Our GardenPlanting

Companion planting – that’s what friends are for!

Take a minute to think about your best friend, the companion of a lifetime.

How close do you feel to her when she makes you laugh? How heart-warming is it when she reads your mind by showing up with ice cream to comfort you after a bad day? And how about that little tear of joy that runs down your face when you look back at the many years you’ve stuck together, through the thick and the thin?

Now stop for a second to think of the word “companion”. Realize the beauty and the profound secrets this term carries within itself. The origin of the term is latin, stemming from “cum” (with) and “panis” (bread). Therefore, a companion is the one you break your bread with. The one you share that intimate act of preparing food with. The one you eat with. And so it goes, that it is the one you share your most precious moments with.

Just as you do, so does a plant need a companion to share its days with. Imagine a sprouting seedling – growing, blooming, producing food. That’s hard work. And who could ever get all of that done on their own, without any support or inspiration?

When planting your seeds, therefore, remember to make them happy by adding nearby companions. And make sure they are the right ones. In fact, plants, too, have likes and dislikes. You know the loud neighbor next door which you would gladly live without? Similarly, your tomato plant would be very happy without a bossy cabbage close by. And how about your adored office buddy, whose smile is the best part of your working day? Your lettuce feels the same, when growing surrounded by lovely, smiley radishes.

But how do you recognize who likes who?

The girls and I have been using a common companion planting chart, which you find here below. It is easy to understand and easy to use, as well as a superfun tool for your kids to learn from.

Check it out carefully and use it during your next planting session. You will notice that with the right companions next door, your seedlings will thrive, their produce will taste better and nagging pests will be kept at bay. After all.. isn’t that what friends are for?


Michelle Calcatelli

Michelle Calcatelli

Hi there! My name is Michelle. I'm an American living in Italy, mom of two girls, a lover of travel, music and good food shared with loved ones. I am a freelance grant writer and a former agricultural development practitioner, having worked mostly in rural Africa for 18 years. I look forward to creating a space here - with your help - where we can exchange dreams, ideas and kindness to start shaping a better tomorrow.

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