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Companion Planting

Companion planting is basically a method of growing plants together, with the idea that they will assist each other in some way, such as deterring pests, improving growth, enhancing flavour, attracting beneficial insects, suppressing weeds, aiding soil organisms and fixing nitrogen. 

The best thing about companion planting is that it increases the biodiversity of your garden – the more variety of plants that are growing in your garden, the more life forms that are attracted to your garden and will make your garden home. 

Some plants are beneficial as companions for multiple reasons, giving even more cause to bring them into your garden. Calendula, for example, is used to attract beneficial insects, but it also helps bring life to the soil, as calendula roots form active relationships with soil fungi, encouraging mycelium and mycorrhizae. Another example is Nasturtiums. They will grow amongst plants to suppress weeds and are also attractive to pollinators, and marigolds stabilise soil, attract beneficial insects and help reduce damaging nematode numbers. 

Certain plants assist in physical ways – taller plants can provide shelter from sun and wind for smaller plants that need protection. Climbing plants can be trained up over taller plants to maximise production in small spaces. 

The shape of some plants and their flowers can visually confuse insect pests. Some strong-smelling herbs confuse insects seeking out a target. 

Plants in the legume family promote growth in nearby plants with their nitrogen fixing ability – nodules on the roots enable plants to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form used by plants. They also tend to be deep rooted, which promotes aeration of the soil, thus benefiting their neighbours. 

Many companion plants are used to attract all the very special pollinating insects such as bees and others attract predator insects like ladybugs and lacewings that help control pest numbers. 
 
Flowers for beneficial insects 

Flowers for predator insects: Umbel-shaped flowers like Angelica, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Parsley and Queen Anne’s Lace. 

Flowers to attract pollinators: Daisy-shaped flowers like Bellis, Chamomile, Echinacea and Zinnia Cosmos; Salvia, Cornflower, Agastache and Bergamot, as well as annuals like Sweet Alyssum. 

Also include blue and purple flowering plants for bees like Borage, Cornflowers and Echium. 
 
Secrets to successful companion planting 

1. Avoid planting in monocultures and large blocks. 

2. Practice crop rotation to reduce soil-borne pests and diseases. 

3. Confuse pests using camouflage and competing fragrance. 

4. Include flowering plants to attract beneficial insects. 

5. Plant a decoy crop away from your vegetable garden. 
 
Not only do companion plants bring harmony and biodiversity to a garden, but they also result in an overall stunning display.

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FIELD OF SUNFLOWERS COLLECTION
FIELD OF SUNFLOWERS COLLECTION
SEEDS: S780
It seems impossible to only grow one variety of Sunflower with the iconic joy they bring to the summer garden. Why not grow a small field with the wonder and diversity of Sunflowers from the multi-stemmed and rich ‘Prado Red’, the iconic single-stemmed ‘Van Gogh’, ethereal ‘Moonwalker’ and the colossal ‘Giant Russian’. All sunflower wishes and d...
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GRAPE - BACKYARD VINEYARD COLLECTION (4 plants)
GRAPE - BACKYARD VINEYARD COLLECTION (4 plants)
PLANTS: WGRCO1
Turn your backyard into a mini-vineyard with this red wine grape collection. Decorative and delicious, it includes two canes each of 'Merlot' and 'Pinot Noir' - perfect for creating your own vintage.
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2 year membership  + Free Seed Sowing Poster and 2 seed packets
2 year membership + Free Seed Sowing Poster and 2 seed packets
Membership: MNE2SP2
A beautifully illustrated heirloom ‘sow what when’ poster for all areas of Australia so that you'll never have to think about what to sow this month again! You will also receive some free Kale 'Red Russian' and Broccoli 'Green Sprouting' seeds to get your garden started.
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