I believe nature knows best. So, if we only watched nature better and more, we could learn a ton from it. Here is what I learned about gardening: Some plants grow well together, others do not agree with each other one little bit and some plants can help controlling pests while others attract them.
This technic is called COMPANION PLANTING and I have researched it extensively for our garden. It can really make gardening so much easier. It also aids in making your garden overall healthier and low maintenance.
But first, let's look at how companion planting works... If you plant certain companion plants together, this may assist in
- killing pests e.g. french marigolds killing non cyst-forming eelworm.
- tricking pests by masking crop scent e.g. growing onions (stronger scent) inhibit carrot root fly.
- attracting the pest away from the crop. e.g. nasturtiums attract blackfly, redcurrant attract birds away from blackcurrants.
- reducing the chance of pests settling on the crop plant itself.
- overall health and resistance of plant e.g. lettuce resistant to downy mildew.
- providing food and shelter for natural pest predators as well as shelter from wind and sun
- reducing weeds, by shading or otherwise inhibiting weeds.
- improving soil and stimulating growth around the crop. e.g. nitrogen fixing root nodules on beans.
- providing support for climbing plants. e.g. corn and climbing beans.
BFF: Best Friend Forever
AE: Arch Enemy
BFF: Corn, Onion, Potato
Anise - Plant anise and coriander seeds together. They will both germinate more quickly. Keep soil moist and separate when seedlings have grown a little. good host for predatory wasps which prey on aphids and it is also said to repel aphids. Deters pests from brassicas by camouflaging their odor. Improves the vigor of any plants growing near it. Used in ointments to protect against bug stings and bites.
BFF: Beans, Coriander
AE: Basil, Rue
BFF: Chives, Climbing Nasturtium
Asparagus - Becomes more vigorous if planted with parsley.
BFF: Aster family flowers, Dill, Coriander, Strawberries, Basil, Marigold, Nasturnium, Parsley, Tomato
AE: Mint, Onion
Basil repels Flies, Mosquitoes - Use 3 basil plants to each tomato plant. Basil also repels flies and mosquitoes, so useful in kitchen, outdoor barbecues.
BFF: Beans, Cabbage, Marigold, Pepper, Tomato
Beans - Less likely to suffer from beetles if petunias also planted alongside.
BFF: Beets, Borage, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Collards, Corn, Cucumber, Nasturnium, Petunia, Potato, Squash, Strawberry, Summer Savory, Sunflower, Tomato
AE: Chives, Onion, Garlic, Fennel, Gladiolus, Leek
AE: Field Mustard
Beets - great to enrich soil
BFF: Basil, Bush beans, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Onion, Sage, Tomato, Mint (but since Mint is so vigorous, just spread a bunch of mint clippings around the beets and they will be soo happy)
AE: Pole beans, Mustard
Bergamot (or Red flowered Bee Balm) - Bees and hummingbirds loooove this flower. Great for tea!!
Borage - Plant with strawberries to increase crop. Also good with tomatoes and squash. Attracts bees to the garden. Deters tomato worms, attracts bees, helps growth and flavour. BFF: Squash, Strawberry, Tomato
BFF: Beans, Celery, Chamomile, Dill, Mints, Nasturtium, Onion, Oregano, Potato, Rosemary, Sage
AE: Lettuce, Strawberry, Tomato
BFF: Beans, Celery, Dill, Hyssop, Mints, Nasturtium, Potato, Rosemary, Sage
Cabbage - Any member of the cabbage family should also be planted with potatoes, tomatoes, celery, dill, chamomile (best), sage, thyme, mint, rosemary, lavender, beetroot or onions.
