What is companion planting?
It's just planning your garden to take advantage of the fact that vegetables and fruits — like people — have natural friends they prefer to be with. And they help each other — like beets with onions or corn with pumpkins.
Sometimes plant friendships are a bit one-sided: carrots help beans, but the beans don't reciprocate. Though they will help nearby cucumbers.
Plants have bad companions, too, and you'll be doing them a favor to keep them apart. Your beans and onions are natural enemies, so you just keep them at opposite sides of the garden.
Other plants show their good character by luring insects that would injure their neighbors — the way dill attracts hornworms away from tomatoes. And helpers like garlic will drive Japanese beetles right out of the neighborhood.
Getting to know the good and bad companions can double the bounty of your garden. And the only work required is to plan your garden planting right.
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