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Being a gardener  in Lubbock is a greater challenge than I imagined, but each year is getting better.
Come follow my progress as I get my hands in Texas soil.

Joy Blooms . . .
with veggies, flowers, birds, butterflies, & creatures
                                                                                                                            This page last updated:   05/08/2016 08:07 AM

Vegetables & Herbs can be Good Neighbors too
By carefully choosing the neighborhood for your veggies, the neighborhood plants
can help each other improve flavor; attract beneficial insects; and ward off bad ones.

I have been fascinated by the idea of companion planting since I put the first seed in the ground as a small child.   Daddy always planted corn with squash and beans.   He didn't call this practice Companion Planting.  He just said that he learned the practice from his father. I have learned that these plants are called the "Three Sisters."   The practice has been traced to American Indians - specifically the Iroquois.   See:  Cornell University Garden Based Learning: Three Sisters Garden- A Legend

The three sisters are mutually beneficial:

  • Corn provided a "trellis" for pole beans.   Pole Beans anchor corn stalks.
  • Beans pull nitrogen from the air and bring it to the soil for the benefit of all three. 
  • Squash acts a living mulch and shades the soil, keeps moist and prevents weeds.
  • Where critters are a problem, the prickly squash leaves keep them away from the corn and beans.


Benefits of Companion Gardening:

  • Companion vegetable gardening is said to be a form of natural pest control. The right plant will deter unwanted insects, so with careful neighborhood planning you can keep your garden pest free.

  • Vegetable companion planting is said to increase the yields of the plants.

  • The bad neighbors can actually cause your plants to be less vigorous with fewer vegetables and attract pests.

My experience has been that when you carefully build the right "neighborhood"  for plants, you will reap the benefits in a greater harvest and better flavor.  With these right neighborhoods, more good insects are attracted to help in pollination and bad bugs are discouraged from devouring your plants. 

Giving companion gardening a try is certainly worth the effort.   Companion Vegetable and Companion Herb chart are a good place to begin your vegetable garden plan.  I have compiled these lists; they are not all-inclusive.   I have edited the list several times and will, undoubtedly continue doing so in the future.  represented plant relationships in an easy to use two dimensional format… much like the real layout in a garden, rather than the usual long list of friends and antagonists.

The Internet is full of information - search away.  You'll find information like: 

(1) The benefit of companion planting can be one-sided. For example, carrots are beneficial to beans, but beans are not beneficial to carrots.  

(2) The benefit of companion plants can be to keep plants apart.  For example, beans & onion do better at opposite ends of the garden.  

(3)  You can plant mint to repel ant and basil to repel flies & mosquitoes. 

(4) Companion planting can act as a natural insect repellant.

The more beneficial bugs that go from Flower to Flower, the more productive
my Lubbock Victory Garden will be.  Can't wait to get my hands into Texas soil!

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