So, following on from my previous post, here are some of the plants that my research has come up with for companion planting with fruit trees. I would welcome any comments from anyone who has tried any of these and I will report back on my experiments.
– daffodils. These are early flowering and attract pollinating insects so will be particularly beneficial to aiding pollination of early flowering fruit. It has been suggested that they are planted in a circle not too close to the trunk of the trees, presumably to avoid interference with main roots.
– chives and other alliums. Like daffodils, these attract beneficial insects but they also produce food.
– bee balm and mint. Again, an insect attractant but I’m not sure I would plant mint under a tree unless it’s roots were restricted by a pot.
– dill. Another insect attractant, dill is also great for hoverflies which will feed on aphids and other pests.
– echinacea. A drought tolerant plant with a deep tap root that attracts beneficial insects, and also looks good!
– lupins. Besides attracting beneficial insects, lupins fix nitrogen.
– Clover, peas, beans and vetches all fix nitrogen and attract beneficial insects.
Other plants that have been mentioned which I need to research further are New Jersey Tea (deep tap root and a tea substitute), violas, salvias, garlic, strawberry, foxgloves, feverfew, oregano, asparagus, camomile, basil, oregano, sage, lavender (apparently repels codling moth), lemon balm and thyme.