Digital Vision/Getty Images


Gardening is a popular and incredibly wonderful way to go green. Growing your own food reduces food miles, storage and packaging waste. Another great aspect of gardening is that you can ensure that there are no pesticides used on your crops.

Pesticides are harmful to pets and children and adults and most other living things. You might think that you need pesticides and herbicides to keep your garden from being overrun by pests, but you do not. You can garden organically, by planting companion plants that repel insects, increase crop yield and create a home for beneficial insects.

The Benefits of Companion Planting

1. Repel Pests with Companion Planting It is entirely possible to reduce the amount of pests in your garden by growing plants that deter them. In fact, you can target specific insects by growing the proper plants. You have plenty of options to choose from.

2. Create Homes for Beneficial Insects You can fight fire with fire. By creating homes for beneficial insects, you'll be able to target and kill pesky ones. If you don?t like insects, why not attract some birds instead.

3. Nurse Plants Some plants are born weak. Others shoot up straight to the sky. A nurse plant is a plant that protects the fragile plant as it grows.

4. Shade Plants Let fast-growing plants provide shade for slow-growing plants.

5. Fix Your Nitrogen Levels If your nitrogen levels are off, you can fix them with nitrogen-fixing plants. Legumes are popular nitrogen fixers.

6. Filler Plants If you have bare soil, weeds can grow there. Grow anything but weeds in that spot to prevent weeds.

7. Plant Smart Some plants seem to see increased yield when grown together: Cabbage and spinach or carrot and tomato. Just as there are companion plants, there are plants that seem to squabble. Make a note of which plants are which.