A garden is an entire ecosystem of its own, filled with organisms and insects that can be both beneficial and harmful to your growing endeavours
Before the invention of pesticides and herbicides to “prevent” harmful pests in your garden, there was a natural method called companion planting, which doesn’t destroy beneficial microbes and insects in the process.
Rather than decrease nutrient availability the way that harmful sprays can, companion planting uses what nature offers to its benefit—and ours. If you’re a new gardener, don’t worry, companion planting is pretty easy. All you have to do is a little planning and make sure certain plants grow beside each other.
Why practice companion planting?
You're not putting all your eggs in one basket: If a certain crop is eaten by pests or affected by a microclimate in your garden, you won’t lose all of your yield. What harms one plant won’t harm another.
For protection: As you’ll see on the list below, plants can shield and protect each other from certain insects. This minimizes the need for environmentally harmful sprays.
To attract positive insects: Not only do some plants manage harmful pests, but they’ll increase the population of beneficial insects that will pollinate your plants and help them grow.
To eliminate competition: If you plant too many tomatoes in one place, they’ll be competing for nutrients. If you have a companion nearby, not only will it deter pests, but it also won’t be competing for the same nutrients, giving you an almost guaranteed successful yield.
To improve biodiversity: By attracting a variety of insects and organisms to your garden, you’ll be improving the soil quality, boosting the nutrient availability for plants, making your food more nutritious—and delicious—for yourself in the meantime.
Now that we know how companion planting can benefit us and our gardens, let’s check out the Companion Planting Guide. This will help you plan your spring garden and ensure that you have a tasty and successful gardening season...
ASPARAGUS: REPELS NEMATODES
Companion to: Basil, cilantro, dill, marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano, parsley, peppers, sage, thymePhoto by Inge Poelman on UnsplashBASIL: REPELS APHIDS, ASPARAGUS BEETLES, MITES, FLIES, MOSQUITOES AND TOMATO HORNWORM
Companion to: Tomatoes, asparagus, oregano, peppers
BUSH AND POLE BEANS: FIX NITROGEN IN THE SOIL
Companion to: Brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish, strawberries
Avoid: Chives, garlic, leeks, beets, onions
BEETS: SCRAPS ARE GREAT FOR COMPOST, RETURNING MANGANESE AND IRON TO THE SOIL
Companion to: Bush beans, brassicas, corn, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mint
Avoid: Pole beans
BRASSICAS (CABBAGE FAMILY): BROCCOLI, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, CABBAGE, CAULIFLOWER, COLLARDS, KALE, KOHLRABI, TURNIP
Companion to: Chamomile, dill, mint, rosemary, sage
Avoid: Eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes
Companion to: Beans, brassicas, chives, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, pole beans, radish, rosemary, sage, tomatoes
Avoid: Dill, parsnips, potatoes
Companion to: Beans, brassicas, cucumber, garlic, leek, lettuce, onion, tomatoes
CHIVES: REPEL APHIDS, CARROT RUST FLY AND JAPANESE BEETLES
Companion to: Brassicas, carrots, tomatoes
Avoid: Beans and peas
CILANTRO: REPELS APHIDS, POTATO BEETLES AND SPIDER MITES
COLLARDS: REPEL FLEA BEETLES
Companion to: Tomatoes
Companion to: Beans, beets, cucumber, dill, melons, parsley, peas, potato, soy beans, squash, sunflower
Avoid: Celery, tomatoes
Companion to: Asparagus, beans, brassicas, celery, corn, dill, kohlrabi, lettuce, onion, peas, radish, tomatoes
Companion to: Corn, cucumbers, lettuce, and onions, brassicas
Generally, dill is one of the most useful companion plants as it attracts ladybird beetles, hoverflies, bees and garden spiders.
No companions, and will inhibit growth of bush beans, kohlrabi, tomatoes, etc. Keep it out of the veggie garden. It’s still important as it attracts many insects and is an important food plant for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.
GARLIC: AMAZING FOR DETERRING APHIDS AND OTHER PESTS
Companion to: Beets, brassicas, celery, lettuce, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes
Avoid: Peas or beans of any kind
LEEKS: REPEL CARROT RUST FLIES
Companion to: Beets, carrot, celery, onions, spinach
Avoid: Beans, peas
LOVAGE: USEFUL FOR KEEPING AWAY PARASITOID WASPS AND GROUND BEETLES
MARIGOLD: REPELS WHITEFLY, MEXICAN BEAN BEETLES, ROOT KNOT NEMATODES, ROOT LESION NEMATODES
MINT: ATTRACTS EARTHWORMS, HOVERFLIES, PREDATORY WASPS AND REPELS CABBAGE MOTHS, APHIDS AND FLEA BEETLES
Avoid: Planting directly in the garden. It is invasive, so it’s often best to place in containers around the garden. Avoid planting with parsley.
NASTURTIUM: TRAP CROP FOR APHIDS, DETERS WHITEFLIES, CUCUMBER BEETLES, SQUASH BEETLES AND ATTRACTS POLLINATORS
Companion to: Brassicas, cucumbers, melons, radishes, tomatoes
ONION: REPELS RUST FLY
Companion to: Beets, brassicas, carrots, dill, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes
OREGANO: REPELS CABBAGE MOTHS
Companion to: Brassicas, asparagus, and basil
PARSLEY: ATTRACTS HOVERFLIES AND PREDATORY WASPS
Companion to: Asparagus, carrots, chives, corn, onions, tomatoes
Companion to: Beans, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, peppers, potatoes, radish, spinach, strawberries, turnips
Companion to: Asparagus, basil, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, oregano, parsley, rosemary, squash, swiss chard, tomatoes
Avoid: Beans, brassicas, or fennel
Companion to: Bush beans, celery, corn, garlic, marigolds, onions, peas
Companion to: Beans, beets, cucumber, lettuce, mint, parsnip, peas, spinach, squash, tomatoes
ROSEMARY: REPELS CABBAGE MOTHS, MEXICAN BEAN BEETLES, CARROT RUST FLIES
Companion to: Beans, brassicas, carrots
SAGE: REPELS CABBAGE MOTH AND CARROT RUST FLIES
Companion to: Brassicas, eggplant, leeks, lettuce, peas, radish, strawberries
Companions: Corn, lettuce, melons, peas, radish
Avoid: Brassicas, potatoes
Companion to: Beans, brassicas, onions
THYME: REPELS CABBAGE MOTHS
Companion to: Brassicas, strawberries
Companion to: Asparagus, basil, beans, carrots, celery, chives, collards, cucumber, garlic, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, peppers