Plants that assist each other to grow well, repel insects or even other plants when grown next to each other is called companion planting and can be a sustainable and eco-friendly way to improve and protect your garden against unwanted pests and disease.
Chromatography has been used to explain why some plants like or dislike being planted with other plants. It is possible to make a specific chromatographic test to find out why, or if at all, a plant is helping or hindering its neighbors. Chromatography has also been used to prove that plants do significantly better with compost than without.
This “weed” is not the spurge of lawn owners like most of us think. Dandelions do not actually compete with grasses because their roots go much deeper than any grass, and because of this, their roots bring up nutrients from the deeper soils that grasses can benefit from. Also, the dandelion is the honeybee’s favorite flower.
However, dandelions do excrete an ethylene gas that stunts the growth of neighboring plants, but this very gas also causes nearby flowers and fruits to mature early. So, keep dandelions away from plants you don’t want stunted and keep them around other flowers and fruits.
See our main gardening page, Garden Circkles, for much more information than what is posted on this blog, including full articles on greenhouse growing, sustainable and organic tips, beneficial bugs, the latest techniques such as aquaponics and vertical growing and much more.