We’re all happier when we have friends whose preferences compliment our own, the same goes for plants! Companion planting - pairing different plants together in order to increase their growth and health - is a great way to allow the benefit of nature to really shine, while adding variety to our gardens. This method can help protect plants from pests, diseases, conserve water, and make better use of the nutrients in your soil, not to mention it’s an easy cheat sheet if you are struggling to decide what to plant this year!
Some things to keep in mind when choosing which plants to pair together;
tall sun loving plants create great buddies for short shade loving plants, deep rooted plants and shallow rooted plants will never compete for root space, smelly pest-repellors are great protectors for plants that tend to attract bugs.
Here are a few examples of great companion planting match ups!
Height difference is the key here! Spinach loves to take shelter in the shade below the peppers, which are happy to tower over and soak up the sunlight.
Cooler weather lovers make lettuce and pansies a great match! In the time it takes spring pansies to grow and fill out your pots, you can reap a quick crop of lettuce beforehand, resulting in bountiful, full pots that transform over the months with little effort.
These two will never battle over soil space! They flourish even more when planted alongside chives and onions, which help deter the harmful pests that often love tomatoes and carrots.