Companion planting has been used for many years and is most likely from ancient times.
It’s popular among organic gardeners today because it provides numerous benefits without the use of chemicals or genetically modified crops.
There are plants that make good neighbors, and there are plants that make bad neighbors.
Plants that compete for the same nutrients, water, space (aboveground growth and belowground root systems), and sunlight should not be planted next to each other.
Crops susceptible to the same plant disease, such as blight, should be kept as far apart as possible to prevent it from spreading.
The same is true for pests.
What is Companion Planting?
According to Wikipedia, Companion planting in gardening and agriculture refers to the planting of different crops in close proximity for a variety of reasons, including pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial insects, maximizing space use, and increasing crop productivity.
Why Plant Peanuts With Other Plants?
Peanuts are legumes, and like all legumes, they have an incredible ability to fix nitrogen in the soil.
In general, the higher the protein content of a plant, the more nitrogen returns to the soil, and peanuts are high in protein and delicious, so peanut cover crops are a win-win situation.
Planting peanuts not only improves the soil but also results in a tasty, nutrient-rich snack for the family.
So, how do peanut plants improve soil fertility, and what are the soil benefits of peanuts?
Let’s find out more.
Peanut As A Nitrogen Fixing Agent
Unlike other known legumes, the peanut plant (Arachis hypogaea L.) can maintain nitrogen fixation even when prolonged periods of darkness or detopping reduce the supply of photosynthate to the nodule.
The presence of lipid bodies in infected nodule cells is thought to be responsible for their ability to withstand photosynthetic stress.
Nitrogen is an important component in the formation of soil organic matter. As the plant decomposes, peanut cover crops release nitrogen into the soil.
As they die, microorganisms decompose the plant and release nitrogen into the soil.
Most crop residue is rich in carbon rather than nitrogen, and soil bacteria require both.
So peanut planting improves the soil by retaining approximately two-thirds of the fixed nitrogen, which is then available to the crops the following year.
Many gardeners use flowers as companion plants in order to attract pollinators.
Food cannot grow in the absence of pollinators, so adding a companion plant or two (or ten!) will increase your yield.
Flowers will also attract beneficial insects that eat pests, eliminating the need for chemicals.
You can also make your life easier by using companion planting. To create a natural trellis, plant tall and sturdy plants near vining plants.
Sunflowers and corn make excellent pea or bean trellises.
Planting fast-growing plants at the ends of your rows can also serve as row markers. This will help you easily identify where you put seeds so you don’t accidentally double-plant.
Where it is sunny and warm enough and the season is long enough for them to be grown in the ground, a variety of plants can work well with peanuts.
Using peanuts to improve soil not only adds nitrogen to the soil but also has other benefits, such as:
- Increasing the amount of organic matter
- Increasing soil porosity
- Reusing nutrients
- Enhancing soil structure or tilth
- Lowering soil pH
- Diversifying beneficial microorganisms
- Breaking disease and pest cycles.
As you can see, using peanuts to improve soil has a plethora of benefits for the gardener or farmer.
Peanut Companion Plants
Let’s take a look at 10 plants that will thrive alongside Peanuts
Cucumbers and peanuts make excellent garden companions and can be planted close together with the help of a trellis. Or a wall. Any climbing aid will suffice.
Lifting the cucumber plant from the ground allows its large floppy leaves to hang freely and unencumbered.
Not only does this provide space below for the peanuts to spread and drop their pegs, but it also maintains good airflow for the cucumber plant, which reduces fungus problems.
One of the reasons these two get along so well is that peanuts are legumes and will fix nitrogen into the soil, which cucumbers will eagerly consume.
Both prefer warmer temperatures, which is why they work well as companions, which is a mix of plants in their final stages of maturity after the summer season (peanuts) and those that will be planted for the first time in early September (cucumbers).
A legume with leaves that grow above ground and pods that grow underground (containing the seeds, or peanuts), that we eat.
This means that legumes will replenish nitrogen levels in soil that have been depleted by other crops, such as tomatoes.
