Companions: Plants that Grow Better Together
In the constant quest to grow the best lawn and garden possible, you may be neglecting one of the best tools available: friendship. “What,” you may ask yourself, “do my friends have to do with my lawn?” Well just like people, many plants do better when they have friends to help them out. Some of the best friends that a plant can have, it turns out, are other plants. Plants that grow better together are called “companion plants.” Which plants grow better together? Here are a few that can grow to be best friends.
- Clover and grass. The vast majority of grass mixes do not include clover, a plant many consider to be a weed. Not only is clover NOT a weed, it can help your lawn grow fuller, greener, and healthier. Clover is drought-resistant, disease-resistant, and is disliked by many plant-eating insects. Clover belongs to a special group of plants that converts nitrogen gas in the air into a form of nitrogen in the ground that can be used by plants, thereby nourishing your lawn. By planting clover with your grass, you ensure that your lawn will stay green and lush throughout the whole summer.
- Asparagus and tomatoes. Asparagus tends to reach its peak growth early in the season and tomatoes reach their maximum growth towards the end of summer. By planting them together, you ensure that each plant will have extra room to grow. In addition, asparagus beetles are repelled by tomato plants.
- Marigolds and anything you don’t want eaten by other bugs. One way to keep harmful insects away from your garden and lawn is to plant marigolds. If you have a plant that is particularly prone to insect damage, plant marigolds near it to keep insects away.
- Basil and petunias. Petunias are in the nightshade family and, like marigolds, they repel many harmful insects. As an added bonus, they also attract beneficial insects like honeybees and butterflies. By planting nightshades near herbs like basil, you encourage the growth of the herbs and discourage the pests that want to eat them before you do.
- Rosemary and cabbage, carrots and beans. Cabbage moths, bean beetles and carrot flies do not like rosemary. Plant rosemary among these food plants to avoid the unnecessary use of insecticides.