Before planting any fruit crop on a plot, it is necessary to assess the potential compatibility of the tree or shrub with the other neighboring “residents” of the area.
Garden plants may be absolutely harmless in appearance, but due to the presence of common pests and diseases, and due to the instability of nature, they simply cannot coexist comfortably in the same location.
It also affects the individual characteristics of a particular culture – the distribution of toxic substances in the soil by the roots, the fall of poisonous leaves (whose venom penetrates the soil), the ability of neighboring plants to literally intertwine their roots, and others.
In any case, which garden plants should not be planted together, we will tell you in this article.
GOOD NEIGHBORLINESS: THE KEY TO COMFORTABLE COEXISTENCE OF PLANTS
The fact that plants suffering from the same diseases, suffering from the same pests, are close to each other just doesn’t, probably, make sense to all. Of course, if you are 1-1.5inch (3-4 meters) away from the tree, it is not 100% possible to avoid an outbreak of infection, but reducing its risk will help a lot.
Admittedly, it is almost impossible to maintain a distance of 1-1.5inch (3-4m) on a small plot of land. Therefore, when planting plants, you need to avoid “friend” neighbors who have the same problem.
However, when choosing neighbors on plots that seem to have no common enemies (diseases and pests), you may await other negative consequences of their coexistence. At least, the mutual oppression of plants.
And it happens not only because of improper agronomic techniques of caring for crops. For example, when crop rotation is completely neglected, whether in the vegetable garden or in the garden. In other words, when harvested, uprooted vegetables or fruit trees are planted the following year on poor, already contaminated soil with the same plants.
Some plants can inhibit other plants, releasing into the soil compounds that are harmful to the latter. As a result, plant “heterophagy” (literally, from the Greek “mutual torment”) may occur. Thus, in nature, there is a struggle for plants for their place in the sun.
Despite good care, plants wither and stagnate in their development due to alleles, constantly suffering from one or another disease, despite the fact that effective preventive methods are usually used in time.
Admittedly, experts have noticed a positive equivalence: the roots of some plants release harmful substances that are supposedly used in rival plants but may be neutral or even useful for other plants.
NEIGHBORLINESS AS PREVENTION OF CERTAIN DISEASES
As you know, some diseases and pests not only affect one specific plant, but attack the whole family, or are considered, almost omnivorous, destroying most of the plants growing on the site.
As an example, one can mention the causative agents of leaf nodules and cell necrosis: they harm almost all leafy plants and can do nothing about it.
But there are also more “selective” diseases. An example is the rust disease caused by a fungus. The cycle of development of this fungus is very complex. It goes through up to three stages, and in each of them, thanks to being on the plant, it is able to grow and spread its spores in the wind.
The first stage occurs in spring, when the heterosporous develop, followed by the Urediniospore in summer, and finally, the most dangerous Basidiospore and Teliospore, which form in autumn.
The different spores of these different fungi mature on completely different plants, sometimes changing two or even three hosts.
Most interestingly, the disease itself does not occur even if one of the plants that can develop the first, second, or third stage of rust is not present on the plot. For example, it has been shown that rust does not affect crops if no prickly rose is planted next to the grain crop.
Wildberry is an intermediate host for the fungus that causes grain rust, and if it is eliminated, crop protection from rust is virtually guaranteed.
WHICH PLANTS SHOULD NOT BE PLANTED TOGETHER?
Bad neighbors of apple trees
In the early 20th century in the United States, apple orchards began to give substandard crops on a large scale – apples were solid bugs. And every year the quality of apples became worse and worse.
It turned out that apples were infected with rowan moth, its caterpillars to be exact. And the rowan plants that began to be planted around the apple orchard at that time were the culprits of this phenomenon.
This pest was ignored when the garden next to it did not have or did not want to plant rowan trees. Since then, it has been known that rowan trees should not be planted next to apple trees.
The rowan tree consumes a lot of water from the soil, sucking it up to itself, and the apple tree suffers as a result. In addition to this, wild rowan often attracts large numbers of aphids, which spread to the apple trees.
