Growing Strawberries with Cannabis-Is Intercropping Worth It?

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    Should You Look Into Cannabis Companion Planting?

    Companion planting or intercropping is a natural gardening technique where, to benefit the garden, certain plants are planted with one another. It is known to help with pest control, weed infestation, soil health, and it provides other miscellaneous benefits. Most growers agree that a companion plant is beneficial to any garden. So, I’d recommend if you are a cannabis grower that you at least give it a try. Only try it though after you’ve done proper research.

    What You’ll Learn in This Article

    • General Benefits of Companion Plants-You should know the benefits of intercropping, in general, to best understand how a companion plant can help you harvest.
    • Cannabis Companion Planting-You’ll find out whether intercropping is beneficial for growing weed or whether companion planting is more trouble than it is worth.
    • Are Strawberries Harmful or Beneficial to Weed? I will examine if it is recommended to have strawberry plants next to your cannabis plants?

    Why Strawberries?

    Strawberry Field

    The strawberry plant has used her only for example purposes. Most other plants would work just as well for this article. The main reason is that I used strawberries as the example plant is that strawberries are quite popular. (Personally, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like a strawberry) Therefore, because strawberries are so popular it is not outrageous to think that a cannabis grower might want to consider growing these two plants together.


    Is Intercropping Recommended?

    The practice of intercropping has been in existence for over 10,000 years. One famous example is the Native American “Three Sisters” method. In the “Three Sister Method” beans, squash, and corn were planted together. This plant trio resulted in enhanced growth for all three of the plants.

    You can be confident that choosing the PROPER companion plant will be beneficial. Surprisingly, there have been few academic studies done on intercropping. And the scientific studies that have been done used vegetables as a test subject. So, you cannot be exactly sure how using companion plants works. However, for me personally, if it does work, I really do not care it works.

    What Are the Benefits of Companion Plants?

    This article concerns the advantage of using companion planting methods with a marijuana garden. The following techniques though will also benefit non-cannabis crops like fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and food crops.

    Some of these benefits depend upon your growing methods. For example, a companion plant will not help with soil health when the plants are in separate containers. And attracting beneficial insects is severely limited when you are growing cannabis in a grow tent via a grow light.

    Weed Suppression

    The proper companion plant works like live mulch by both crowding the weeds and shading nearby plants.

    Pest Control

    A companion plant can lure, track, trap, and deter pests from attacking your plants.

    Soil Health

    The proper companion plant helps with the soil supply, availability, uptake, and overall soil fertility.

    Enhanced Plant Growth

    Enhanced soil health, pest control, and weed control result in a healthier plant. Healthier plants, in turn, results in plants growing quicker and better.

    Concealment

    A proper companion plant can hide the smell and your marijuana plant itself. As an example, a brightly colored, the yellow marigold flower will make it hard to see a growing weed plant when it is in its vegetative phase. Additionally, the marigold’s pungent, musky, smell, masks or lessens the cannabis‘s smell during its flowering growth stage.

    Companion Plant Examples

    The below plants have been used for intercropping for both vegetables and marijuana. 

    Marigold

    Strawberry Field

    The Marigold flower is thought of by some to be the ultimate companion plant as it is known to do the following:

    • Repel Insects-The Marigold plant’s smell is hated by many garden pests, like whiteflies, leafhoppers, and beetles. The Marigold’s scent also attracts aphids that will chew on the Marigold instead of munching on cannabis.
    • Camouflage Weed-The Marigold can help camouflage the smell and sight of your marijuana garden. The bright yellow flowers can hide the newly sprouted weed plants from your noisy neighbors in the vegetative growth stage. The Marigold also has a distinct, musky scent that can hide the recognizable skunk scent of flowering cannabis plants. 
    • Organic Insectacide-Marigolds have a self-defense mechanism that deters root-bound pests. This defense mechanism also carries over to your cannabis plant.

    Lavender

    Lavender

    Lavender’s distinctive, lovely smell repels ticks, fleas, and mice from your weed plants. Additionally, lavender is known to cover a cannabis plant’s distinctive smell. 

    Dill

    Dill Plant
    Dill Plant

    Dill is another herb/companion plant whose smell repels and deters various garden insects, like aphids, caterpillars, spider mites, and butterflies.  

    Alfalfa

    Alfalfa

    Alfalfa is known for repelling insects and improving the soil. Some of the ways that help with soil health are improving drainage and adding nitrogen. 

    Plenty More

    The above are just a few companion plants known to help cannabis. A few other helpful plants in intercropping are chamomile, sunflowers, yellow balm, and many more. Click Here for general info on various other companion plants that you can experiment with. 

    Is Planting Strawberries with Cannabis Risky?

    Just like people or animals, not all plants will play nice with one another. As a result, you need to do your homework if you are thinking about trying companion planting. Also, you need to ask yourself three questions when deciding on whether or not to add a plant to your garden, which are:

    1. Will the “X” plant harm my marijuana plants?

    2. Will the “X” plant help my marijuana plants?

    3. Can the “X” plant grow with my marijuana plants?

    Each of these three, essential questions, will be addressed below in detail.

    Is a Strawberry Plant Harmful to Cannabis?

    Cannabis is a very hardy plant and can coexist with numerous other plants, like dill, lavender, or Marigold. Certain plants though can either damage your harvest or ruin a bud’s flavor. Tomatoes are one example of this occurring as the tomato plants hog nutrients when they are grown with cannabis. So, if you are wanting to, for whatever reason, grow strawberries next to your cannabis plant, you need to know if the strawberry bush will hurt your weed plants.

    I was unable to find any conclusive evidence, one way or the other, on this question. The strawberry plant though is known to be somewhat of a nutrient hog, and if left unchecked could overtake your weed plants. So, to be better safe than sorry I would not have a strawberry plant share the same soil as weed crops. However, you should not have an issue if you want to grow strawberries, for example, in a grow tent next to cannabis.

    Will Your Strawberries Be Successful?

    It is not a brash assumption that most cannabis growers who decided to grow strawberries and weed together would most likely care more about their cannabis plants than a strawberry. However, if the strawberry plant cannot grow successfully in the same environment as weed, why would you bother growing strawberries in the first plant? The answer to this question is that cannabis and the strawberry plant have similar growing environments, (I.E. A pot plant and strawberry plant both can grow under the same soil acidity levels) which means strawberries will grow just fine next to cannabis.

    Is the Strawberry Plant a Good Companion for Cannabis?

    I was unable to find any articles stating the strawberry plants benefit other common garden plants, let alone benefit cannabis. (Some articles on this matter on the front page only mentioned Kyle Kushman’s famous Strawberry Cough cannabis strain.

    To be fair though, I could not find any scientific or academic articles stating that strawberries could negatively affect your cannabis crops. Strawberry plants though, if not controlled, can easily overtake other plants. Therefore, I would not grow the strawberry in the same soil.

     


    Top 10 Newbie Friendly Cannabis Seeds

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