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companion planting

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Question from Renee McAlister


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I am a horticulture student (first year) and I am doing a study/research project on companion planting. Part of the report will include qualitative information from people who have tried companion planting. Please help me and tell me your experiences of companion planting. Also, hello everyone, this is my first message on this site. Happy gardening!

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  • Replies: 4
  • Posted: Wed. 10th December 2008 23:02

Companion plants

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Renee
Welcome to the forum page! I finished my diploma in hort a little over a year ago and remember this topic coming up a few times during my studies. I found it difficult to find many books that truly handled the concept of companion planting well - many simply paired or grouped plants based on bloom time or colour or height without getting into much depth on how certain plants benefit others physiologically (or otherwise). The only attempt (and not really true companion planting) I made at it in my own garden was to plant Tagetes all around my veg patches to keep the rabbits out. The marigolds kept them at bay since they don't like them at all. There is a big called The Big Book of Gardening Skills by Gardenway (I think it is a US publication but I have seen it for sale online in the UK - Amazon.co.uk has it for £0.64) that spells out specifically which vegetables are beneficial to one another when planted together. The only downside is it doesn't really explain in detail why these partnerships work. Another decent one is Secrets of Companion Planting: Plants That Help, Plants That Hurt by Brenda Little. Apologies for not having much in the way of personal experience but hopefully these books might help. Good luck!
Kathy C

  • Posted: Thu. 11th December 2008 12:01

companion planting

Reply from Renee McAlister

thank you so much Kathy. I shall try to get these books. I understand what you're saying. I can't really seem to find any proper scientific evidence for companion planting apart from one study that was carried out at Wellbourne. Happy gardening my friend.

  • Posted: Fri. 12th December 2008 13:21

Companion planting

Reply from Martin Gale (windygale)

Hi Renee, welcome to the site,
can i ask what course your doing, as i'm doing the RHS-G2 by with LC,

Anyway as you know the meaning of companion planting can be used in many way and for many reasons, shading plants, deturing pest, giving colour and texture to the planting of pots or boarder plan,

on my allotment when growing vegetable, i plant onions and carrots side by side to stop carrot root fly and onion fly,
tagets aroung my beans to slowdown aphids,
i grow sweetpeas next to my beans and peas to encourage insects to polinated my flowers on my beans and peas,

if you wish more help (i may beable to) let me know, i can give (send) nicola (boss of this site) my e-mail add for you to contact me, and allowing nicola can send it to you,
so that our e-mail addresses will are not widly known,

hope this helps

  • Posted: Sat. 13th December 2008 16:10

thanks martin

Reply from Renee McAlister

Hi Martin
Thanks for getting back to me on this. Nice to meet a fellow horticultural student. I'm doing the BTEC level 3 in horticulture and garden services - very full on with lots and lots of homework and also incredibly enjoyable and the best thing I've done in my life! Do you find that companion planting actually works? I am growing Limnanthes next to broad beans on my veg plot at college, trying to encourage hoverfly lavae to eat the aphids, plus a control with no Limnanthes - I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, thank you once again. If you do have any results with it please let me know and I would love to put it in my report if you are agreeable with that.

take care and happy horticulturing


  • Posted: Wed. 31st December 2008 18:27