Conifers, such as fir, contaminate the soil over time by strongly acidifying it and releasing large amounts of resin into the soil over the course of their lives. You usually need to wait about three years before replacing any conifers with apple trees.
Literally, lilacs attract all kinds of pests and diseases, which then migrate to the apple tree as well.
The juxtaposition with peach and cherry trees is also fraught with trouble for apple trees, as both plants are quite active, absorbing large amounts of nutrients from the soil and often producing large numbers of root shoots, which can be very stressful for apple trees.
Apple and cherry trees also don’t make friends with each other; it turns out that the roots of sweet cherries push the roots of apple trees from the surface of the soil to the lower layers where fertility and moisture are least, which makes them grow weakly.
Hawthorn is also a bad neighbor – it attracts all the pests that occur on apple trees.
If you plant juniper next to apple trees, then the same rust will appear right in the garden, which will be very difficult to get rid of.
It is not advisable to keep weed bushes near apple orchards, where there may be absinthe, on which it is easy to breed aphids, which move happily on the apple trees when they grow young leaves and shoots.
In addition, it is not advisable to plant potatoes between rows of young apple trees, as some people do. In fact, potatoes are depleting the soil of so many nutrients and depleting it so strongly that apple trees will actually suffer starvation, especially in areas with dwarf apple trees where the soil is rarely fertilized, infrequently watered, and with weak root systems.
Good neighbors for apple trees
Tomatoes can be planted on the south side of the apple tree planting area. Tomatoes make the butterfly fruit beetle nauseous and such a neighbor is considered good prevention against this pest.
Be “friends” with apple trees and raspberries The thing is that the roots of raspberries fix nitrogen, which can be used by apple trees, while the roots of raspberries increase the air and water permeability of the soil.
Gardeners often observe positive effects from contact with the shoots of these plants. The special properties of raspberries help protect apple trees from dangerous diseases such as scab. Apple trees in turn protect raspberries from a gray rot disease that does little harm to this berry crop.
The apple tree’s friend also has maple ash, which cleverly gets rid of this fruit crop of the fruit moth – it does not appear on apple trees at all. It turns out that the insecticide, which affects the fruit moth, is assigned to this variety of maple trees.
There is no need to let the maple tree grow to a huge height; there are many pruning options to reduce the growth of the maple tree and it can be kept at a fairly modest size, such as 40-60inch (1-1.5m) in height.
If you want the maximum amount of phytohormones in the air around your apple tree, you can go out into the garden once a day and gently crush the leaves of the maple tree.
Crops such as apples and honeysuckle are considered traditionally compatible, but it is best to plant honeysuckle around apple orchards, but not to alternate these crops into rows. This is because apple trees can be a danger to moths, which can also cause irreparable damage to honeysuckle. Honeysuckle trees may also be infested with leafhoppers.
The bad neighbor of the pear
Pears and apples are united in not liking the same plants, with cultures like beech, prickly cypress, and all stonecrops, it simply will not live, because beech has a strong root system and huge above-ground parts, while prickly cypress – many diseases and pests similar to pears.
You should not plant prickly cypress near a pear orchard (all because of the same notorious rust disease).
Don’t forget the equivalents – pear root excrement is also toxic, especially cherries are affected by it.
The pear’s good neighbors
Who pears will be friends with is with oaks, common mountain ash, poplars, and especially black poplar. Although oak has a strong root system, its root system is significantly deeper than that of pear, so the oak is not its competitor.
The rowan tree consumes very little nutrients and water, and can even fertilize the soil with a large number of leaves and berries if not harvested. Poplar trees can protect pear trees from winter cold if planted on the north side.
Bad neighbors of cherries
Bad neighbors of cherries would be apricots, black currants, raspberries, and most early apple varieties.
The root secretions of apricots are considered to be toxic to cherries – slowly killing the plant.
Cherries and blackcurrants should not be planted side by side, firstly because it is impossible to treat either crop as their vegetation conditions are unlikely to overlap and because the roots of blackcurrants can act as weed roots, actively absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.
