In nature, plants don't automatically grow spaced out in neat rows, so to thrive, different plants must learn to cooperate. We can use this principle to increase the yield of our own growing spaces. Besides increasing the garden's overall production, companion planting avoids monoculture spaces, which leaves plants vulnerable to pests and diseases.
Plant pairing may be based on making the best use of the space or their ability to deter pests or even to aid each other's growth. Companion plants need to have different growth habits, so they don't compete for space, light or nutrients. Certain plants are well suited to companion planting. Peas and beans grow well alongside many other vegetables because they add nitrogen to the soil for use by other plants. These tall plants also provide perfect shady spots for leafy plants like coriander and lettuce.
Herbs with a strong scent can be planted in between vegetables to repel insects. However, some herbs (such as mint) can quickly take over and smother surrounding plants.
Some slow-growing winter crops can be interplanted with fast-growing salad leaves so that the space is not left empty over the summer.
Growing a border of flowers around your veg plot distracts unwanted insects from more precious crops while attracting valuable pollinators. Aphids are partial to nasturtiums, so they can be used as a sacrifice to protect veggies while producing beautiful and delicious flowers.
Have fun experimenting with different plant combinations and make the most out of the space you have.
Some combinations to avoid: