5 Easy Companion Planting Techniques

Anyone can use companion planting to help keep pests at bay. These are five very easy, foolproof ideas that you can follow this year, whether you are completely new to growing or an experienced grower.

Plant Onions, Leeks or Chives between Carrots

Plant a row of these strong onion-scented plants between rows of carrots to deter carrot fly. If you’re short on space, a row of spring onions is a really good option. You can also lay a sheet of horticultural fleece over the top of the carrot rows for added protection. Secure it well at the sides.

Plant a Nasturtium Patch near Brassicas

Plant a clump of these edible flowers near brassicas. They’ll act as a sacrificial crop, attracting butterflies away from brassicas. The butterflies will lay their eggs among the nasturtiums and hopefully leave your brassicas alone. We’d recommend doing this in tandem with using netting over your brassicas for best effect.

Plant Marigolds and Tagetes to deter Aphids

Use marigolds and tagetes anywhere that aphids and and white fly are a problem, (for example, in amongst your tomato plants) as they will attract ladybirds and lacewing which will help to keep white fly and aphids at bay. Planting Basil in greenhouses is also a good idea for keeping aphid numbers to a minimum when you are growing tomatoes.

Plant Dill & Fennel to attract Ladybirds

These plants both help to attract ladybirds which in turn feed on aphids. This method of companion planting is a way of luring beneficial insects into the veg garden which will help to naturally keep pest numbers down. Similarly, planting Chamomile, Lavender, Borage & Hyssop can help to attract bees and other pollinators.

Use Mint to deter Flea Beetle

If flea beetles are a problem in your veg garden (you’ll know because they eat tiny holes in the leaves of Wild Rocket, Mizuna, and other mustardy leaves and brassicas) then try growing mint – the easiest way to do it is to grow the mint in pots, then cut it every so often and lay the cuttings in amongst a patch of Wild Rocket etc.