Like many fruit and vegetable farms, producing monoculture cannabis is commonly practiced. Monoculture refers to creating an environment where just one plant species is grown. However, some cannabis cultivators took lessons straight from nature by creating a permaculture plant network for their crops. Planting the perfect companions for cannabis plants could mean a robust root system and higher-performing plants.
In the forest, all plant life stays connected through an underground network of roots. Every plant has its own set of roots that are all connected by different fungi in the soil. This connectivity allows for the whole forest floor to send messages to one another. If one tree is deficient in nitrogen and a shrub nearby is abundant, the two can exchange this nutrient via the joined root systems.
The same logic can be applied when planting cannabis. By planting certain herbs or flowers with cannabis, we can uncover the benefits of nutrient transmission, pest control, and natural shade covering.
Companions For Nutrient Transmission
Cannabis needs a variety of nutrients to grow strong and yield large amounts of flowers. Three critical nutrients needed throughout the cannabis growing process are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Ensuring that your plant has what it needs in the correct stages could mean the difference between life or death. Luckily, companion planting removes some headaches of knowing what, when, and how much nutrients to add manually. Sometimes the science behind adding nutrients can lead to many plant casualties. Allowing nature to take some of the guesswork off our hands is always a good idea.
Here are some of the top companion plants that work well with cannabis:
Bean varieties are a great option to plant near your cannabis plants. Bean vines naturally draw in nitrogen from the air and make it viable within the soil. Since cannabis plants LOVE nitrogen during vegetation, beans are a great friend to have nearby, and as a bonus, you’ll end up with fresh beans!
Much like beans, White Clover also harnesses nitrogen from the air and stores it within the soil for other plants to use. White Clover also has a very dense root system which can be beneficial in ensuring the dirt does not become too tight and compact.
Basil should be a staple in every garden. Not only is basil delicious and versatile in the kitchen, but it also carries protective benefits to surrounding plants. Basil is very aromatic and gives off a variety of potent scents depending on the species. When planted near other vegetables, such as tomatoes or peppers, basil significantly increases its flavor. Due to its intense scent profiles, growers believe that planting basil near cannabis can enhance the terpenes and overall flavor of the flower.
Cannabis Pest Control
If your garden is outdoors, bugs and pests can become your ultimate nemesis. While there are an array of products on the market that offer different formulas to kill bugs quickly, taking the organic route instead can be the most self-sufficient. Even when bugs are annoying to us, they can be beneficial for the garden. Drawing in healthy insects for pollination while distracting the negative plant-eaters is crucial here. Staying ahead of an infestation can be as easy as planting specific companions with your cannabis.
When it comes to most bugs or larger pests, they are attracted to the smell of the plant. Cannabis is quite aromatic, which generates a haven for critters flocking to get a whiff. Planting equally loud plants nearby can help deter and distract bugs from getting to the good stuff. Intentionally placing Lavender, Marigolds, or Peppermint throughout the garden can be a great addition to attract worker bugs and drive out pests.
Offering the garden a proper sun to shade ratio will be critical for steady growth. While some go the route of installing fencing and shade cloth, utilizing other plants can be a beautiful and naturally beneficial way to achieve shade. Plants that grow tall and offer flowering or foliage at the top are the best options for shade companion plants. Choosing a vining plant to create a green wall or planting sunflowers along the garden perimeter can greatly enhance shady areas.
It may seem that choosing a quick over-the-counter fix is the easiest route for nutrient, pest, or shade solutions, but structuring the garden to be a balanced ecosystem will let nature do all of the work for you.
Read more about the natural forest network here.