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Plant partners : science-based companion planting strategies for the vegetable garden
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Publishers Weekly Review
Horticulturist Walliser (Gardener's Guide to Compact Plants) takes a well-supported and helpful look at the practice of plant partnering, or placing certain plants in proximity with others to benefit both. She begins with the up-to-date science explaining why this long-standing gardening practice works: plants influence each other "through the chemical signals they produce, the underground network of fungi in and around their roots, and the toxic compounds some of them exude," and in other ways as well. Walliser proceeds to explore how common garden woes--regarding soil condition, weed control, pest and disease management, and so on--can be addressed with the right pairings. For example, medium red clover works well with winter squash because, as a vigorous grower that tolerates cold and also suppresses weeds, it "outgrows weeds in winter squash patches while still allowing the vines to ramble over it." Meanwhile, the legume hairy vetch can, after being cut down, provide a "thick mat" of residue that protects tomato plants from the fungal pathogens to which they're vulnerable. Walliser's lively guide will aid many a horticulturally minded reader. (Dec.)
2021 AHS Book Award Winner

Companion planting has a long history of use by gardeners, but the explanation of why it works has been filled with folklore and conjecture. Plant Partners delivers a research-based rationale for this ever-popular growing technique, offering dozens of ways you can use scientifically tested plant partnerships to benefit your whole garden. Through an enhanced understanding of how plants interact with and influence each other, this guide suggests specific plant combinations that improve soil health and weed control, decrease pest damage, and increase biodiversity, resulting in real and measurable impacts in the garden.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1The Power of Plant Partnershipsp. 5
How Does Modern Companion Planting Work?
Chapter 2Soil Preparation & Conditioningp. 27
From Cover Crops to Living Rototillers
Chapter 3Weed Managementp. 49
Using Living Mulches and Allelopathy to Combat Weeds
Chapter 4Support & Structurep. 67
Plants That Act as Living Trellises
Chapter 5Pest Managementp. 93
Luring, Trapping, Tricking, and Deterring Pest Insects
Chapter 6Disease Managementp. 129
Suppressing Disease through Plant Partnerships and Interplanting
Chapter 7Biological Controlp. 145
Plant Partners That Attract and Support Pest-Eating Beneficial Insects
Chapter 8Pollinationp. 167
Bringing More Pollinators to the Garden through the Perfect, Plant/Pollinator Matches
Epilogue: The Companion Planting Journeyp. 185
Acknowledgmentsp. 186
Resourcesp. 187
Glossaryp. 188
Bibliographyp. 190
Indexp. 200
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