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Companion Planting for Pollinators

Ok, this is purely an unscientific observation debated locally over a few adult beverages. Basically, this year I heavily inter-planted attractive plants for pollinators in da garden and resulted in higher yield but also less predation.

In past years I have inter-planted both pest repellent plants and those that invited pollinators. Results have been consistent but never like this year. Question is where is the balance. Thoughts? Big Grin
 

Coastal Southern CA, USDA 10, Sunset 22

 

"Nothing is as optimistic as a seed catalog." Charles Mann

the point at which you see results?

Keep experimenting, keep detailed notes, and see what you discover....
 
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I say plant as many flowers as you can fit into the garden without getting in the way. I planted some cosmos this year and the pollinators love then but they have gotten huge and they are laying all over the veggies so they may need to go.

I made another mistake this year and planted 4 o'clocks because I thought that I remembered that they were repellant to Japanese beetles. Ooops, they are a TRAP crop for Japanese beetles and believe me that works! They had to go too. No way do I want to attract JB's to my garden and these were planted right across the middle!
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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Companion planting, aka intercropping, can have many benefits. Some plants benefit when grown together while others attract pollinators of beneficial (predator) insects. Many people that have planted a wild flower garden near their vegetable garden have noticed and increase in pollination as well as better control of any pests and others that have planted these wild flowers right in among their vegetables have seen the same thing.
This link provides a chart. It is a free download, for now, but you do need the Adobe Reader, although there is also an HTML page included, free. ATTRA is starting to charge for most of their publications.
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-p...s/summary.php?pub=72
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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my oregano is great - flowing almost like a mini flox patch and attracting a lot of activity....

The early yellow crook neck is a mecca for bees.....can't say it's supper productive, but we won't complain, just wait a bit....

got some clover in the beds too....
 
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I did a lot of companion planting this year, no flowers, just a few herbs. I planted beans and broccoli together, tomatoes and hot peppers, tomatoes and beans. Corn, beans and watermelons too.

My unscientific observation is that I'm getting more of everything so far.

Sometimes there are so many bees, I have to leave the garden.
 
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Latitude, that's interesting. Are you noticing that the repellant plants from previous years are not as effective as the attractive ones? Or are they all in there together now because the repellant plants are still there? Or are there just attractive plants (I'm assuming flowers?) there without the repellant plants?

What were the repellant plants in the past, and what are the attractive plants now?
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
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Kimm1...Thanks for the link. In past years I inter planted annual herbs with food crops i.e. basil with tomato, catnip with eggplant etc, and attractive/traps such as dill, sunflowers and French marigolds on the perimeter.

This year I worked the annual herbs into the landscape around the house, didn't plant traps, and significantly increased the number of marigolds, sunflowers and sweet peas on the edges of the veggie garden. Bees were very happy. Also planted the trinity of corn beans and squash together. Moving forward I'll try this again but will keep a record and take pics.
 

Coastal Southern CA, USDA 10, Sunset 22

 

"Nothing is as optimistic as a seed catalog." Charles Mann

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