There’s a lot of wisdom out there amongst professional and amateur gardeners. Much folklore and science knowledge handed down from generation to generation.
In the post second world war ‘nuke everything with a chemical’ era, a lot of native knowledge about what grew well with what, was lost and indeed strongly poo-poohed as ‘magic’ and superstition.
Thankfully since then, largely due to the Organic Gardening lobby, a more rational approach and some good scientific studies have been instrumental in making the practice of ‘companion planting’ an accepted practice amongst mainstream gardeners.
In our veg. and herb garden (the Batty Langley), we tend to mix some pre-18th century practices with some modern wisdom. We don’t use chemicals and plant calendula, nasturtiums, borage, comfrey etc plants amongst the vegetables to encourage beneficial insects.
On the Schools plot we have also experimented with ‘Three Sisters’ planting. This is a techniques used primarily by native north american peoples and combines three main agricultural crops winter squash, maize (corn), and climbing beans.
“The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent the establishment of weeds. The squash leaves also act as a “living mulch”, creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Corn, beans, and squash contain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and all eight essential amino acids, allowing most Native American tribes to thrive on a plant-based diet.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_(agriculture)
There is quite a lot of information out there on the web but we thought we would share a guide made by one of our helpful commercial partners, FirstTunnels.
Click here to be taken to their very comprehensive site