Companion planting is a great tool that allows you to make the most of your garden space. When you square foot garden you need to be more familiar with the area of companion planting than any other gardeners are.
This is a great wintertime project for you to work on for your garden while you wait for the planting season if you’re looking to have a very successful square foot garden.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is the act of planting a variety of plants together. These plants help the others grow or cohabitate without crashing harm to the plants near them.
You can use companion planting to help protect your garden from pests or disease and simply help to increase the yield of your garden.
In your square foot garden, this can be putting different plants in a square to maximize space or simply planning what will grow in each square to the fullest potential.
How Does Companion Planting Affect Your Square Foot Garden?
Companion planting plays a big role in growing your square foot garden. While you can companion plant some squares to maximize the potential of your garden, all squares are affected by companion planting.
Plants share soil with squares that are touching the square they are in and this can affect each plant involved. Each plant must be compatible with the plants growing in any square that borders it. Otherwise, your plants will compete for nutrients or even stunt each other’s growth.
By knowing what grows well with what and what should never be planted together you can use companion plants to make the most of every inch in your garden.
Remember that having variety in your garden helps to keep your plants safe by providing them with a polyculture that helps to prevent pests and diseases issues to help keep your plants healthy and thriving.
This highly beneficial gardening method can help you get the best harvest of your life from your garden this year.
Tips for companion planting your square foot garden.
- Take the time to study the best and worst companion plants for each plant you plant to grow in your garden then use this to plan your square foot garden for the maximum potential.
- Square foot gardens are very easy to map out on paper due to the exact dimensions of each square and how many squares will be in your garden
- Draw out each of your garden beds in pen marking off each square then use a pencil to plan out what will go where so it is easy to change your mind as you find out more about each plant.
- Avoid shading sun-loving plants. It is easy to make this mistake when you first start to plan your garden beds. The trick to this is to plant your tall plants on the north side of your garden beds and your shorter sun-loving plants on the south side of your garden beds so they can get full sun without any issues and you can make full use of even a small garden space.
- Keep trellis plants from shading other plants. Tall trellises can create a lot of shade in your garden stunt the growth of plants that need the sun.
- When using trellises in your square foot garden to make the most of your space you should consider putting them on the north side of your garden beds where they will not shade the plants inside and can even act as a reflector to help get the most sun for other placements in your square foot garden bed.
- Use companion planting to help protect your garden from pests. While you can choose to grow all the same plants in each square you can strategically add companion plants that help to reduce pests in your garden through different squares. This will help to protect sensitive plants in your garden.
- Planting onions, garlic, and herbs along the outer ring of your garden beds is a great way to help protect your garden from pests.
- Avoid planting two squares of the same plant next to each other if possible. This can help to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. While you can cram more plants into a square foot garden if a pest or plant-specific disease hits some plant it will devour the entire square. By keeping space between squares you can prevent the problem from affecting your entire garden crop.
- Intentionally plant flowering herbs in your garden beds. These herbs can help to attract beneficial insects that fight off pests as well as pollinators. While many people do not like to add flowers to their gardens when they are trying to get the most of their space you can take advantage of flowering herbs and even edible flowers to help your garden thrive and increase your garden yield.
- Be mindful of plants that do not grow well with others. Plants like fennel can release chemicals into your soil that are toxic to other plants. These plants should never go into your garden beds with other plants and are best grown in pots in an out-of-the-way part of your yard.
- Pay attention to growing conditions when choosing what plants will grow with other plants. Placing a plant that needs heavy water next to one that can drown easily is a great way to end up with a failed crop.
- When planning very distinct types of plants in your square foot garden, split them up by garden bed or place these plants on opposite ends of the garden bed.
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