Companion planting

Lynne Posts: 9 ✭✭✭

I tried companion planting this season to try to deter vine borers. It hasn’t stopped the vine borers but it has slowed them down. I decided to try this after I had planted my veggies. Next season I will do more of this to see the results. I used basil and dill around the vine type vegetables and borage with my tomatoes. Definetely worth the time.


  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    We put a basil and an oregano plant between each of the tomato 🍅 plants . Marigolds galore, especially near the potatoes 🥔 and in the formal garden corners. Lemon grass near the sweet potatoes 🍠 too. Will do better next year also but it has helped but have new issues I found this morning.

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    I have always been interested in these ideas but life has been too busy for me to learn much. That being said, I did plant the basil near the tomatoes. I love marigolds; if they go well with potatoes that's a good thing. Thank you @maimover

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    Basil and tomatoes do very well. I don't think the tomatoes produce as much without them. Which reminds me...I need to put some basil by the last minute tomato plant. I also put marigolds in the middle of each bed. The tomatillos are dwarfing over it now, but unfortunately it has not stopped the flea beetles. The leaves look like Swiss cheese. Even though it is not seeming to harm them much I still want them gone. They will make the plants susceptible to other diseases or pests. Just have to figure out what to do to get rid of them lol.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy - Central Texas getting flea beetles under control is pretty easy but the first method means you have to be consistent and the second method means the lazy man's way...

    So first, mark your calendar (if you can't remember) when does your troubles start with flea beetles each year? Whenever it is, one week before that AND EVERY WEEK AFTER IT until the end of their season, take a scuffling hoe and just scuffle the top of the soil. Don't dig in, just barely scuffle the top surface of all soil in your beds and around all the plants. You are breaking up their life cycle which reduces their numbers to create so much damage.

    The second method takes a bit of time at the onset but then you get to sit back and do nothing the rest of the season (unless your trap gets full, then you just change it). Either purchase some yellow sticky traps (picture below) or you can make your own right at home. Place these very close to your soil line ( not up high because your pollinators can be trapped on them also) and as the flea beetles are jumping around thru the garden they will get trapped on them thus reducing their population. Use them consistently each year and you will find each successive year seems to be fewer and fewer problems.

    If you opt for making them, just cut a lightweight piece of cardboard, poster board etc. to size (whatever size you want but I recommend staying around a 6X10 etc.) and then "paint" both sides with honey, corn syrup, molasses etc.. Anything which is sweet and sticky. As for keeping the size small I say don't go big for two reasons. Number one is because you do not want your boards to get up high into your plants because you don't want to risk losing your pollinators to the traps. And number two reason is since these do take up space also as your plants grow, you do not want your plants leaves to all get stuck on your traps.

    The other suggestion I have, in this picture, this was the first year I tried using them. All of the yellow traps were paper punched with a hole at the top of the length of "board" (on the 10" side length). The second year, since I am trying to keep these traps as low as possible, I punched a hole on the long side (the 6 inch side) so they were only about 6 1/2" above my soil line when positioned in my beds.

    But as you can see they sure do work.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball Sticky traps work against annoying houseplant pests like fungus gnats. In my case, I keep them near the plants but away from possible contact with cats' tails.

    There was an unfortunate incident a few years back where I thought I had hung a fly strip high enough, yet a cat tail connected after the cat had climbed furniture and did her windshield wiper tail routine...

  • smik123
    smik123 Posts: 60 ✭✭✭

    I did the marigolds and the basil. Looking to do more next year also

  • smik123
    smik123 Posts: 60 ✭✭✭
  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl yes, I can relate.

    Isn't it funny how we treat the pets as part of the family so much that we also "childproof" our home for them as much as we do the real 2-legged kids? I don't care what I do, I make a plan for them also to be sure they will be safe and happy also whenever I do anything every single day.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball The pet proofing is even more extreme if you have a bird. My husband was helping me to lubricate the bird cage latches when I looked at him, looked at his spray can, and told him he could not continue to treat the parts on the cage in the bird room. You should have seen the look of disgust he gave me as he took himself and working materials outside in our 110 degree heat. Luckily the bird showed no ill effects (I monitored her for several hours.)

  • Jannajo
    Jannajo Posts: 173 ✭✭✭

    I try to companion plant, basil amongst tomatoe, yes, marigolds, w potatoe, yes, lemon grass w sweet potatoe, all so helpful, the more the better, tu.. & to catch pests, 6 1/2' above soil, tu for that also.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    The only cabbage plant that survived this year was the one planted next to the basil. I didn't know about borage and tomatoes. Next year.

    Great ideas @greyfurball !

  • Ferg
    Ferg Posts: 285 ✭✭✭

    I use an African Blue Bush Basil, and Tagetes minuta, in my tomato boxes. The tagetes kills off nematodes and binding noxious weeds. The Basil doesn't have to be dead-headed to continue growing into a big bush, and the bees (bumble, local, etc) love the flowers. Tomatoes are selfers, but they do like to have insecta around them.

    I companion plant beans, cucumbers, and marigolds (the stinky kind).

    I do three sisters for my pumpkins/squash with corn and beans.

    seems to work out pretty well.

  • Momma Mo
    Momma Mo Posts: 138 ✭✭✭

    Haven't had much experience with companion planting, but I would like to do more of it in future gardens!