Plant associations in the vegetable garden: companion technique


There are many botanists, market gardeners and passionate gardeners who advocate but also apply the companion technique since a long time. Its principle is based on the association of plants specific to the vegetable garden. The goal is to be able to protect your vegetable crops against insects and diseases, and to promote their growth by counting on the affinities of plants between them. This mode of associated culture significantly reduces the use of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals. Here is a perfect cultivation method for all nature lovers who want to garden organically.

Why associate plants by affinities with the vegetable garden?

It is by observing nature, every day and in all seasons, that we learn a lot from it. Botanists do it for us, but we also know that our grandparents learned from their ancestors how to build a vegetable garden so that the crops can benefit the best and get sick as little as possible. They knew perfectly well how to make the right associations in the garden, and seemed to have a gift for determining which plant could be the companion of another. At the time, it was not with phytosanitary products that we garden, but with love, respect and common sense.

Today, we can continue to take care of our plants and produce excellent vegetables while respecting the environment according to the same principle, namely by practicing beneficial cultivation through judicious combinations of plants for a reasoned gardening. Adopting this cultural practice based on affinities has several objectives:

  • Organic gardening,
  • Limit competition between plants that have the same nutrient requirements, which does not impoverish the soil,
  • Allow plants that need it most to benefit from the nitrogen that others release when their roots break down,
  • Combine plants that stimulate each other,
  • Improve soil quality,
  • Increase production,
  • Keep enemies away from the vegetable garden such as snails, slugs, moles, for example by taking advantage of the repellent essences of certain plants,
  • Reduce parasitism and therefore the risk of diseases in the vegetable garden,
  • Reasonably control weeds using companion plants that cover the soil well,
  • Optimize space by cultivating long-cycle plants with short-cycle species …

Over time, we come to understand this functioning and it is then easy to know which plants to associate with vegetable crops so that they can defend them until harvest and even beyond.

Examples of companion plants in the vegetable garden

Here are some combinations of plants to favor in the vegetable garden and their beneficial effects in terms of pest elimination.

Companion plants to combine

Targeted elimination

Aromatics like lavender, rosemary, sage, chervil …

* varieties of cabbage with tender leaves,
* lettuce

slug

Eggplant

potato

Colorado beetle

Lettuce

all vegetable plants

white worm

Tomato

* celery,
* cabbage

* piéride,
* flea beetle

Leek

Carrot

* leek moth,
* carrot fly

Savory

Bean

black aphid

Nasturtium

* pumpkin,
* courgette

Thumbtack

Nasturtium

* cabbage,
* tomato,
* radish

aphid

Borage

* courgette,
* cabbage,
* tomato,
* potato,
* strawberries tree

* tomato worm,
* slug,
* Colorado beetle

Garlic

* beets,
* carrots,
* strawberries,
* tomatoes

all harmful insects

Marigold

all vegetable plants

all harmful insects

Basil

* asparagus,
* eggplants,
* peppers,
* peppers,
* tomatoes

* flies,
* mosquitoes

Thyme

Broccoli and other cabbages

* white fly

These examples of friendly plant marriages are also suitable for kitchen gardens on terraces and balconies.

More generally, we can retain the following good associations, knowing that many benefits can be observed at different levels (growth, shade, etc.).

  • Aromatic plants: they are extraordinary because they are the allies of all other plants!
  • Curly chicory: beans, endive, carrot, radish, lettuce,
  • Garlic: swede, savory, celery, cucumber, pickle, spinach, chard, beetroot, chamomile, carrot, strawberry, raspberry, lettuce, parsnip, but also at the foot of the rose bushes in the pleasure garden.
  • Pickle: peas, broad beans, chives, shallots, beans, marjoram, onion, garlic, dill, asparagus, all the cabbages, basil, chamomile.
  • Artichoke: tomato, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, peas, radish, broad bean, bean, asparagus, onion, eggplant.
  • Shallot: strawberry, beet, carrot, chard, cucumber, lettuce.
  • Cosmos: to sow in the vegetable garden without moderation …

It is by dint of cultivating its vegetables, aromatics, fruit trees, but also ornamental plants as well as certain local herbs with spontaneous growth, that we learn how to best associate plants so that they help each other or that the most vulnerable to certain scourges benefit from the protection of the strongest or that exert a repulsive action on the undesirable.

The companioning technique therefore makes it possible to benefit from the affinities between certain plants, but be careful to ensure avoid bad associations. There are plants in nature that do not really agree with each other and that it is better not to cultivate too close to each other since their proximity is harmful. This is the case of garlic and peas, potatoes and eggplant, cabbage and radish or even tomatoes and fennel, strawberries and cauliflower, onions. and string beans … Anyway, there is no exact science in the matter. Everyone can make their own associations and then write down the results obtained.

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