like lettuce, cabbage, etc., does make it harder for insect pests to find them (note that snails and slugs are NOT insects and this may not apply to them). Planting nectar plants, especially those with nectar in tiny florets like the carrot family, tansy, sweet alyssum, buckwheat, and others, in and around your crops does help attract beneficial insects. Beneficial insects include pollinators, without which many fruits and veggies, like squash plants, will not produce at all. But it also includes many predators of the pest insects, such as the braconid wasps and tachnid flies. I haven't grown tomatoes here yet, but in my previous garden, I hardly ever saw a tomato hornworm that wasn't already parasitized by the braconids and dying.

Some marigolds do exude chemicals from their roots which keep bad soil nematodes away. You have to know which marigolds and it takes a lot of them.

Some things do work well as trap crops, to draw pests away from your main crops. Two examples that worked well for me: One was having velvet leaf planted in various places around my garden. The leaf miners LOVE them and leave everything else alone . AND grape vine including the wild grapevine weed, is a great trap crop for Japanese beetles. That's not such a good thing if you are trying to grow grapes. Otherwise it works well. I had a lot of wild grapevine and I hardly ever saw a Japanese beetle anywhere else.

Then some are just efficient, like Peter's lettuce and my spinach and various forms of mixed succession planting. Companion planting lore says broccoli and tomatoes don't do well together. But it works well for me to plant broccoli transplants very early on the outside of a bed. Then 4-6 wks later, when it is warm enough I plant the tomato transplants behind them. By the time the tomato plants are getting really big and need the room, the broccoli is done and can be pulled. I think it works because I pull the broccoli promptly, don't let it hang around too long, trying to get those last few side shoots.

As far as the rest of it, I don't know. But I know some of those "old wives" had a lot of wisdom and in our zeal for modernity, we have thrown a lot of baby out with the bathwater.
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Peter1142
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

If there is some evidence that pungent plants actually do make a significant measurable difference in pest pressure (and more importantly yield) I would love to see it. It sure doesn't work for me.

Squash flowers are self-attracting. Pollinators love them as much as anything else for me.

I am not saying there is no evidence that planting things together may have positive and negative benefits... in some cases of course they do. Just that the most important fact that they compete for water and nutrients is usually ignored, and often companion planting guidelines are given without stating the reasons and without any scientific basis. The most important thing is to give plants the space they require.
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Some Science of Companion Planting

You may not want a companion with garlic breath, but plenty of plants are happy with garlic as a companion. The pungent smell keeps insects from finding the sweet-smell of roses, peaches and more. Cornell Cooperative Extension experts note that pest deterrence through companion planting is difficult to prove, but said there is substantial anecdotal evidence of success.

In his Giant Book of Garden Solutions, plant expert Jerry Baker recommends planting garlic in rose beds to ward off cane borers, aphids, rose chafers and Japanese beetles. To repel peach tree borers, Baker recommends planting a ring of garlic around a peach tree trunk, but the garlic and the tree must be planted at the same time.

In The Garden Pests and Diseases Specialist, David Squire suggests planting garlic around carrots to mask the carrot smell and keep carrot flies away. Leeks and onions also help.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension experts note that planting garlic around celery and lettuce deters aphids. Planting garlic between tomato plants can keep away red spider mites, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Cornell experts also suggest planting garlic near cabbage to deter cabbage looper, cabbage maggot and imported cabbageworm. They also suggest garlic for keeping rabbits, slugs and snails away from the veggie patch.
https://www.networx.com/article/garden-p ... your-enemy

This is not evidence, but it does come from University extensions, who presumably aren't going to be recommending nonsense.

There is scientific evidence, it just takes a lot of time to track down.

Here is a study of trap cropping:
Perimeter trap cropping (PTC) involves using a trap crop, and possibly other border defenses, to encircle and protect the main cash crop like fortress walls. Six growers in Connecticut used PTC to protect commercial summer squash plantings from cucumber beetles and bacterial wilt damage. Grower surveys were used to compare PTC program results to the conventional "multiple-full-field-spray" system formerly used on the farms. Most growers using PTC stated that this system improved and simplified pest control, reduced pesticide use (93%) and crop loss, and saved them time and money compared to their conventional program.
93% ! You could say nearly eliminated pesticide use. Study titled "Demonstrating a Perimeter Trap Crop Approach to Pest Management on Summer Squash in New England" from U. Conn published in Journal of Extension, October 2004 // Volume 42 // Number 5 // Research in Brief // 5RIB2.
Most plants produce defensive chemicals that help fend off insects and diseases. These chemicals may be insect poisons, feeding deterrents or have fungicidal properties. The roots of some French and African marigolds contain a substance which is toxic to certain types of nematodes. Nematodes are soil inhabiting microscopic roundworms that damage many species of plants. Certain nematodes can be eliminated from a site by growing a thick crop of marigolds for one season prior to planting the vegetable or fruit crop, or by interplanting marigolds between crop rows.

Destructive insects often locate their food by smell. Many plants, especially culinary herbs, produce strong scents which may confuse insect pests looking for a host to feed on. Garden vegetable plants such as garlic, onions, chives, and herbs such as catnip, horehound, wormwood, basil, tansy, and mints all produce scents which seem to repel insects or mask the scents which attract insects. A certain level of insect protection can be achieved by carefully interplanting some of these as companions to vegetables.
This is from Cornell University: https://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsh ... plant.html

Again they don't cite their sources, but it is a University, I doubt they are making this stuff up. The article goes on to recommend trap cropping and use of flowers in the garden to attract beneficial insects and says: "Avoid monoculture in terms of space and time. A one-hundred foot long row of broccoli presents a large target for a cabbage moth that is flying by, but the same number of cabbage plants scattered over several thousand square feet, and interplanted with other crops, is less obvious and attractive to the insect. Pests which routinely plague large, commercial plantings of crops may never be a problem in the diversified home garden."

ATTRA (appropriate technology transfer for rural areas, the national sustainable agriculture information center funded by the USDA’s Rural Business--Cooperative Service, put out a pdf on companion planting: https://www.asu.edu/fm/documents/arboret ... anting.pdf

It says:
there is general agreement today on the validity of several mechanisms that create beneficial plant associations.
They list among these trap cropping, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, biochemical pest suppression, physical spatial interactions, nurse cropping, beneficial habitats, security through diversity.

At different times when I have looked, I have seen controlled studies, showing cabbage plants were protected by having herbs growing around them, etc. But the nature of the internet is that this stuff doesn't stay up for ever. Often when you go looking for a study you found before, it is no longer available. Without access to scientific journals it is hard to have access to the data. But it is there!
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

If you think about it many of the companion plants are also good for supporting beneficial insects. Marigolds, composites, onions, flowering herbs like mint and thyme, fennel, dill, chammomile, yarrow have small nectar producing flowers that attract beneficial insects to the garden when they flower and it is often those insects which control the numbers of pests on the plants athough it won't be zero, if you keep your plants healthy and give them the room to grow damage will be minimal.

Other times the antagonists are really because the plants like different conditions some like acidic soil and some like alkaline, some like to dry between waterin and others like to be continuously moist. Some like a rich soil and others prefer a poor soil.
I learned the hard way not to plant kale and cabbage together they will grow just not nicely. fennel and dill are fine around other plants until they bloom then the things around it stunt. Case in point dill helps tomatoes when it is small by deterring pests, but when it blooms it stunts them. Fennel will stunt most plants within 10 ft of it.
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