Companion planting is a real thing. A few years ago, David and I were asked to teach a gardening class on this subject and David tasked me to do the research.
Companion planting is planting vegetable, herb, and flower plants near each other to benefit one or more of the plants. Some plants benefit each other by attracting beneficial insects, keeping away unwanted bugs. Others aid in pollination. Some plants have working relationships with each other and others have antagonistic (hostile) relationships.
Several years ago we were selling at a show. A lady came up to me and asked me what companion gardening is. I began to explain the concept of some plants getting along well together and benefiting each others growth and that other plants are hostile toward each other. She stopped me in mid-sentence and told me that was not true and that I did not know what companion gardening is. She then walked off. Had she stayed long enough, my response might have been:
Ma'am, go ahead and plant fennel next to your tomatoes and cucumbers.
Position your beans in between your chives and onions. Plant broccoli
between your squash and your strawberries and see what happens. Your
garden will be one big FAIL!"
This type of gardening is
not an exact science, because soil, climate, watering, and other factors
of the environment play a part. The idea is to get the best garden you
can grow so you will need to plan it ahead of time from experience and
Thousands of years ago, Native Americans planted crops this way and people in England and Asia have been planting their gardens for hundreds of years using this type of gardening.
This companion planting guide can help you plan a successful veggie garden this spring. Planting some seeds next to other seeds can enhance their growth and yield while other plants will inhibit growth and lower yield.
Environmental factors like climate, soil, rainfall, and temperature play an important part. You may need to experiment with some plants to get it right, adding to the companion planting guide.
Make sure you take notes on what you
plant with what along with the location in your garden so you rotate
your planting location each year. Do not plant the same plant in the
same place in your garden for at least three years. Make your own
companion planting guide as you learn from your crops.
Basically, you want to plant your seeds to grow plants together that help each other grow better and be more flavorful. You also want to attract beneficial insects to control the unwanted bugs that tend to destroy some plants.
Artichokes love to be planted by peas, cabbage, sunflowers and tarragon.
Arugula loves to be next to bush beans, beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, lettuce, onion, potato, and spinach.
Asparagus should be planted with parsley, basil, nasturtiums, and marigolds. Asparagus should not be planted by fennel (the vegetable and the herb) or garlic.
Basil loves and grows well with peppers (any kind), tomatoes, sage, thyme, and oregano.
Beans (all types of beans) love to be planted with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, corn,
cucumbers, peas, rosemary, strawberries, Swiss chard, tomatoes, thyme,
sage. Be sure not to plant the carrots by the tomatoes. Doing so will make your carrots short and stubby. Do not plant beans by chives, garlic, leeks, marigolds, onions, or peppers.
Beets should be planted with onions, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, bush beans, and lettuce. Do not plant the beans and onions next to each other. Keep beets away from pole beans and mustard greens.
Broccoli likes to grow near beans, carrots, chives, cucumbers, dill, lettuce, nasturtium flowers, onions, rosemary sage, spinach, Swiss chard, thyme, and oregano. Be careful not to plant your carrots by dill. Dill and carrots are members of the same family and can cross-pollinate. Do not plant peppers, squash, strawberries, or tomatoes by broccoli.
Brussels Sprouts love basil, mint, marigolds, nasturtiums, mustard greens, beets, bush beans, carrots, celery, lettuce, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, radish, and peas. Do not plant them near strawberries, pole beans, or kohlrabi.
Cabbage enjoys the company of onions, celery, rosemary, garlic, mint, dill, and thyme. Do not plant cabbage with basil, beans, or tomatoes.
Carrots grow well when they are near beans, broccoli, cauliflower,
chives, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsley, peas, peppers, rosemary, sage,
and thyme. Do not plant carrots near tomatoes or dill.
Cauliflower plants like to be with beans, carrots, chives, cucumber, dill, lettuce, nasturtium, onion, rosemary, sage, thyme, spinach, Swiss chard, and oregano. Do not plant beans with onions. Do not plant dill with carrots, sage with cucumber, or chives with beans. Cauliflower will not grow well with peppers, squash, strawberries, or tomatoes.
Celery enjoys being with tomatoes, bush beans, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, onions, and spinach.
Chives like to be planted with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, parsley, tomatoes, sage, and thyme. Do not put carrots near the tomatoes. Do not plant chives with peas or beans.
Cilantro thrives when grown near spinach, sage, and thyme. It also likes radish, carrots, anise, and Swiss chard. Cilantro does not like fennel (the herb and the vegetable).
Collards enjoy growing with one plant, the tomato.
Corn should be planted near beans, cucumber, dill, melon, parsley, peas, radish, squash, sunflowers, sage, and thyme. Do not plant tomatoes near corn.
Cucumbers enjoy the following neighbors: bush beans, pole beans,
broccoli, cauliflower, corn, dill, lettuce, marigolds, nasturtium,
onion, peas, peppers, radishes, tomatoes, and thyme. Do not
put the tomatoes by dill, corn, broccoli or cauliflower. Do not put
beans by onion. Do not put peppers by broccoli or cauliflower. Cucumbers will not grow well next to sage.
