Kia ora and congratulations if you have bought raised garden pods or planting beds in NZ for growing veggies! You are part of a brighter and healthier future for our planet and yourself. Planting your own veggies is SO rewarding, and if you have a ‘mini-me’ or two in your life then they will enjoy harvesting the veggies for mealtimes - and will learn to eat more veggies. Win-win!
After you have set up your raised garden pod and filled it (we recommend following a Hugelkultur soil set-up in concept), you need to get your seeds or seedlings planted. Exciting times! But, be careful. Not all plants like growing together so here are some tips for ‘companion planting’.
The Reasons Behind Companion Planting In Garden Pods
By choosing to plant according to companion planting guidelines, your vegetables (or flowers) will have a stronger immune system and will produce more bounty for you, be that vegetables or flowers.
For example, roses get fewer aphids with lavender planted below them but beans, peas and asparagus don’t flourish when planted with onions.
The reason that some plants flourish or fail together is due to their soil needs, what they might ‘put’ into the soil as well as what one plant might “bring to the party”. Specific flowers can attract pollinators for vegetables like squash. If your squash plant is producing flowers but not fruit, (veggies) that means that pollinators are not visiting.
Your flower source plant could be a veggie too. Sweet Peas and Runner Beans are great pals and look gorgeous clambering up poles or trellis together, one attracting pollinators and complements, the other producing food.
Suggested Companion Planting In NZ
Right, let’s look at some happy marriages in the vegetable world!
- Tomatoes and cabbage live happily together and if you add basil to the mix they will be even happier. Basil also helps asparagus, beans, beets, eggplant, marigolds, oregano, and potatoes.
- Cucumbers and nasturtiums grow in a similar wandering sprawl and nasturtiums keep cucumber-munching bugs away.
- Sage thrives incredibly well when it is planted with rosemary. Rosemary itself is very hardy and can survive difficult conditions. It helps its Sage friend increase in flavour and strength.
- French marigolds can be planted as your sacrificial plants. The bugs almost queue up for it and leave your precious veggies alone!
If you are battling with weeds then spread Rhododendron or Dandelion leaves across the soil. Their secretions would appear to prevent the germination of any weed seeds in the soil. Dandelions are also a highly nutritious herb so read up about introducing them into your diet!
Maximising The Planting Space
There are only so many square centimetres available in your raised bed soil but you can maximise its use by using its 3D dimensions. What we mean is, that you can plant some veggies that have shallow roots, e.g. a radish, with a veggie that will develop a long root e.g. a carrot. If you plant these side-by-side you reduce the amount of space used versus single veggie-type rows.
Ready with your veggie choices now? Happy planting and Bon appetite!
Select gorgeous garden pods for your next NZ veggie project!