There is no need to plant tomatoes, bell peppers, and strawberries between cherry rows: the latter, for example, often attract nematodes, to which all crops are invariably exposed.
In view of the active transmission of Verticillium (wilt) by the Solanaceae family, the Solanaceae must be kept away from the cherry trees. This is a dangerous disease (we wrote about it in due course) that causes the wood on cherry trees to die fairly quickly. It is not uncommon to observe such a picture – immediately after flowering, the cherry tree withers.
Good neighbor of cherry trees
But plum and cherry trees will become good friends of cherry trees – their root systems are located at almost the same depth, the plants are almost the same height, and the harvest maturity is close, so you can water, fertilize, and treat without worrying about hurting neighboring plants. In addition, some cherry varieties are good pollinators for cherries.
Bad neighbors of plum trees
If you decide to plant plums on your plot, then stay as far away as possible from pear, raspberry, black currant, and apple trees. All diseases and pests they have in common, in addition, they consume the same substances from the soil and will become serious competitors.
Good neighbor for plum trees
Black elderberry is not only a medicinal crop for humans, but it also keeps plums safe from aphids. Canadian maple, but not American maple, is considered the most dangerous weed species in the United States and will have a good impact on the growth and development of plums and their yield.
As you know, the Canadian maple is very large, so if you decide to plant it next to plums, you need to take care to control its height growth by pruning it every year.
The “enemies” of apricots, due to common diseases, pests, and elements consumed from the soil, are apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries, rowan trees, cherries, and, naturally, various nuts and their toxic foliage.
You should not plant raspberries and currants next to apricots, which also have many pests in common. It is better to give apricots a separate place, away from other crops.
Peach trees will not be friends with apple and pear trees because of the risk of contracting similar diseases or being infected by the same pests, and because they consume the same amount of substances.
It has been scientifically proven that the entry of peach roots into the root locations of apples and pears leads, over time, to the withering and complete death of the latter. Of course, it is possible to plant these plants on the same plot of land, but it should be set back 1.5inch (4 meters) or, for greater fidelity, 2inch (5 meters).
It has been observed that if cherry or cherry trees are planted close together, the peaches will grow with all their might in the opposite direction to them, and the side located on these plants will gradually lose its leaves and the buds on it will begin to wither.
This is due to the increased sensitivity of the peach tree to light; it needs a lot of light and any shade it can’t tolerate. If no action is taken, the peach will die within a few years.
If you don’t want any fruit bush to get sick often, don’t plant a prickly berry near it; it will not only affect hawthorn, American maple, and iris, but the rest of the culture will be inhibited, and this applies even to fruit plants.
Among fruit plants, prickly berries can only get along with plums, which have a strong root system and no common enemy, and among the early berries – with honeysuckle. But all these cultures have a common serious enemy – juniper, spreading rust everywhere.
Lingonberry is very unfriendly to plants because it releases into the soil a large number of toxic substances – berberine, which negatively affects other plants, inhibiting their growth and development.
Red currant can only get along with rosehips because they do not have common pests and diseases and there is no sign of equivalence between them, but with the abundance of rosehips shoots will have to fight every year, but with raspberry, currant will not grow well because they have a common dangerous pest – currant disease.
If you want to protect currants from kidney mites, then plant onions between the rows of this cultivation.
Black currant – grow mainly away from bird cherry, because glasswort on bird cherry is the biggest enemy of currant. Do not plant near currants and gooseberries: they have a large number of common diseases and pests.
The golden currant has an equivalence that is, perhaps, the most obvious. In addition, it grows well by itself next to any plant, but will strongly suppress neighboring plants.
Buckthorn is a really aggressive plant that overgrows other plants. In principle, sea buckthorn can only be combined with garden strawberries, but do not forget about the common pests and diseases present in these cultures.
Of course, it is difficult to maintain the necessary distance between plants on a small plot of land where you want to plant as many fruit trees and shrubs as possible. We hope that our article will help you to organize the right neighbors for the “inhabitants” of your garden. Your observations on favorable or unfavorable neighbors of plants we will be glad to read in the comments.