Vegetable Garden Companion Plants
- sorting out the friends from the foes -

Posted on April 26, 2018

Vegetable Garden Companion Plants

Mother Nature’s approach to gardening is pretty haphazard compared to us humans. Plants will take root just about anywhere in their battle to secure the space and resources needed to extend the survival of their species. Gardeners, on the other hand, usually operate with a plan - especially when it comes to vegetable gardening. Plants are chosen carefully, planted in neat rows with spacing that will allow every plant to reach its full potential.

But plant locations in nature aren’t always as random as they may appear. Often plants are found growing together because they benefit each other. It may be something simple, such as a shade-loving plant growing in the shadow of a sun-loving tree, or complex such as an orchid growing in the branches of a tree. Some plants support each other’s survival by providing natural pest control; they may attract beneficial insects for pollination, or repel insects and wildlife that may damage a plant. Some plants affix nitrogen to their roots and nourish the soil for surrounding plants. Some combinations actually enhance the flavor of fruits or vegetables. These happy relationships are what we call good “companion plants”.

Smart gardeners can use companion plantings to their advantage when planning a vegetable garden. Note that there are also some plants that don’t get along and may even interfere with the health and productivity of plants nearby. On the other hand, there are a few plants that are always good vegetable garden friends. Petunias, Marigolds, Oregano, Mint, and Nasturtiums are natural insect repellents. All are excellent for planting around the perimeter of the garden to create a barrier, or grown in pots placed throughout the garden. Bonus: flowering plants also attract pollinating insects that are necessary for good fruit production.


Garden Plant

Good Companions

How They Help

Bad Companions

Asparagus

Tomato, Basil, Marigold, Nasturtium, Parsley, Dill

Protect against Asparagus Beetles.

Potato. Garlic and Onions can inhibit growth.

Beans

Corn, Squash, Cucumbers, Marigold, Summer Savory

Corn offers bean vines a natural support. The large leaves of squash and cucumbers offer shade that helps reduce weeds and hold moisture. Savory and marigolds repel bean beetles.

Chives, Garlic and Onions can stunt the growth of beans. Tomatoes, Peppers

Broccoli

Mint, Dill, Rosemary

Aromatic herbs help repel pests.

Oregano, Tomato, Strawberry, Mustard

Corn

Bean, Cucumber, Melons, Parsley, Pumpkin, Squash, Marigold

Marigolds repel Japanese Beetles. Beans affix nitrogen to their roots that replenishes the high levels of nitrogen corn needs to grow. The foliage of melons and squash shade the ground conserving moisture and reducing weed growth.

Tomatoes. A caterpillar called a Corn Earworm or Tomato Fruitworm is attracted to and feeds on both plants.

Cabbage

Mint, Onion, Oregano, Dill, Sage, Clover , Chamomile

Aromatic plants help repel common cabbage insect pests. Clover planted between rows disrupts Cabbage Aphid and Cabbage worm populations. Chamomile improves cabbage growth and flavor.

Strawberry, Tomato, Eggplant, Peppers

Cucumber

Radish, Lettuce, Corn, Beans, Onions, Nasturtium, Dill

Radish repels Cucumber Beetles. Corn provides a natural trellis. Nasturtium improves growth and flavor. Dill repels some insects and attracts other natural predators.

Sage, Potatoes

Eggplant

Bush beans, Catnip, Peppers, Spinach, Tarragon, Thyme, Marigold

Beans protect from the Colorado Potato Beetle. Catnip repels flea beetles.

Lettuce

Radish, Carrot, Dill, Cucumber, Strawberry

Radish repels a variety of insect pests.

Beets, Beans, Parsley, Cabbage

Peppers

Tomato, Beans, Onion, Geranium, Petunia

Geranium repels Japanese beetles. Petunias repel a variety of insect pests.

Fennel

Pumpkin

Corn, Melons, Dill, Beans, Radish, Oregano

Radish and Oregano repel a variety of insect pests. Dill repels Squash Bugs.

Spinach

Strawberry, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Radish

Radish repels Leaf Miners.

Squash

Beans, Corn, Dill, Radish, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion

Dill repels Squash Bugs. Radish, Nasturtium, and Mint repel a variety of insect pests.

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Asparagus, Carrot, Parsley, Basil, Marigold, Garlic

Garlic repels Red Spider Mites.

Potatoes, Corn, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli

Zucchini Squash

Corn, Beans, Nasturtium

Nasturtium repels a variety of insect pests.


Looking for more vegetable gardening tips and ideas? Find more here!

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