Companion Planting

Why do some plants associate with others to their mutual benefit?

It’s long been observed that planting certain crops close together can enhance the growth of each one, much more than any other factor.

What is this mysterious factor?

Some plants grow better with a friend...

Companion planting involves a lot more than any one thing.

The combination of certain chemicals exuded by the roots of marigolds for instance has been very effective in eliminating certain types of nematodes that otherwise will damage the roots of plants.

Planting carrots alternating with onions or garlic has profited both crops.

It’s thought that the smell of the allium hides the scent of the carrot foliage, making it more difficult for insects to find them, effectively eliminating the carrot fly damage that can make pulling your crop so disheartening. 

The carrot fly larvae burrow into the carrots, making them extremely unappetizing, and they can't be stored without turning to mush.

Companion planting - which to plant where?

In exchange, the carrot performs the same service to the onions, preventing damage from the onion fly. This is definitely a win/win situation.

Over the years, it’s become apparent that there are some plants that gain by being planted close together, and some that obviously dislike each other intensely.

Pinning down the combinations of those plants that benefit from close association is an art, and a science.

Remember that successful companion planting will depend on several factors, some of which we don’t know enough about yet, but this chart will help you make a decision on which plants to associate with others and also which to avoid planting close by.

Plant Good Companions Bad
Basil Pepper, Tomato, Marigold  
Bush Beans Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Pea, Radish, Strawberry, Savory, Tansy, Marigold Onion
Pole Beans Carrots, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Pea, Radish, Savory, Tansy Beets, Onion
Beets Bush Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Sage  
Cabbage Family Bush Beans, Beets, Celery, Onions, Tomato, All Strong Herbs, Marigold, Nasturtium Strawberry
Carrots Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radish, Tomato, Sage Dill
Celery Bush Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Spinach, Tomato  
Corn Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Cucumber, Melons, Peas, Squash Tomato
Cucumbers Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Corn, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Radish, Marigold, Nasturtium, Savory No Strong Herbs
Eggplant Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Spinach  
Lettuce Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumbers, Onion, Radish, Strawberries  
Melons Corn, Nasturtium, Radish  
Onion Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce, Pepper, Squash, Strawberries, Tomato, Savory Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Peas
Parsley Tomato  
Peas Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Corn Cucumber, Radish, Turnips Onion
Pepper Onion  
Radish Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Melons, Peas, Squash Hyssop
Spinach Celery, Eggplant, Cauliflower  
Squash Corn, Onion, Radish  
Strawberry Bush Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Spinach Cabbage
Tomato Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Onion, Mint Corn, Fennel


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