Spring is coming soon. Before you buy ineffective and expensive pesticides and fertilizers, try some combined planting techniques and let nature take care of itself. This is a list of the ten best garden associations.
- Three sisters (Corn, pumpkin and beans)
Native American tribes used this combination of corn, pumpkin and beans because it proved to be effective. They put fish that was fertilizer in a small mound, and they would plant corn on top of the mound. The pumpkin would cover the ground under the corn while the beans would sing along to it and fix the nitrogen in the soil. From a large number of such “mounds”, it is possible to create an edible landscape. This is one of the combinations of collaborating plants, simple, proven in action and it is the basis for understanding permaculture gardening strategies.
- Hajduk grass
Hajduk grass is a beautiful wild flower that repels harmful insects and attracts useful ones such as wasps, ladybugs, butterflies and bees. Hajduk grass is known for its beautiful intertwined leaves and shiny flowers and can be used effectively in the fight against erosion. In addition to being useful in the garden, this plant is used as a means of lowering the temperature, as a tonic, as a shrinking agent, as well as for other medical purposes. The flower is used for the production of bitter “biter” brandies and is traditionally used as an aroma for beer. Due to its durable nature, hajduk grass appears almost everywhere in the garden and blooms in different colors, which makes it great for aesthetics and practical use in any garden.
Probably the most unpleasant plant on this list, nettle, is considered by most people to be a weed.
When touched, this plant secretes a chemical agent that burns the skin, so caution is needed when handling it. Despite its shortcomings, nettle is used in various medicines and medications, as an aid to the digestive tract, in benign prostate enlargement, increases testosterone levels during body development, or is used as a treatment against rheumatism. The leaves serve as food for many caterpillars and thus increase the number of beneficial insects in the garden. Nettle is a natural “repellent” of plant lice and the root contains natural fungicides. Boiled nettle leaves can be used for eating, and dried in herbal teas (immersion in water and cooking eliminates annealing). This plant is extremely useful, but it must be handled with care due to burning.
A strong plant with a pleasant smell, wormwood is best known as a raw material for the production of absinthe, it is also used in the production of beer, wine and for making bitter brandies “biters”. This hardy shrub contains chemicals that are the basis of all standard anti-malarial drugs, but no medicine is needed with wormwood. It is a natural dam for mosquitoes, it also repels moths, snails, fleas, flies and mice. By sowing wormwood along the perimeter of the garden, we make a natural fence that will drive away unwanted visitors.
- Marjoram (marjoram) / Oregano
These perennial ailments are a great addition to almost any garden. They do not bother other plants, but they will increase the yields of beans, asparagus, eggplant onions, pumpkins, pumpkins, cucumbers and many others. As long as the light is not blocked and there is enough space for the roots to grow, most plants will thrive together with marjoram and oregano. With an aromatic mixture of plants such as tame and wild mint, oregano, lavender or lemon balm, we can fill any empty space in the garden and thus dampen the growth of weeds.
Everyone needs a garden of herbs. In addition to repelling moths, ants and mice, mint is a great addition to many drinks, desserts or decorations. If you keep mint with other similar plants, they will quickly fill the space. Cabbage and tomato reportedly increase yields in its presence, but use it with caution. Despite all its advantages, if left to itself, it will take over the entire garden. If he mows, he returns with revenge. That’s why they say you won’t have a reason to buy mint in the store again.
- Beans (Legumes)
Everyone loves beans and they have a good reason for that. They are part of the legume family, they do not need much space, they are healthy and revitalize the soil in the garden. Unlike many plants that use precious nitrogen from the soil, beans actually return it to the soil through special enzymes in their roots. Known as nitrogen fixatives, legumes collect atmospheric nitrogen N2 and convert it to ammonium NH4 in the soil, making this macro nutrient available to current and future plants in the environment. With the exception of plants from the onion family, beans will thrive with most crops. For best results, legumes are planted before and after plants that deplete the soil such as tomatoes, pumpkins or broccoli.
Excellent in soup, even better in the garden, vlašac is a hardy, low-growing plant from the onion family. In addition to preventing the growth of mold and repelling many harmful insects, bright purple flowers can attract bees that need to pollinate pumpkins, tomatoes, cherries and many other flowering plants. Vlašac grows best under most trees, shrubs and vines, but it should not be present next to beans. Harvesting can be done throughout the season because this plant will constantly regenerate its leaves. Vlašac and other members of the onion family are great additions to any garden.
In addition to the aroma it has, garlic is also useful for many plants. Because this bulb thrives in shady, nutritious soil, it is recommended for a plant that covers the ground. Garlic is known to repel ants, mosquitoes, lice, cabbage butterflies, caterpillars, snails, tomato worms, weevils and vampires (you can never be too careful). Despite the obvious advantages, avoid planting garlic with any type of beans, cabbage or sunflower, because they will compete with each other for valuable nutrients in the soil. In the future, provide yourself with an extra clove of garlic by planting under fruit trees, among cucumbers or soaked in lavender. So it will grow with minimal effort. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and garlic is certainly that friend.
- Tomato and basil
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This is probably the most famous example of combined plants. In addition to improving each other’s taste, tomatoes and basil really grow together. The tomato vine shade the delicate basil, which delays flowering, prolongs the harvest and thus increases the yield. At the same time, basil naturally drives fruit flies, houseflies and lice that would like to lay eggs in a large and tasty tomato. Tomato root goes deep while basil root tends to stay closer to the surface eliminating competition between these plants. High yields and very aromatic flavors reflect the true love of plants.
The list is far from exhausted, but these are certainly useful additions to the permaculture garden. Rest assured that by experimenting with your own combinations, you will increase the yields from year to year and don’t forget: plants also need friends.
Addition: Onions and carrots
Carrots and onions are plants that have similar growing conditions and protect each other from pests by smell and root secretions. An onion fly almost always appears in onion crops, which causes damage to the crop, and the symptoms are leaf curl and decay of the bulb. This pest is prevented by sowing onions and carrots in alternating rows. In that case, the onion protects the carrot from the carrot fly, and the carrot the onion from the onion fly.