If you haven’t heard of companion planting before, it’s time you educated yourself on its benefits. Growing cannabis plants alone is good but growing them alongside other beneficial plants is infinitely better. Essentially, by planting a more diverse range of plants alongside the cannabis, you’re creating a permaculture.
Permacultures are agricultural systems that are both self-sustainable and self-sufficient. This means that the garden doesn’t require too much input from an outside source, that being you. It can provide nutrients, nitrogen, food, compost, and it can even repel pests on itself. Depending on the companion plants you place alongside the cannabis, various effects will come into play.
BudStars.com provides the following tips:
- Pest repellant effects – Planting the right companion plants will repel insects and other vermin. Even better, some plants (like sunflower) can protect the cannabis plants from the outside elements. Yarrow, for instance, attracts parasitic wasps and ladybirds that can keep other pests and harmful vermin away from your plants.
- Microbial diversity – By creating a permaculture with your cannabis at its core, you are allowing more microbes, pollinators, and other wildlife to thrive. In turn, this will positively impact the growth and health of your cannabis plants. The most crucial benefit you get from this biodiversity is a reduction in disease transmission.
If there’s only one type of plant present in your garden, it will be that much easier to contract a killer pathogen. Moreover, since your plants are identical species, the pathogen will affect them all. Having plant biodiversity will increase the presence of beneficial bacteria in the soil, which protect against various types of pathogens and diseases.
- Superior nutritional value of soil – A vital factor that heavily influences a plant’s health and growth is the soil. If the soil is deficient in nutrients and microbial life, then the plant will suffer. However, the more plant types you have in the soil, the richer the microbiome is, and the more nutrients you have. That’s because the plant roots actively attract bacteria and fungi, which become nutrients for the plants.
The idea behind companion planting isn’t anything new, though. Our ancestors were using this principle to improve the growth of primary plants like corn, beans, and squash. Cannabis is a plant like any other, and it will receive the same benefits as any other plant if you create a permaculture around it.
Ideal companion plants for cannabis cultures
You can’t just plant anything alongside cannabis and expect things to improve themselves. Specific plants provide unique benefits and influence the environment differently.
If you want to try using companion plants for healthier cannabis, these are some of the best types:
- Cover-type plants like Alfalfa, Comfrey, and Sweet peas will manage the nutrient intake of other plants, develop the microbiome, and improve the quality of the soil. The sweet peas also bring nitrogen into the soil, which is especially important for cannabis plants.
- Nitrogen enabler plants like Dandelion, Beans, and Clover can bring lots of nitrogen into the soil. The nitrogen is essential for photosynthesis and for building proteins.
- Pest-repellant plants such as Catnip, Coriander and Lemon balm are among the best plants to repel vermin and cockroaches. That’s because these plants have very pungent smells that propagate in the air. The vermin will rather not get near the cannabis plants with all those aromas wafting about.
- Attract-type plants like Fennel, Dill and Thyme are not only great in the kitchen, but they also attract pollinators and other insects that will repel pests and fertilize the plants. Your cannabis plant will have a more abundant yield with all these bugs and pollinators doing their work.
Bacteria isn’t all bad for plants
While there are certainly those bacteria that destroy the plant and kill your garden, other bacteria do just the opposite. These beneficial bacteria form a symbiotic relationship with your cannabis plants, protecting them from other harmful bacteria and repelling pests. Moreover, the bacteria collaborate with your companion plants in gathering nutrients and enriching the local rhizosphere.
Under no circumstance should you use artificial pesticides or nutrients on the soil where you want to plant the cannabis and other companion plants. Scientific studies have shown that manmade pesticides can destroy the microscopic bacterial ecosystems found in the rhizosphere. This will negatively impact your plants’ nutrition, protection, nitrogen intake, and more.
The world of plants is a world where everything is connected down to the microbial level. Use this to your advantage when growing your cannabis!