Companion planting is a gardening technique that involves planting different crops in close proximity to one another to create a mutually beneficial environment. This practice has been used for centuries and is popular among both small-scale and large-scale gardeners. Companion planting offers many benefits, including increased crop yield, improved soil quality, pest control, and enhanced crop flavor. In this post, I will discuss the benefits of companion planting for a thriving garden.
Companion planting can significantly increase the yield of your garden. When you plant companion crops near each other, they work together to create a more productive and efficient garden. For example, planting beans near corn can lead to an increased yield of both crops. Corn provides a natural support for the bean plants to naturally climb and use as a trellis. This allows the beans to grow vertically to access more sunlight and air circulation, helping to prevent disease and improve yield. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, which is then used by corn to grow stronger and taller.
Marigolds are one of my favorite plants to grow to improve soil quality. They contain natural chemicals called thiophenes that are toxic to nematodes, and as a result, they can help to reduce harmful nematode populations in the soil.
A study published in the Plants journal in 2022 highlights the potential environmental benefits of marigold, including its ability to improve soil health and attract beneficial insects. The article also discusses how marigolds can promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, including mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which can help improve soil fertility and crop productivity.
Companion planting can be an effective way to control pests in your garden. Certain plants have natural pest-repelling properties that can help to keep harmful insects away from your crops. For example, planting marigolds near tomatoes can help to repel whiteflies. Similarly, planting onions near carrots help to repel carrot flies, which damage the roots of carrot plants.
Other plants help attract beneficial insects that prey on the harmful bugs. For example, nasturtiums attract a variety of beneficial insects, including ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies, which help control pests like aphids, caterpillars, and mites.
Companion planting can also enhance the flavor of your crops. Plant dill near cucumbers or chamomile near onions for a tastier vegetable harvest.
|Basil||Deters asparagus beetle, carrot fly, mosquitoes, and whitefly. Improves flavor of nearby vegetables.||Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, asparagus, beans, root vegetables. Don't plant with rue or sage.|
|Borage||Attracts pollinators and deters tomato horn worm and cabbage worm.||Cabbage, tomatoes, squash, strawberries|
|Calendula||Deters asparagus beetle, nematodes, and tomato hornworm. Attracts pollinators.||Asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries|
|Chamomile||Enhances flavor of nearby vegetables. Attracts lady bugs, hoverflies, wasps and honey bees.||Cabbage, onions, beans, mint, basil. Don't plant with peppermint.|
|Chives||Deters aphids and Japanese beetles. The blossoms attract bees, butterflies, and beneficial wasps.||Carrots, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli. Don't plant with asparagus, beans, peas, or spinach.|
|Cilantro||Attracts ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and lacewings. Deters aphids, white flies, and spider mites.||Tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, spinach, potatoes. Don't plant with lavender, thyme, fennel, or rosemary.|
|Dill||Attracts butterflies and lacewings. Deters spider mites, squash bugs, and aphids.||Lettuce, corn, cucumbers, squash. Don't plant with carrots, angelica, cabbage, caraway, peppers, eggplant, fennel, lavender, or potatoes.|
|Garlic||Deters many pests and improves soil health.||Cucumbers tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli. Don't plant with asparagus, beans, peas, or sage.|
|Lavender||Attracts pollinators and repels flies, moths, mosquitoes, and fleas.||Tomatoes, peppers, oregano|
|Marigold||Deters many pests including tomato worms, squash bugs, and nematodes. Improves soil health and attracts ladybugs and butterflies.||Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash. Don't plant with beans or cabbage.|
|Nasturtium||Attracts pollinators and predatory insects. Used as trap crop to attract aphids and squash bugs.||Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, radishes. Don't plant with fennel.|
|Oregano||Deters white cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles. Enhances flavor of nearby vegetables.||Tomatoes, peppers, basil. Don't plant with peppermint.|
|Parsley||Attracts beneficial insects and improves flavor of surrounding vegetables. Deters aphids and beetles.||Tomatoes, asparagus, corn. Don't plant with onions, garlic, shallots, or peppermint.|
|Peppermint||Deters ants, aphids, cabbage moths, and mice.||Cabbage, tomatoes, peppers. Don't plant with parsley, chamomile, or oregano.|
|Rosemary||Deters cabbage moth, beetles, and carrot flies. Enhances flavor of nearby vegetables.||Cabbage, beans, carrots|
|Sage||Deters cabbage moths, beetles, black flea beetles and carrot flies. Enhances flavor of nearby vegetables.||Tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli. Don't plant with basil, cucumbers, onions, garlic, rue, or fennel.|
|Thyme||Deters aphids, cabbage worms, cabbage butterflies, and cabbage loopers. Imroves flavor of nearby vegetables.||Tomatoes, peppers, cabbage|
Hello and welcome! My name is Kate and I am an herbalist and backyard farmer. If you are a beginner herbalist or just looking for information on plants, I write about gardening, natural remedies, and herbalism.