The Art of Companion Planting

Companion planting harnesses the different properties of plants to create a thriving plant community.
Companion Planting

Companion Planting

Companion planting is a traditional technique used by organic growers to create a better growing environment. Examples of good companion plants are basil, tomatoes, French marigolds, thyme and pansies.

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Companion planting is a traditional technique used by organic growers to create a better growing environment. Examples of good companion plants are basil, tomatoes, French marigolds, thyme and pansies.

French marigolds are a classic companion plant, as they are attractive to hoverflies, which feast on aphids. They also emit a pungent odor, which helps to repel pests. Scent is an important element of companion planting, and using strong-smelling culinary herbs, such as thyme, can confuse pests as to the location of their prey.

Border Basics 

  • Size: Containers of any size 
  • Suits: A patio 
  • Soil: Organic multipurpose compost 
  • Site: Sunny and fairly sheltered 

Shopping List 

  • 1 x basil 
  • 2 x Tagetes French group 
  • 1 x cherry tomato such as “Gardener’s Delight” 
  • 2 x variegated thyme 

Planting and Aftercare 

Make sure the base of the container has adequate drainage holes and then cover these with broken pots to ensure the holes do not get blocked with compost. Fill the container about two-thirds full, and then plant. Place the tomato toward the back of the container, the medium-sized basil in the center and the two thymes next to the edge, where they will trail, softening the effect. As this is quite a densely planted pot, it needs watering to make sure it doesn’t dry out. It will also need a weekly feed with a high-potassium tomato fertilizer as soon as the first truss of flowers have started to turn into fruits. Tie the tomato onto a stake for support.

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