Dill grows well by broccoli, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, lettuce, onion, sage, and thyme.Do not put sage by cucumbers. Do not plant dill by tomatoes or carrots.
Eggplant likes to be planted with kale, beans, and okra.
Fennel (the vegetable and the herb) gets along with kohlrabi and peppers. It will
cause almost anything else to not grow or it will inhibit the growth of
Kale should be planted by onions, garlic, nasturtium, dill, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Keep kale far from strawberries, tomatoes, and basil.
Lavender likes to be planted with broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, echinacea, and gypsophila (Baby's Breath).
Leeks will thrive with carrots, spinach, onions, sage, and thyme. Leeks should not be planted by peas or beans.
Lettuce can be planted with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber,
dill, onion, spinach, squash, strawberries, tomatoes, sage, and thyme. Don't plant carrots with tomatoes or dill.
Melons grow well with corn, squash, marigolds, nasturtiums, sunflower, sage, and thyme.
Okra likes to be planted next to melons, eggplant, cucumbers, and sweet peppers.
Onions should be planted with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower,
cucumber, dill, leeks, lettuce, parsley, strawberries, swiss chard,
tomatoes, beets, brussels sprouts, sage, and thyme. Do not plant carrots by dill or tomato. Onions should not be planted by beans or peas.
Oregano should be planted by basil, sage, thyme, peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower. Do not plant peppers by broccoli or cauliflower.
Parsley likes to be planted by carrots, chives, corn, onion, peas, peppers, tomatoes, sage, and thyme. Do not put tomatoes by carrots or corn. Do not put peas by onions or chives.
Peas should be grown with beans, carrots, corn, cucumber, peppers, spinach, squash, strawberries, parsley, sage and thyme. Do not plant beans by the peppers. Do not plant cucumber by sage. Peas should not be planted with chives, leeks, or onions.
Plant peppers (hot or sweet) with basil, carrots, cucumber, oregano, parsley, peas, rosemary, squash, swiss chard, tomatoes, sage, and thyme. Do not plant the carrots and tomatoes together. Do not plant peppers with beans, broccoli, or cauliflower.
Potatoes love to be planted by onions, peas, bush beans, celery, corn, garlic, and marigolds. Do not plant potatoes by the following: cucumber, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, carrots, melons, kohlrabi, parsnips, squash, sunflowers, rutabaga, or turnips.
Radishes do very well when planted by cucumbers, corn, peas, parsnips, nasturtiums, chervil, beans, and squash. Radishes dislike grapes, hyssop, kohlrabi, potatoes, and turnips.
Rosemary thrives when planted with beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, peppers, sage, and thyme. Do not plant peppers by beans, broccoli, or cauliflower.
Spinach likes to be near broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, peas, strawberries, cilantro, sage, and thyme. Do not plant strawberries by broccoli or cauliflower. do not plant peas by leeks.
Plant your squash (including zucchini) plants with corn, lettuce, melon, peas, peppers, and nasturtiums. To repel squash bugs,
plant White Icicle Radishes and Nasturtium flowers next to your squash
plants. Sage, thyme, oregano, dill, calendula, marigolds also help to
keep the bugs away from your squash. Do not plant broccoli or cauliflower near your squash.
Strawberries should be planted with beans, lettuce, onion, peas, spinach, sage, and thyme. Do not plant onions by beans or peas. Do not plant strawberries by broccoli or cauliflower.
Sunflowers will thrive when planted with corn, melons, sage and thyme.
Swiss chard should be planted with beans, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, peppers, mint, radish, lettuce, celery, sage, and thyme. Do
not plant beans with onion or pepper. Do not plant onion with beans. Do
not plant peppers by beans, broccoli, or cauliflower. Make sure to
watch the mint closely or it will take over the garden bed it is planted
in. You will need to block it or thin it back often.
Tomatoes get along well with basil, beans, chives, cucumber, lettuce,
marigolds, nasturtiums, onion, parsley, peppers, sage, and thyme. Be sure not to put the beans near the peppers or the onions. Do not plant tomatoes near carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, or dill.
Turnips thrive when planted next to mint and peas. Turnips also enjoy being next to vetch. Beware of the mint as it will take over any garden bed it is put in if you let it.
Zucchini grows well with corn, lettuce, melon, peas, peppers, and nasturtiums. To repel squash bugs, plant White Icicle Radishes and Nasturtium flowers next to your zucchini plants. Sage, thyme, oregano, dill, calendula, marigolds also help to keep the bugs away from your zucchini. Do not plant broccoli or cauliflower near your zucchini.
There are many other vegetables, herbs, and flowers that can be planted together in companion planting. Hopefully this companion planting guide will make you curious so you will do your own research on this aspect of gardening and make your own companion planting guide.
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And lots of yummy greens
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At David's Garden Seeds
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