More Companion Planting Ideas – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

garden mint

Spring is toying with our emotions, here one day and gone the next. On the days when it is here, I’m spending a lot of time out in the veg patch weddings paths, pruning out old growth and sifting through the compost pile removing bindweed roots. On the days when it’s not here, I’ve been retreating indoors and researching new ideas for the garden.

I decided to broaden my companion planting knowledge, so here’s a list of some of the techniques I’m planning to use this year. I can’t guarantee they will all work, but I’m going to give it a go!

  1. Mint or Rosemary to repel carrot root fly – strip the leaves off the stalks and chop them up before sprinkling around the base of carrots. The scent is said to mask the scent of the carrots and thus deters the carrot root fly.
  2. Coriander, Dill and Flowering Parsley to attract natural predators – these should attract in overflies, ladybirds and lacewings, which feed on pests like aphids and cutworms
  3. Mint to keep ants away – again, strip the leaves and chop, and sprinkle to deter ants. In theory, they will re-route and leave your veg beds alone.
  4. Comfrey, Coriander, Dill to repel aphids and red spider mite – I might try a comfrey mulch in the greenhouse and around the tomatoes this year
  5. Parsley to repel asparagus beetle – if you are growing asparagus (which sadly I am not), you might want to try parsley to deter asparagus beetle.

Some other tried and tested companion planting techniques I’ll be repeating this year include:

  1. Marigolds & Tagetes to keep aphids at bay (and also because they look so pretty and attract pollinators)
  2. Red Campion for blackfly – I have loads of them growing wild and discovered little colonies of blackfly all over them last year, whilst my broad beans were left untouched. A great discovery – less weeding, more pink splashes of colour, and a good crop of beans!
  3. Interplanting onions and carrots – the onion scent masks the scent of the carrots so keeps them protected from carrot root fly
  4. Lots of nasturtiums to sacrifice to cabbage whites – with brassicas safely netted with mesh netting, and nasturtiums open for visitors, this is a good way of keeping your brassicas caterpillar-free when the Cabbage Whites start laying.
  5. Basil & Tomatoes – I’m still not convinced that basil keeps tomatoes protected from aphids, but…who wouldn’t want a greenhouse full of tomatoes and basil?!