by Celia White
As a life-long gardener and life-long learner, I try to learn something new about gardening every year. This year: companion planting! Companion planting is when you plant varieties near to each other that provide some sort of mutual benefit. I’ve taken most of my inspiration from the amazing resource, Carrots Love Tomatoes, by Louise Riotte.
Step 1: pick your favourite plant! I started with tomatoes.
Step 2: Research! You can do an online search, ask a mentor or flip through a book to find great companion plants. I learned that tomatoes don’t like any brassicas (cabbage varieties, such as broccoli or kale), and they protect asparagus against the asparagus beetle. Garlic also protects tomatoes from red spider mites. And, as the book title suggests, carrots love tomatoes.
Step 3: experiment in your garden! I’m a bit of a zealous person, so I planted garlic, tomatoes, carrots and asparagus in the same bed, (and I made sure to keep my brassicas in separate beds). I cross-referenced each plant to make sure that they all got along comfortably, and I now have a lovely garden growing outside! The asparagus may be a little yellow and weary, but the carrots and tomatoes sure look happy.