Companion Planting

One of the key elements of organic growing is diversity as opposed to monoculture. Companion planting takes this one step further by growing different plants adjacent to each other for a purpose. This can benefit one, or both plants. For instance, companion planting can mask the smell of plants, which is used by pests to locate their food. Carrots and onions grown together reduces the incidence of both onion and carrot fly. Some plants cannot abide growing adjacent to others, for example peas and onions. The pea rhizobia are sensitive to root exudates from the onions. Knowing this beforehand prevents problems.

You are unlikely to solve all your problems with companion planting. It is far from an exact science, and results from some relationships often differ from garden to garden. One of the problems is that different varieties of vegetables behave differently, as well as variation due to soil type. The maturity of plants affects their aroma and this may be a significant factor in increasing their insect repellent nature. 

Some plants attract predatory insects. Flowering umbelliferae (carrots, parsnips, parsley etc.) are particularly attractive to hover flies which also consume aphids. The greater the variety of herbs used, generally the fewer insect problems reported by gardeners.

Companions Antagonists
Asparagus Tomatoes, parsley, basil. Onions, garlic.
Broad Beans Potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, cabbage, summer savory. Onions.
French Beans Potatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, strawberries, celery, summer savory. Onions.
Climbing Beans Sweet corn, summer savory. Onions, beetroot, kohlrabi, sunflowers.
Beetroot Onions, kohlrabi. Climbing beans.
Cabbage Family (cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohl-rabi, broccoli) Potatoes, celery, dill, chamomile, sage, mint, rosemary, beetroot, onions. Strawberries, tomatoes, climbing beans.
Carrots Peas, lettuce, chives, onions, leeks, rosemary, sage, tomatoes. Dill.
Celery Leeks, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage. French beans,
Chives Carrots. Peas, beans.
Cucumbers Beans, sweet corn, peas, radishes, sunflowers. Potatoes, aromatic herbs. 
Eggplant Beans.
Leeks Onions, celery, carrots.
Lettuce Carrots, radishes, strawberries, cucumbers.
Onions and garlic. Beetroot, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, summer savory, chamomile. Peas and beans.
Parsley Tomatoes, asparagus.
Peas  Carrots, turnips, radishes, cucumbers, sweet corn, beans. Onions, garlic, potatoes.
Potatoes  Beans, sweet corn, cabbage, cannabis, horseradish, marigold, eggplant. Pumpkins,  squash, cucumbers, sunflowers, tomatoes, raspberries.
Pumpkins Sweet corn Potatoes.
Radishes Peas, nasturtiums, lettuce, cucumbers.  
Spinach Strawberries.  
Sweet Corn Potatoes, peas, broad beans, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash.  
Squash Nasturtiums, sweet corn.  
Strawberries French beans, spinach, borage, lettuce. Cabbage.
Sunflowers Cucumbers Potatoes.
Tomatoes Chives, onions, parsley, asparagus, Kohlrabi, potatoes, marigolds, nasturtiums, carrots. fennel, cabbage.  
Turnips  Peas.  

 

Herbs

Amaranth (Prince of Wales Feather) Benefits sweet corn.
Balm Likes tomatoes, improves growth and flavour. Good bee fodder.
Basil Good for tomatoes. Dislikes rue. Repels flies and mosquitoes. Improves growth and flavour.
Borage Good for tomatoes, squash and strawberries. Improves growth and flavour.
Burnet Good here and there throughout the garden, Deep roots pump up subsoil nutrients.
Calendula Good for tomatoes and throughout the garden. Pest repellent.
Caraway Plant throughout the garden. Loosens the soil.
Catmint Plant as borders to deter flea beetle.
Chamomile Plant with cabbage and onions. Improves growth and flavour.
Chervil Good for radishes. Improves growth and flavour.
Chives Good for carrots. Improves growth and flavour.
Deadnettle Good for potatoes and cereals. Improves growth and flavour.
Dill Good for cabbage. Dislikes carrots. Improves growth and flavour of cabbage.
Fat Hen Likes corn. Generally good throughout the garden.
Fennel Unsociable. Plant away from main garden if possible.
Flax Good for carrots and potatoes. Improves growth and flavour.
Garlic Good for roses and raspberries. Improves growth and health.
Horseradish Plant at corners of potato patch.
Henbit Insect repellant.
Hyssop Deters cabbage moth. Good for cabbage and grapes. Dislikes radishes.
Larkspur Repels grasshoppers.
Lovage Plant here and there throughout the garden. Improves health and flavour.
Marigold Pest deterrent. Plant throughout the garden.
Mint Good for cabbage and tomatoes. Good for health and flavour. Deters cabbage moth.
Marjoram Plant here and there throughout the garden. Good for health and flavour.
Nasturtium Good for radishes, cabbage and pumpkin tribe. Plant under fruit trees. Deters aphids and codling moth.
Petunia Protects beans from whitefly.
Purslane Good in salads and as ground cover for sweet corn.
Rosemary Good for cabbage, beans, carrots and sage. Pest repellent.
Rue Good for roses and raspberries. Hates basil. Pest repellent.
Sage Good for rosemary, cabbage and carrots. Hates cucumbers. Pest repellent.
Southernwood Good for cabbage. Plant around garden. Pest repellent.
Sow Thistle Good for tomatoes, onions and corn.
Summer Savory Good for beans and onions. Improves growth and flavour.
Tansy Good for fruit trees, roses and raspberries. Insect repellent.
Tarragon Good here and there throughout the garden.
Thyme Good throughout the garden. Pest repellent.
Valerian Good throughout the garden.
Wormwood Good border for garden. Keeps out animals.
Yarrow Good for borders. Enhances essential oils in aromatic herbs.

 

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Jonathan Sturm 2003 - 2011

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