|Buy your own copy of Plant Partners
by Jessica Walliser at Amazon.
Much has been written about which plants work well together, and often the various human emotions, such as love and hate, accompany these descriptions. Extension agents, university professors, and other scientists had debunked most of the anecdotal benefits of traditional companion planting.
But now there is new science on using various plants to:
- act as trap crops to lure pests away from crops,
- attract predatory insects that will reduce pest problems on crops,
- add diversity, which may confuse pest organisms.
- reduce weeds,
- increase pollinator populations,
- add nutrients, and more.
If you want garden dogma, then go somewhere else. This is a reference for the open-minded gardener who is willing to think through their gardening choices. It gives us the science-based information we need to make informed decisions when choosing which plants to place next to one another. Plant Partners offers more than just specific plant pairings, it encourages us to think about the relationships between plants, so that we can grow our best garden ever.
The eight chapters
1) The Power of Plant Partnerships--How does companion planting work?
|Don't pick off this tomato hornworm!
The wasp larvae have eaten it from the inside.
Companion plants that attract predatory organisms enhance biological controls against various pests. An interesting example is sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), a commonly-used, low-growing garden plant in the cabbage/mustard family (Brassicaceae). The research shows that the adult hover flies or syrphid flies (Sphaerophoria spp.) are attracted to the alyssum flowers for food. Then their maggot-like larvae are voracious predators of aphids and other bugs.
Reviews & a podcast
“Plant Partners offers more than just specific plant pairings; it encourages us to think about the relationships between plants, so that we can grow our best garden ever." — Jeff Gillman, PhD, Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens and best-selling author of The Truth about Garden Remedies and Decoding Gardening Advice
"Finally, a science-based book that addresses the 'companion planting' concept of how and why plants can - and really do - play a tangible role in helping to create healthier, more productive vegetable gardens. Plant Partners is a fun and fascinating read. It is well-researched and Jessica Walliser’s ability to pack so much useful information into this book just adds to the experience. I enthusiastically recommend this book!" — Joe Lamp’l, executive producer and host of Growing a Greener World
Podcast of Margaret Roach's interview with Jessica Walliser, author of "Plant Partners: Science-based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden." A way to garden podcast with Jessica Walliser
Intercropping in my own garden this spring
|Here's an example of intercropping from my own
garden this spring: meadow garlic, cabbage
(partly harvested), dill, and broccoli.
I hope you'll read Jessica's book to improve your interplanting techniques and so much more. I love these new ideas for a more successful vegetable garden.
Green Gardening Matters