Tips that will help deter insects and prevent disease in your garden.
Marigold roots contain thiophene, a substance that is toxic to certain types of soil-dwelling nematodes. Therefore, marigolds are a good companion to plants that are susceptible to nematodes, such as tomatoes and beans.
Members of the onion family, including garlic and chives protect against disease causing pathogens, such as black spot on roses and scab on apples. Plus, they deter japanese beetles. As we will discuss in future articles, alliums also attract bees and other pollinators.
Mustard, broccoli, radish, and other cabbage relatives also have disease inhibiting qualities.
Herbs like comfrey and borage are rich in silica, which prevent rust and other diseases. Borage also deters tomato worms and attracts bees. Other herbs that make good companions are oregano, catnip, hyssop, rosemary, sage, dill, and thyme.
Dandelions actually inhibit the disease fusarium wilt, a common problem in heirloom tomatoes. (A reason to let dandelions grow!)
Nasturtiums deter aphids, beetles, and many types of other bugs. Plant near squash, melons, and cucumbers.
Follow the Native American well-known companion planting technique called the “Three Sister Planting”. Plant corn, pole beans, and squash together. The beans fix nitrogen which helps to provide the necessary nutrients for corn, the corn supports the beans, and the large leaves of the squash shade out weeds and keep the soil cool.