BFF: Aromatic herbs (repel Cabbage Worms), Bush Beans, Beets, Celery, Chamomile, Dill, Geranium, Hyssop, Lavender, Marigold, Mint, Nasturnium, Onions, Oregano, Potato, Rosemary, Sage, Tansy, Thyme, Tomato
AE: Dill, Grapes, Mustards, Rue, Strawberries, Tomatoes
BFF: Tomato (Repels tomato worms, asparagus beetles)
Carrots - Carrot fly is repelled if carrots are planted with sage or onions. Also plant with peas, lettuce, chives, leeks, rosemary or tomatoes.BFF: Chervil, Chives, Leaf lettuce, Leeks, Onion, Peas, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Tomato, Wormwood
AE: Anise, Dill
Catnip repels Flea Beetle, Ants
BFF: Beans, Beet, Celery, Chamomile, Dill, Hyssop, Lavender, Mints, Nasturtium, Onion, Oregano, Radish
AE: Dill, Strawberries, Tomatoes
BFF: Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Leek, Onion, Spinach, Tomato
Chamomile - Compatible with onions and cabbages but don’t plant too much. Chamomile tea, made by soaking blossoms in cold water for 1 to 2 days, is excellent spray for damping off. Improves both growth and flavour of onions and cabbages.
BFF: Cabbage, Mint, Onion, Squash
BFF: Bean, cabbage family, tomatoe, onion, roses
AE: cucurbits, melons, corn or herbsChervil
BFF: Carrots, Radish
Chives - Carrots grow larger planted near chives. Helps prevent apple scab if grown underneath apple trees. Also helps control aphids and black spot on roses. Cooled chive tea made from chopped chives in boiling water helps combat downy and powdery mildew.BFF: Carrots, Grapes, Parsley, Tomato
AE: Incompatible with Peas, Beans
Clover - Best to be planted with grapes, attracts many benefitials
Collard Greens BFF: Tomatoes
Coriander / Cilantro - Sown with anise seeds aids germination in both. Don’t grow near fennel as it hinders its seed formation. Repels harmful insects such as aphids, spider mites and potato beetle. A tea from this can be used as a spray for spider mites. Partners coriander are for anise, caraway, potatoes.
BFF: Anise, Potato
Corn - Sowing with beans or peas provides an increased nitrogen supply to the corn (if corn and peas/beans are planted in alternate rows). If sunflowers are planted with corn, the incidence of armyworm decreases. Also plant with potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash. Vining things like this shade the ground, keeping weeds down, and use the corn stalks to trail up on.
Amaranth, beans, cucumber, white geranium, lamb's quarters, melons, morning glory, parsley, peanuts, peas, potato, pumpkin, soybeans, squash and sunflower. A classic example is to grow climbing beans up corn while inter-planting pumpkins. The corn provides a natural trellis for the beans, pumpkins smother the weeds and helps corn roots retain moisture. Corn is a heavy feeder and the beans fix nitrogen from air into the soil however the beans do not feed the corn while it is growing. When the bean plants die back they return nitrogen to the soil that was used up by the corn. A win-win situation. Another interesting helper for corn is the weed Pig's Thistle which raises nutrients from the subsoil to where the corn can reach them. Keep corn away from celery and tomato plants by at least 20 feet.
BFF: Amaranth, Beans, Cucumber, Geranium, Lamb's Quarters, Melons, Morning Glory, Peas, Potato, Pumpkin, Sow Thistle, Squash, Sunflower
AE: Celery, Tomato
Cucumbers - Plant with beans, corn, peas, radishes, and sunflowers.
BFF: Beans, Broccoli, Celery, Corn, Lettuce, Marigold, Nasturnium, Onion, Peas, Radish, Savory, Sunflower, Tomato
AE: Potato, Rue, Sage
Dead Nettle repels Potato Bug
Dill - Cabbage grows well planted near dill. So does lettuce, corn & cucumber. If dill is allowed to flower it suppresses the carrot crop, if not allowed to flower it is fine. Don’t plant near fennel as they may cross fertilise.
BFF: Cabbage, Lettuce, Onion
AE: Carrot, Tomato
BFF: Lavender, YarrowEggplant - If planted with aramanthus, there is less likelihood of insects on the eggplant. Also, beans planted with eggplants repel beetles which would otherwise attack the eggplant.
BFF: Amaranth, Beans, Peas, Spinach, Tarragon, Thyme
Fennel - Don’t grow fennel in the vegetable garden. It is hated by tomatoes, kohlrabi, caraway and wormwood. If planted near dill may cross fertilise. Repels fleas, so grow it around dog kennel or teh chicken coop.
