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The Ultimate Guide to Nasturtium Companion Plants

Nasturtium Companion Plants

Nasturtiums are colorful, easy-to-grow plants that can add beauty to any garden. They are also known for their edible leaves and flowers, which are often used in salads and as garnishes. But perhaps one of the most incredible benefits of nasturtium is its ability to act as a companion plant. Nasturtium companion plants can help each other thrive by attracting beneficial insects, enhancing flavors, and providing shade or support to one another. This article will help you find the perfect companion plants for your nasturtiums and learn more about the benefits they can provide.

Nasturtium

The Benefits of Companion Planting

Companion planting is the practice of cultivating different plants together in order to create a healthier, more diverse, and efficient garden ecosystem. The benefits of this method include:

  1. Attraction of beneficial insects: Some plants emit fragrances that attract pollinators, like bees, or other beneficial insects that help control pests.

  2. Pest control: Certain plants, like nasturtium, can repel, distract, or trap harmful insects, reducing the need for chemical interventions.

  3. Enhanced flavors: Some plants can improve or intensify the flavor of nearby plants, such as basil and tomatoes.

  4. Mutual Support: Companion plants can provide structures for each other, such as shade or support, allowing each plant to grow better.

With this in mind, it's essential to choose the right companion plants for your nasturtiums to create a beautiful and healthy garden.

The Best Nasturtium Companion Plants

There are many possible companion plants for nasturtiums, each offering unique advantages. The following are some of the most beneficial plants to pair with your nasturtiums:

Cucumber

Cucumber

Cucumber plants can work well with nasturtiums due to their complementary growth habits. The vining nature of cucumber plants allows them to climb and cover the nearby nasturtiums, providing shade and helping to conserve soil moisture. The presence of nasturtiums, in turn, can help repel cucumber beetles and aphids, common pests that attack cucumber plants.

Legumes (Beans and Peas)

Nasturtiums are excellent companions for legumes such as beans and peas. Nasturtiums attract beneficial insects that help with pollination, while their pungent smell repels harmful insects like aphids and bean beetles. Additionally, nasturtiums can attract some pests away from the legumes, acting as a sacrificial plant.

Tomato

Tomato

Nasturtiums and tomatoes have a mutually beneficial relationship. These two plants can repel many common pests, such as aphids, whiteflies, beetles, and more. Moreover, both plants are rich in nutrients, encouraging healthy growth and providing a rich harvest.

Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower

Nasturtiums are known to help repel cabbage moths and whiteflies, which are common pests for brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Planting nasturtiums near these vegetables can help reduce pest damage and encourage healthy growth.

Potato

The pungent smell of nasturtiums can help repel pests that commonly attack potato plants, such as potato beetles and aphids. Additionally, nasturtiums' bright colors can help attract pollinators to the garden, benefiting both plants.

Plants to Avoid Planting with Nasturtiums

In addition to selecting the best nasturtium companion plants, there are a few plants to avoid planting with nasturtiums. These include:

  1. Radishes
  2. Fennel
  3. Corn

These plants can either hinder the growth of nasturtiums or prevent them from reaping their full benefits.

Nasturtium Companion Planting Guide

Here's a helpful table that provides an overview of the best and worst companion plants for nasturtiums:

Plant Benefits/Drawbacks
Cucumber Provides shade & pest control
Legumes (Beans and Peas) Pollination & natural pest control
Tomato Pest control & improved harvest
Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower Pest control & healthy growth
Potato Pest control & pollination
Radishes Not recommended
Fennel Not recommended
Corn Not recommended

By following this guide, you'll be well on your way to cultivating a harmonious garden with healthy and thriving plants.

FAQ:

Q: How many companion plants should I plant with my nasturtiums?

A: It depends on the size of your garden and the specific plants you choose. It's important to ensure that each plant has enough space to grow and not compete for nutrients, light, or water.

Q: What types of nasturtiums are best for companion planting?

A: Both climbing (Tropaeolum majus) and dwarf (Tropaeolum nanum) varieties of nasturtium can be used as companion plants. The climbing varieties can also provide additional support for vining plants, such as beans and peas.

Q: Can I eat nasturtium flowers and leaves?

A: Yes, nasturtium flowers and leaves are edible and have a peppery taste. They can be used in salads or as a garnish for various dishes.

In conclusion, incorporating nasturtium companion plants into your garden can provide several advantages such as pest control, enhanced flavors, improved pollination, and mutual support. Choose the best companions for your nasturtiums to create a diverse, beautiful, and thriving garden ecosystem. Happy gardening!

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