Last year we had a go at growing our own potatoes. We planted them lovingly, cherished and nurtured them, kept their soil free of weeds, watered them when it didn't rain, carefully heaped up the soil around them as they grew (just like grandad said you should), and what happened? 63 kidney-bean-sized spuds. A disaster. The reason: slugs.
So, this year, we decided not to bother: we gave the vegetable patch a wide berth, we let the nettles, chickweed, mint and thistles take over, and we renamed it our wildlife garden. And what happened? A crop of potato-sized potatoes weighing about five times as much as last year's crop. The reason: with so many nettles, chickweed, mint and thistles to get through, the slugs couldn't find the bloody potatoes that had grown from the tubers we failed to gather last season.
I believe that's what the gardening experts refer to as complementary planting. That's complementary as in free.