Companion Planting

May 27, 2009

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In the children’s book, “Bear and Bunny Grow Tomatoes,” by Bruce Koscielniak, Bear and Bunny take two different approaches to gardening.  Bear is anal and raises monocultures devoid of other plants, (weeds).  Bunny is a more relaxed individual and gardens with the weeds.  Bear has bumper crops.  Bunny has crop failures.  Bear shares his harvest with Bunny so Bunny doesn’t starve in the winter.

My ex-girlfriend tells me I am exactly like Bunny.  I, however, usually don’t experience crop failure.  And I have a method to my madness.  It’s called “Companion Planting.”  Some plants grow better together. 

In the excellent book on this subject, “Carrots Love Tomatoes,” Louis Riotte explains this principle in detail.  This  is his introduction.

“The magic and mystery of companion planting have intrigued and fascinated humans for centuries, yet it is a part of the gardening world that has never been fully explored.  Even today we are just on the threshold.  In years to come I hope that scientists, gardeners, and farmers everywhere will work together in making more discoveries that will prove of great value in augmenting the world’s food supply.

Plants that assist each other to grow well, plants that repel insects, even plants that repel other plants – all are of great practical use.  They always have been, but we are just beginning to find out why.”

In my last post, I wrote that I am striving to be “Umami.”  I’ll bet my choice of companions will have a huge effect on this.