Maybe it’s just folklore, but whether it’s true or not, many gardeners plan their vegetable plot carefully to have friendly plants close to one another and enemies far away. Friendly plants are thought to repel harmful insects such as aphids, borers and maggots. They might also attract pollinators with their scent or color. Some are credited with aiding growth and flavour. Unfriendly plants may actually stunt growth.
If you already have a system that works for you, by all means, continue with it, however this is a natural approach and is certainly worth a try.
These are some of the vegetable garden companions that I have experimented with over the years. Most lists I have found are similar.
|Vegetable||Plant With||But Not With|
|Cabbage||beets, radish, cucumbers,||peas|
|potatoes, onions, lettuce|
|Radish||peas, onions, carrots,||(there’s nothing you|
|cucumbers, squash, lettuce,||can’t plant with radish)|
|tomatoes, cabbage, beans|
|Carrots||beans, cucumbers, lettuce,||dill|
|onions, radish, peas,|
|Beans||corn, squash, potatoes,||beets, onions|
|Onions||beets, carrots, cabbagge,||peas, beans|
|Peas||corn, radish, cucumbers,||onions|
|beans, tomatoes, lettuce,|
|Peppers||carrots, onions||tomatoes, eggplant|
|Spinach||eggplant, cabbage, beans,||potatoes|
|Tomatoes||carrots, peas, basil||corn, potatoes|
|Cucumbers||corn, beans, cabbage,||potatoes|
|Beets||cabbage, lettuce, onions||beans|
|Squash||beans, corn||potatoes, cabbage|
**cabbage refers to the cabbage family - cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts
You’ll notice that it’s not too hard to keep the early vegetables with their companions, but some of the later crops require more planning.
To make it even more interesting, add some friendly annuals to the vegetable garden. My favourites are marigolds, nasturtium, zinnia, sunflowers and calendula. All have colors that attract bees and butterflies. Marigolds and nasturtiums also are thought to deter aphids and other harmful insects. All of them add rows, borders or spots of brightness in your garden.
Stay tuned for my lists of friendly herbs - they are the hard working multi-taskers in every garden!