Best Companion Plants For Your Kitchen Garden

Companion planting is a method of cultivating plants together for the purpose of increasing healthy, robust, disease free plants. By cultivating herbs with other plants you are able to save valuable space, and increase the quality of your harvest. Companion planting will benefit your garden in so many ways but mainly in the following ways. It will increase the food supply for your family.

If you have a vegetable garden then it will cut down on the amount of pesticides you use and thereby reduce the amount of soil erosion. This is especially true if you plant your companion planting herbs with plants that can tolerate low light conditions. These types of herbs will also help cut down on the amount of weeds that invade your vegetable garden. Also weeds are often one of the main reasons why gardens become overrun by more dangerous insects such as aphids and black flies.

With the use of these herbs and vegetables you have the added bonus of being able to include some tasty spices to your cuisine. A good example is the yarrow. Planted beside a row of blue beans, the yarrow starts out as a small weed, but after it grows into a strong shrub it will be full of flavor. The same is true for the parsley herb, once planted it starts out as a tiny green plant but over the course of time it blooms to a pretty pink. Each herb and vegetable has its own characteristics that make them more appealing to consumers, and it only takes a little effort on your part to add these herbs and vegetables to your diet.

There are a couple of herbs that help keep tomato plants healthy and are great companion plants for your garden. Basil and mint are both used for cooking but you can also use the strong scent of mint to keep pesky insects away from your tomatoes. Both mint and basil are native to warmer climates so the hot weather does not kill them as quickly as some other plants. Mint is very aromatic and you can often smell it when you walk into a grocery store or even a restaurant.

You should be aware that some of the stronger scents are not very pleasant. Rosemary is one of those that can leave a strong, unpleasant odor. This is why you should only plant this herb where it will receive plenty of natural sunlight, and also if you do want to use it as a scent in your kitchen then try only the inner bark or stem of the plant as this will have little or no effect. Mint is also very susceptible to infestations from bees and wasps which can quickly destroy the whole plant.

Many people mistakenly believe that rosemary and parsley are the same herb. In fact they are not, although they are very similar in taste. Rosemary comes from the Latin name rosmarinus and can also be called Roman marjoram. Parsley has the Latin name bulbiferum and can also be called pennyroyal, marjoram or marigold.

It is also beneficial to plant your companion planting herbs close to one another. For example, your growing fennel and garlic next to each other in a sunny window basket. They will not likely take root immediately but in due time they will grow close and provide you with the most aromatic leaves and flavor in your kitchen garden. Not only will your family love the fresh taste of these plants together but it will be good for your environment as well.

Of course, all of the herbs I have listed are excellent choices whether you choose culinary or ornamental herbs, evergreen herbs or other kinds. However, you should make sure that you know which ones are best suited to your climate zones as some need more sun than others. Thyme is best planted from young growth as it matures to about 3 feet tall. This perennial herb likes full sunlight and well drained soil. Most often thyme is planted in the early summer before the first frost and again in the late winter after the first bloom.