WHAT IS COMPANION PLANTING?
Fruit trees, just like other plants, have likes and dislikes. Whether requiring or preferring a certain diet or not being able to grow well if planted too near certain other plants, you must pay attention to these traits. Companion Planting means plants getting along with their “neighbors.”
Certain plants will secrete chemicals into the ground that another plant might not like. Similarly, they might gobble up an unusual amount of nutrients that will leave other plants feeling deprived. For instance, all fruit trees do not like having grass grow right up to their trunk. Grass inhibits their growth. Keep it at least a foot away from the trunk of any fruit tree.
Apple trees do not like being planted too close to a walnut tree. Walnut tree roots secrete a chemical that impairs the growth of some plants. Likewise, walnut leaves have the same effect. (Do not use them for mulch.)
RELATED ARTICLE: USING FRUIT TREES AS ORNAMENTALS
All fruit trees dislike being near a conifer for the same reason (chemicals secreted from the roots,) plus conifers will greedily eat up the nutrients in the soil that nearby plants and trees require.
READ THIS RELATED ARTICLE: VEGETABLE COMPANION PLANTING
Apple trees don’t like being planted too close to potatoes.
Apricot trees don’t like to be anywhere near tomato plants.
Cherry tree roots suppress the growth of wheat and make potatoes less resistant to blight and other problems.
RELATED ARTICLE: WHAT IS CROSS POLLINATION?
READ THIS RELATED ARTICLE: GROW BETTER FRUIT WITH COMPANION PLANTING
Now for the “likes.” Cherry trees like lime and nitrogen. Pear trees like a lot of iron.
Old timers would use rusty nails in the planting hole. They deteriorate slowly, like a time release fertilizer. If you’ve ever found a horseshoe buried in an odd place in your yard, there’s a chance some long ago pioneer put it there deliberately when planting a fruit tree.
Study your chosen tree variety carefully and provide it with the nutrients it needs so you will be rewarded at harvest time.
HAPPY PLANTING! Susan
For more in-depth information on GROWING YOUR OWN FRUIT
An eye-opener post for many gardeners! Most individuals don’t pay much attention to plant compatibility and this end up reducing the total yields at the end of the growing season. I believe your post will be of great help especially for beginners.
Thanks for sharing!!
SUSAN GODDEN says
Thank you, Addy. Doing your Homework before ordering your plant or tree will increase your chances of success. Nothing beats the taste of home grown fruit.
Family Moyes says
tell me more… what about nectarines, peaches, lemon, lime, orange, pistachio, pecan, almond and plum trees? Please don’t tease me with an introductory and leave me hanging. I was so excited when I read the beginning of your article. I thought it would be what I have been searching for: companion gardening for fruit and nut trees.
SUSAN GODDEN says
Thank you for your comment about Companion Planting. I have an article on my website called GROW BETTER FRUIT WITH COMPANION PLANTING as well as another one called VEGETABLE COMPANION PLANTING. Since I have never grown citrus fruits I can’t help you there, but since everything is in alphabetical order in both articles, you can find mention made about fruit trees, and some on nut trees, even within the article on Vegetables. The articles also have the different things in Full-Color: Vegetables in Black, Fruit in Red, Herbs in Green, and Flowers in Blue – – – since people often grow all four of these things in close proximity to each other. Hope this helps.