Use companion plants in your garden

Companion plants in the garden

When our ancestors began to cultivate plants for food, they faced the same problems that today's gardeners. They had to fight against insects, fungi and other pests. Over time, the gardeners of the past have accumulated valuable knowledge in the art of gardening. They found that certain plants can repel  insects, attract predatory insects, attract pollinators, protect against the attack of fungi, affect growth of weeds and improve the growth of some plants.

Plants can not move. During their evolution, they  have developed a range of chemicals products to  attract other species to help them defend themselves, grow and reproduce.

This phenomenon is now known to allelopathy. This term was invented in 1937 by Hans Molisch to describe the interaction that plants might have with other species present in the environnement. Allelopathy is a  set of biochemical interactions that a plant can have on one another by means of secondary metabolites such as phenolic compounds, flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids and glucosinolates. Allelochemical compounds are used by plants during the competition for light, water and soil nutrients. They use it as a chemical weapon against predators. Allelopathic substances of plants are also used as means of communication between plants within a species or other plant or animal species.

These chemicals are present in different plant tissues. They are found in fruits, seeds, roots, stems, leaves and flowers. Plants use different modes of release of these chemicals in the environment. The release can be done by the roots, by volatilization at the branches and leaves by leaching and decomposition of dead tissue.

One of the pleasures to be able to cultivate its own vegetables is to control the use of chemicals. Planning a judicious arrangement of his garden will allow increased productivity and a significant reduction in pesticide use. Vegetables grown in a natural way are generally much tastier.