Companion Planting

Story: Companion Planting
Episode: 3
Presenter: Sue McDougall
Air Date: 4 September2021

Companion planting can be a fun way to grow your veggies, but it’s important to make sure your greens are being properly fed.

  • Different can benefit each other with their individual characteristics – some provide shade, attract beneficial insects, stop weeds from thriving or improve the soil.
  • Companion planting can improve the flavour of nearby veggies – universal scented plants that can be used in many situations include rosemary, lavender, thyme and sage.
  • One of the most popular planting combinations is basil and tomato. As the weather warms up, these plants need to go into the ground early to take advantage of the warming soil. They love sun and warmth, so choose a position that gets at least 6-hrsof sun a day.
  • Before planting, add controlled release fertiliser to the hole. Controlled release fertiliser releases nutrients dependant on the soil temperature – when the plants start growing, the nutrients are released to match it.
  • Scotts Osmocote Tomato, Vegetable & Herb has extra iron for the plants, keeping their leaves green and resistant to diseases.
  • When planting tomatoes you can bury them deeper than the original soil level. This will encourage root growth all along the stem.
  • Do not plant basil any deeper than the original soil level, as they rot quickly. A few basil plants surrounding a tomato works well – the tomato will shade the basil plants, and the basil will repel the aphids, whitefly and spider mites.
  • Use a premium potting mix specially formulated for herbs and veggies. This will come with added ingredients, such as composted manure, seaweed and blod and bone.