AE: Incompatible with Beans, Caraway, Dill, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Tomato, Wormwood
AE: Incompatible with Rue
BFF: Carrot, Potatoes
Feverfew repels attracts aphids away from other plants
Flax repels Potato Bug
Garlic - Planted near roses keeps aphids away. If grown around fruit trees effective against borers. Protects peach tree from leaf curl and apple trees from apple scab. Grown near tomatoes deters red spider mites. However peas, beans, cabbages and strawberries hate it. Garlic spray may be made by crushing 4 cloves and steeping in a litre of water for several days as an insecticide for vegetables and flowers. Garlic repels Japanese Beetle, Aphids
BFF: Beets, Carrots, Chamomile, Lettuce, Raspberry, Roses, Tomato, Summer savory
AE: Beans, Cabbage, Peas, Strawberries
Geranium - Plant near roses, grapes and corn. Repels cabbage worm. Oil of geranium prevents red spider mite.
Grapes - Planting clover increases the soil fertility for grapes. Hyssop likewise increases the vine crop.
BFF: Clover, Geranium, Hyssop, Oregano
AE: Cabbage, Radish
Horseradish repels Potato Bug
Henbit repels Insect RepellentHyssop - Good for cabbages and grapes. Hyssop repels Cabbage Moth. Helps deter white butterflies. Good insect repellent if planted in vegetable or flower garden. Keep away from radishes.
BFF: Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Grape
Lavender: Attracts butterflies. Lavender bags repel mice, ticks and moths. Lavender repels Moths
BFF: Beets, Cucumber, Onion
AE: Pole Beans, Pepper, Strawberry, Tomato
Leek - Leeks grow better if planted with carrots, celery or onions.
BFF; Carrots, Celery, Onions
AE: Beans, Broccoli
Lemon Balm - spreads fast and will compete for space; plant with other vigorous perennials, such as Mint
Lemon Basil - herbal tea
BFF: Beet, Cabbage, Carrot, Clover, Corn, Cucumber, Melon, Onion, Peanuts, Peas, Radish, Strawberry, Sunflower
Marigold - Plant everywhere! Deter many insects and slugs. Marigolds repels Mexican Bean Beetles, Nematodes, others Melons
BFF: Corn, Nasturnium, Radish
Mint - Due to their vigorous nature, they are best confined in containers. Repels cabbage butterfly, grow near cabbage family or tomatoes. Repels fleas, ants and mice. Keep mint and parsley away from each other. Mint repels Cabbage Moth, aphids, flea beetles
BFF: Cabbage, Tomatoes
AE: Chamomile, Parsley
Nasturtium - Useful insect repellent. Plant around broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage family, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and fruit trees. Deters white flies, squash bugs, and are a trap crop for aphids. Limits wooly aphid damage to apple trees if planted in a circle around them. Nasturtium repels Aphids, Squash Bugs, Striped Pumpkin Beetle
Nettle - Increases the oil production of herbs
Onions - Planting chamomile with onions improves the flavour of the onions.
BFF: Amaranth, Beets, Cabbage, Carrot, Celery, Chamomile, Leeks, Lettuce, Pepper, Potato, Roses, Sow Thistle, Strawberry, Summer savory, Tomato
AE: Incompatible with Beans, Peas
BFF: Cabbage, Cucumber
BFF: Asparagus, Carrot, Chives, Onions, Roses, Tomato
Peas - Grow them almost everywhere, peas add nitrogen to soil. Growing interplanted with corn enhances growth of the corn.
BFF: Aromatic herbs, Beans, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Potato, Radish, Spinach, Turnips
AE: Garlic, Gladiolus, Leek, Onion, Potoato, Shallots
Peanuts - If grown with squash or corn will increase the yield.
