LINDA SIMMONS: Plant borage with squash – Opinion – Neosho Daily News – Neosho, MO

Companion planting has been around since humans started cultivating crops. Some plants love being together while others simply fight like cats and dogs. Herbs, with their stronger fragrances, are excellent companion plants in the garden. Even container gardens benefit from companion plants.

Companion planting has been around since humans started cultivating crops. Some plants love being together while others simply fight like cats and dogs. Herbs, with their stronger fragrances, are excellent companion plants in the garden. Even container gardens benefit from companion plants.
Almost everyone knows basil and tomatoes grow better together. I put out four dozen tomatoes and that’s a bit too much basil for my family to use. I usually plant lettuce, marigold (Tagetes), borage, calendula, sage, nasturtiums, and basil between the tomato plants. I have started carrots and planted tomatoes into the row, but my soil is too rocky for good carrots. Peppers and eggplants can be planted with the same companion combinations. Marigolds, a companion to all nightshade members, are usually planted throughout the garden for their ability to repel pests and their nectar to feed insect predators.
Most companion planting ‘evidence’ is from what has worked for gardeners over the years rather than any scientific research. Since there is less research, some consider companion planting to be magic, secret vibes, or just a myth. You be the judge if or why companion planting might work.
Tomatoes have a strong smell. Basil has an even stronger smell. The five-spotted hawkmoth or tobacco hawkmoth is searching for the chemical odor of the tomato, tobacco, or Datura plant. Another plant giving off a different chemical odor will help hide the crop being grown. Adding more chemical odors with different plants will mask the tomato scent even more.
There is anecdotal evidence that tomatoes tend to taste better when grown with or near basil. The fruit seems to take on some of the basil’s flavor. Not only that, but different basils enhance the tomato with different flavors. It may all be in my head, but I love eating Black Cherry tomatoes in the garden and believe the tomatoes grown with lemon or lime basil has a hint of that flavor.
I’ve found the tomato plant has more fruit when interplanted with basil.  A study completed by M.K. Bomford, principal investigator and extension specialist with the Kentucky State University Land Grant Program, showed that tomato plants grown with basil produced more fruit than ones grown without basil.
Not all companion planting works every time for me.  Cabbage or any other Brassica member has the greatest insect damage in my garden. I’ve planted sage, basil, catnip, and hyssop to no avail. I have less problem with the cabbage moth in dryer warmer seasons, I don’t know if that is weather or herbs, but I continue using the herbs.
When I try to raise carrots, I always plant onions and leeks with them. Studies have shown…

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