The practice of planting two or more crops in close proximity for mutual benefit.
Companion Planting in the Forest Garden
Many benefits arise from companion planting in the Forest Garden. The goal is to not only diversify the Forest Garden with additional crops, but to maximize the productivity of crops by leveraging the beneficial relationships they have with other specific crops.
A common companion planting combination is pairing beans with corn because the cornstalk will provide a natural trellis for the beans to grow while the beans will fix nitrogen back into the soil to help the corn grow and be more productive. This is only one of many examples, other benefits that arise from companion planting include maximizing space in the Forest Garden, increasing soil moisture retention, reducing topsoil erosion, reducing weeding as well as pest management. Certain pairings are also known for their ability to attract pollinators and beneficial insects.