While I’m hooked on companion planting I thought it’d only be fair to set up some experiments to show you all examples of what I’m talking about.
This month I’ve done my favourite companion pair – beans and corn. The particular lot of beans and corn I’m going to show you have had no special treatment whatsoever. No fertilizer, average watering, no nutrient supplements. Just left to grow to their own accord to ensure the results would speak for themselves. They have.
Read on to find out how beans and corn fair together.
So this bean plant has been planted by itself, and as you can see in my sandy soil it’s lacking some nutrients, been munched on by a snail and it’s growth is relatively stunted. The yield from this plant has been high regardless.
The next bean plant was planted in a slightly shadier area, and although the leaves look a lot healthier than the previous plant, the height is still less than average, measuring in at about 15cm.
This next picture is the bean plant that has been placed in the corn field. It has been very high yielding, had very large, healthy leaves, is towering above the other plants at 35cm and is continuing to spit out flowers.
Not only has the corn been beneficial for the beans, but the ears closest to the bean plant are developing much faster than those further away. The following photos are of a corn plant placed 50cm away from the bean plants, and then a corn plant only 15cm away, both planted at the same time yet one is almost fully developed.
So what makes this pairing a match made in heaven? It’s a combination of things that can be found without companion planting – companion planting is just the fun way to do it!
Firstly, the corn offers protection and a trellis for the bean plants. The beans repay the corn by sharing their high amounts of nitrogen they trap in their roots.
So this can easily be a lesson on providing shade, protection and stable growth for your beans, or it can be a fun way to save time, be a teeny bit lazy and grow some food!