Beans whether bush or pole, or any other bean variety or leguminous crops are a staple in many home gardens. They're nutritious, versatile, and relatively easy to grow. However, did you know that pairing beans with the right companion plants can enhance their growth, deter pests, and contribute to a more productive and diverse garden? In this blog, we'll explore a range of companion plants that can help your beans thrive while adding beauty and biodiversity to your garden beds.
Marigolds: Pest-Repelling Guardians:
Marigolds are well-known for their ability to repel pests due to their strong aroma. By planting marigolds alongside your bean plants, you create a natural barrier against pests like aphids and Mexican bean beetles. Marigolds also attract beneficial insects like ladybugs, which keep harmful pests in check.
Corn: A Supportive Neighbour:
The classic Three Sisters planting technique involves growing corn, beans, and squash together. Corn provides a natural trellis for climbing beans, allowing them to reach for the sky while freeing up garden space. The beans, in turn, add nitrogen to the soil, benefiting the corn and squash.
Nasturtiums: A Pesto Deterrent:
Nasturtiums are not only visually appealing but also serve as a trap crop for aphids. These pests are drawn to nasturtiums instead of your bean plants, helping to protect your beans. Nasturtium leaves are also edible and add a peppery flavour to salads.
Radishes: Soil Benefactors:
Radishes serve as dynamic companions for beans due to their fast growth and ability to loosen compacted soil. Their root growth helps break up the soil, improving aeration and water infiltration, which benefits bean plants as well.
Summer Savoury: Pest-Repelling Herbs:
Summer savoury is an aromatic herb that releases essential oils with pest-repelling properties. It can help keep bean pests like aphids and bean beetles at bay. Additionally, summer savoury’s strong scent can mask the scent of beans, making them less attractive to pests.
Potatoes: The Root Connection:
Planting potatoes alongside beans is an example of "companion planting through succession." Beans add nitrogen to the soil, benefiting the potatoes, while potatoes provide some shade to the beans during the hotter months.
Sunflowers: Tall Protectors:
Sunflowers can serve as a beneficial companion for pole beans, providing support for the climbing vines while creating shade for the soil. The dense foliage of sunflowers also helps suppress weeds, keeping the bean patch tidy.
Cucumber and Squash: Shade Partners:
Cucumber and squash plants can offer shade and ground cover for bush beans, reducing soil moisture evaporation and keeping the soil cool. This can help prevent the soil from drying out too quickly, benefiting the beans.
Chervil: Enhancing Bean Flavour:
Chervil, with its delicate leaves and anise-like flavour, makes a compatible companion for beans. Planting chervil near your beans can enhance their flavour while also providing some shade to the soil.
Chamomile: Beneficial Pollinators:
Chamomile is not only soothing but also a magnet for beneficial pollinators like bees and hoverflies. These insects can enhance the pollination of bean flowers, leading to better bean yields.
Companion planting with beans is a fantastic way to create a balanced and thriving garden ecosystem. By thoughtfully selecting companion plants that repel pests, improve soil health, and support growth, you can enjoy a fruitful and diverse harvest while promoting a more resilient garden environment. Experiment with different combinations and discover the delightful synergy that arises when beans harmonize with their botanical companions.Happy gardening!