If you are considering ways to improve your vegetable patch this year, one thing to consider is Companion Planting. Companion Planting means growing certain herbs and flowers alongside your vegetables, to help deter unwanted pests, attract pollinators and add valuable nutrients into the soil.
Five plants most often used for vegetable gardens are:
1. Borage – a pollinator attracting herb that has edible flowers and leaves (good for salads, or iced beverages) and is best used for tomatoes, strawberries and squash.
2. Marigolds- an excellent pest deterrent (above and below ground) which are also edible, typically used in salads and dressings.
3. Nasturtium- deters pests, is an edible garnish or salad addition with a peppery flavour and best when paired with cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, potatoes, and brassicas.
4. Calendula- has edible flower petals and attracts pollinators and “good” bugs like green lacewings and ladybugs. Its sticky sap can trap unwanted pests like white flies, thrips and aphids.
5. Lavender- an excellent culinary herb which repels deer and cabbage moths but very attractive to pollinators.