As with any form of companion planting, doing so with native plants focuses on the idea of beneficial diversity in the garden.
Native Plant Companions can:
– Hold soil together and provide nutrients to assist the growth of other plants – Attract beneficial insects and discourage harmful ones – Naturally regulate insect populations; reduce spraying – Reduce weeds; reduce your weeding effort – Add beauty around a productive garden – Preserve native plants, birds and animals – Create a protective micro-climate for your vegie patch, your garden and your home
Plants with different nutritional needs and root depths compete less.
As well as limiting erosion and acting as a living mulch, ground-cover plants are great at trapping soil particles, nutrients and water and make them available for nearby plants. Native nitrogen-fixing ground covers include Running Postman (Kennedia prostrata), Coral Creeper (K. Coccinea) and Native Wisteria Hardenbergia comptoniana. Other colourful, effective, native ground covers include Convolvulus and Myoporum species.
A Protective micro-climate
On the other hand, some plants naturally inhibit the growth of other plants; eg. Eucalypts produce toxins that can suppress growth in nearby plants, so keep them well back from your vegie patch. Also avoid Gastrolobium species (Poison plants) if you keep a cow, goat or sheep which might stray into the vegie patch.
A protective micro-climate If your vegie patch receives too much hot summer sun or battering winds you can create protective barriers and micro-climates by clever plantings of native plants which cope with the conditions and provide shade and wind protection. A trellis or fence with native climbers can assist the micro-climate and help to make your vegie patch garden more productive.
Diversity for protection from insect pests
A diversity of plant shapes, colours and scents confuses insects. Arrange some colourful, strong-smelling native plants near and around your vegie patch as a decoy for the unwanted insect types.
Encourage predator birds, animals and insects to help protect your garden
Try various native daisies and dense habitat shrubs nearby for small birds. A pond can also attract beneficial insects, frogs, lizards and more birds.
So, again … Why Grow Natives as companions?
Plants prefer to grow much as they do in nature – mixed together. Think of any natural bush or scrub setting; a very mixed and highly successful mix.
Nature’s diversity of plants, insects, birds and other animals ensures a healthy self-sustaining system. In similar fashion you can create a healthy and diverse system in your vegie patch.
Companion planting with native plants can do wonders for a garden. Follow the normal methods to learn from experience and work out what works for your garden.
Remember, this is just a brief introduction to the topic of Companion Planting.
Another useful reference to visit is: http://www.sgaonline.org.au/companion-planting/ .
That site touches on natives and non-native plants which can be used in companion planting.
- Dieback Disease in Plants
- Growing Eucalypts from Seed
- Growing Plants from Seed – Viability and Dormancy
- Minimising Salt Damage in Home Gardens
- Plant Death in Pots
- Potting Mixes and Soil Needs of Eucalypts
- Smoke – Magic Ingredient in Germination
- Water-wise Gardening with Australian Plants
Back to Home