Many herbs have unique pest deterrent properties and attract more pollinators during their flowering period.
Certain flowers also offer these benefits when planted in proximity to food crops.
Marigolds and nasturtiums are two classic examples of flowering companions with pest repellent and pollinator-friendly properties.
Herbs like Rosemary, Savory, and Tansy attract pollinating insects and have the potential to attract beneficial insects while driving away bad bugs.
Much of this is thought to be due to the highly fragrant oils in the plant’s leaves, but whatever the reason, they have the same growing requirements as peanuts and will thrive in the same garden bed.
Many other herbs are excellent companion plants for peanuts.
Short-season crops like lettuce are brilliant plants that do exceptionally well with peanuts.
Its production is frequently completed well before peanut plants flower and begin to peg in the soil.
It’s best to avoid very tall crops like corn and pole beans because they’ll shade your peanut plants and inhibit nut formation.
Potatoes are also an excellent companion plant for peanuts because they have similar soil and growing requirements.
They also help to loosen the soil and reduce compaction.
The peanut is unique in that it flowers above ground but fruits below ground.
Peanuts are commonly thought to grow on trees (like walnuts or pecans) or as part of a root (like potatoes).
The advantages of companion planting strawberries include improved flavor and resistance to pests such as slugs.
The strawberry companion plant will sometimes do both.
By choosing the right companion plants, you can improve pollination and increase soil nutrients.
This is a perfect match. Peanuts and strawberries require the same soil and location.
The berries will not suffocate the 12-inch (30.5 cm.) peanut plants because they grow lower. Berry runners should not be allowed to root within 3 inches of the plant (7.5 cm).
However, in their first year, they provide a nice ground cover that keeps weeds at bay and helps to conserve soil moisture by preventing evaporation.
Peanuts are useful in the garden because they are legumes.
They, like other legumes, have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in their roots and so play an important role in fixing nitrogen from the air and releasing it into the soil.
Carrots are not only a delicious vegetable, but they are also said to be beneficial for your garden.
They require a high level of nitrogen in the soil, which peanuts provide, so veteran farmers or gardeners use peanuts as a good companion for carrot gardens.
8. Aromatic herbs
Herbs in this category are great companion plants with peanuts and include chamomile, wormwood, chives, coriander, tansy, yarrow, dill, mint, thyme, hyssop, chervil, geranium, rue, sage, and oregano.
These plants repel insect pests, attract beneficial insects and pollinators, and add nutrients and vitamins,
9. Nasturtium flowers
Beneficial insects that eat aphids will be attracted by flowers such as Cosmos, and Nasturtium.
This makes them a good fit for peanut companion planting.
Marigolds are effective at repelling mosquitoes, whiteflies, and nematodes.
They can also assist in the elimination of other garden pests such as aphids, squash bugs, Japanese beetles, cucumber beetles, and squash vine borers.
Plants are highly susceptible to pests and bugs, so planting them alongside peanuts as a companion plant is extremely beneficial.
What Does Companion Planting Do?
Through companion planting, you can mimic nature in your garden and provide your vegetables with the best tools for growth.
Companion planting is an excellent way to improve the health and productivity of your garden.
Planting compatible plants near each other allow them to benefit from each other’s characteristics.
Planting different types of plants near each other can increase growth, repel pests, and even improve the flavor of your harvest.
Aside from the benefits to your plants, companion planting makes better use of your garden space, allowing you to harvest more varieties in a given space.
The variety provided by companion planting is also beneficial to pollinators, wildlife, and overall soil health.
Understanding what works well together and how certain plants can help others can be beneficial.
While peanuts can be a very useful crop, it is important to recognize that they cannot be grown everywhere.
Peanut is a warm-weather crop that requires a relatively long growing season.
This means that they are much more difficult to grow in cooler climates with shorter growing seasons.
Peanuts, as a nitrogen-fixing plant, can help a variety of crops, but they can also benefit from being grown alongside other plants.
The higher the protein content of a plant, the more nitrogen returns to the soil, and peanuts are high in protein and delicious, so peanut cover crops are a win-win situation.