Herby Gardens


The Benefits of Companion Planting for a Thriving Garden

Read time: 4 minutes
Tomatoes being harvested from the vine into a basket


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.

Increased Yield

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.

beans growing with corn - companion planting

Improved Soil Quality

Companion planting can also improve the quality of your soil. Nitrogen-fixing plants, like peas and beans, help nitrogen become more available in the soil for other plants to use. Additionally, companion planting can help to break up compacted soil and improve soil structure. For example, planting radishes near carrots can help to break up compacted soil and make it easier for carrots to grow.

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.

marigold flowers - companion planting

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.

Pest Control

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.

Enhanced Flavor

Companion planting can also enhance the flavor of your crops. Plant dill near cucumbers or chamomile near onions for a tastier vegetable harvest.

Dill with cucumber in the garden - companion planting

List of Companion Plants

Plant Benefits Plant With
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

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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.




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