Beneficial Planting

Gardeners have developed many ways in which to use plants to help outwit pests, attract pollinating insects and enrich the soil in the vegetable garden.
From: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Vegetable Gardening

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Companion Planting

One of the best-known plants to combine with vegetable crops is the French marigold (Tagetes). The strong scent of its vividly colored flowers is thought to mask the smell of surrounding crops so that pests cannot detect them. Many gardeners find it effective outdoors and also in the greenhouse.

Enrich the Soil

Plants known as green manures are grown for digging back into the soil to add valuable nitrogen and organic material. In small gardens they are best used in conjunction with compost and other organic matter, and dug in before they set seed and become woody.

Attract Insects

Plants that flower prolifically, such as Limnanthes, are ideal for attracting beneficial insects and add welcome splashes of color, too.

Intercropping

Working in the same way as companion planting, the strong scent of this crop of onions is thought to overpower the scent of carrots, causing carrot flies to bypass the crop and leave it undamaged.

Grow Sacrificial Basil

Help limit whitefly damage to greenhouse crops by planting basil alongside them. The whitefly usually attacks the tender basil leaves first, leaving crop plants relatively unscathed.

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