BFF: Squash, Corn
BFF: Corn, Basil, Carrot, Lovage, Marjoram, Onion, Oregano
AE: Fennel, Kohlrabi
Pennyroyal repels Flies, Mosquitoes, Fleas, others
Pot Marigold repels Tomato Worm, Asparagus Beetles, others
Pyrethrums as a dried flower repels insectsPlum
AE: Beets, Sunflower
Potatoes - Plant horseradishes with potatoes to make them more disease resistant.
BFF: Amaranth, Beans, Corn, Cabbage, Eggplant, Flax, Horseradish, Lettuce, Lima Beans, Marigold, Onion, Petunia
AE: Cucumber, Pumpkin, Radish, Raspberry, Sunflower, Squash, Tomato
Pumpkin - Plant with datura to increase the vigour and health of the pumpkins. Also plant with corn.
BFF: Corn, Datura
AE: Apple, Potato, Raspberry, Rosemary, Tomato
Radishes - Plant with climbing beans, and both grow better. Plant with lettuces, and the radishes become more succulent in summer time. Also plant with peas, nasturtiums and cucumbers. Deters cucumber beetle and other insects.
BFF: Beans, Beets, Carrots, Chervil, Cucumber, Lettuce, Melons, Nasturnium, Parsnips, Peas, Spinach, Squash
AE: Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Grape, Hyssop, Kohlrabi, Potato, Turnips
BFF: Columbine, Garlic, Onion, Roses
BFF: Beans, Cabbage, Carrot, Sage
Rosemary - Rosemary repels Cabbage Moth, Bean Beetle, Carrot Fly
BFF: Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Sage, thymes, oreganos, and savory should be spaced so that they don't touch the foliage.AE: Potatoes
Rue repels Japanesa Beetles
BFF: Figs, Raspberry, Rose, Strawberry
AE: Basil, Cabbage, Sage
Sage - Repels Cabbage Moth, Carrot Fly, Flea Beetle, Slugs. Plant near rosemary. Good grown with cabbage and carrots, peas and beans. Keep away from cucumbers. Sage tea can be sprayed on mature plants not seedlings.
BFF: Beans, Cabbage, Carrot, Marjoram, Peas, Rosemary, Strawberry, Tomato
AE: cucumber, Rue
BFF: Beans, Onions
Southernwood - - Southernwood repels Cabbage Moth
BFF: Corn, Onions, Tomato
Spinach - Plant with strawberries, and base of trellised peas. Spinach benefits from shading of peas and wind protection.
BFF: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant, Onion, Peas, Strawberry
BFF: Beans, Corn, Cucumbers, Icicle radishes, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion
AE: Incompatible with Potatoes
Stevia - best by itself in a container
Strawberries - Planted with borage improves the soil nutrition for the strawberries. Also plant with bush beans, spinach and lettuce.
BFF: Asparagus, Beans, Borage, Comfrey, Lettuce, Onion, Spinach
AE: Incompatible with Broccoli, Brussle Sprouts, Cabbage, Califlower, Kohlrabi
Summer Savory repels Bean Beetles
Tansy - repels Flying Insects, Japanese Beetles, Striped Cucumber Beetles, Squash Bugs, Ants, Flies and moths. Rub leaves onto fur of dogs and cats to repel fleas. Plant near fruit trees and roses. It concentrates potassium in the soil so good for compost heap.BFF: Fruits, Peppers, Potato, Rose, Raspberry
Thyme - Attracts bees and deters cabbage worm so plant near members of cabbage family. Beneficial effect on plants near it.
Tomatoes - Tomatoes grow and produce better when planted with marigolds; the same rule applies to basil planted with tomatoes.
BFF: Asparagus, Basil, Bee Balm, Carrot, Celery, Chives, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Onions, Marigold, Mint, Nasturtium, Parsley, Peas, Sage
AE: Incompatible with Cabbage, Cauliflower, Corn, Dill, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Potato
Valerian- Excellent addition to compost heap as stimulates phosphorous activity in soil. Earthworms love it.
Wormwood - Grow by itself edge of garden as inhibits growth of other plants. Spray discourages slugs and snails.
"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis
Wormwood planted as a border aids in repelling animalsYarrow - Increases essential oil content enhancing aromatic quality and making more resistant to insect attack.
"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis