How to do companion planting

How to do companion planting

Grow plants that help each other! Maximise your garden for you and for wildlife using this planting technique.

Companion planting is all about creating areas of plants that provide benefits to each other. In practise, this means plants which complement each other are placed together, and those that don’t are kept apart.

How plants complement each other:

  • Reduced competition – put shallow roots beside a plant with deep roots and they will seek nutrients in different levels of the soil
  • Improving soil – Some plants can improve the soil for others by enriching the nitrogen content
  • Pest repellent – certain plants repel certain types of pests

Top tips for companion planting:

  • Avoid planting all of the same plants together or in rows. Pests find their favourite plant and spread quickly
  • Try intercropping – plant fast growing edible plants between slow growing ones
  • Plant herbs to repel insects
  • Use tall plants to create shade for others
  • Plant lots of insect and bird friendly plants throughout your garden
Plant Companions Result
Borage Near strawberries and tomatoes Attracts bees to cross-pollinate.
Chamomile Near sick plants Said to act as a tonic to encourage growth.
Comfrey In flower beds and vegetable plots Deep taproots bring vital minerals to the surface.
Dill and fennel In vegetable plots Attract hoverflies which will eat aphids.
Garlic and chives Under roses Believed to keep aphids and black spot away.
Nasturtiums Amongst vegetables Attract aphids away from the vegetables and also believed to repel ants and whitefly.