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Gardening With Laurie: More on companion plants

Oct. 14, 2010 at 5:14 a.m.

Laurie Garretson

By Laurie Garretson

Last week, I started giving suggestions for good companion plants. This week, I'll continue the subject with a few more companion plant suggestions for you to try out.

Chervil - I find that many people are not familiar with this beautiful little herb. Chervil is closely related to parsley and has a taste that's very similar. To improve the taste of broccoli, radishes and lettuce, plant chervil near by. Some say it deters snails and slugs. It can help to keep aphids off your lettuce plants.

Chives - Can help to keep aphids away from your tomato plants and garden mums. Do not plant near peas and beans.

Cilantro (coriander) - Make a tea from cilantro and spray on plants to repel spider mites. Cilantro will repel aphids and potato beetles. Good to plant with potatoes and dill.

Dill - If you enjoy butterflies in your garden, be sure to plant dill, it will bring in the swallowtail butterflies. Swallowtails lay their eggs on dill. This means you will have caterpillars eating the dill. So if you want to have the butterflies, don't freak out and kill these little guys, as I've known many gardeners to do. Plant dill away from tomato plants, and it will attract the tomato horn worms away from the tomato plants. Will help to repel those horrible squash bugs.

Fennel - Plant in an area all by itself. Does not grow well with other plants except for dill. Repels fleas. Great plant to attract beneficial insects.

Garlic - Good for so many things. Seems to repel garden pests when planted near other plants. Said to repel bores when planted under peach trees. Made into a tea it can be sprayed on plants to repel pests and prevent and kill fungal diseases. Some gardeners use it to help repel deer.

Kohlrabi - Beets and kohlrabi make good companions. Grows well with chives, cucumbers, oregano and garden sage. Do not plant with tomatoes, peppers, pole beans or strawberries.

Marigolds - Planted throughout your garden it will help to deter many pest insects and bad nematodes that could be in the soil.

Radish - Said to repel squash borers and cucumber beetles. Do not plant with turnips, cabbage, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower. Good companion to carrots, beets, pole beans, lettuce, melons, spinach, peas and all the squash family.

Sweet Alyssum - Great little plant to attract all kinds of beneficial insect helpers to your gardens. Plant it everywhere.

Until next time, let's try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to laurie@vicad.com or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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