Companion Planting can be a confusing business. It takes a while to get your head around companion plant combinations that work and don’t work together.
Some plants work better with others and some are a terrible combination and they both struggle. Here are some well-known combinations that work and you should aim for, or don’t and you should avoid.
Companion planting isn’t limited to just vegetables either
Nasturtium (a flower) attracts caterpillars, aphids and whitefly. Therefore planting it alongside or around vegetables such as lettuces, cabbages, beans and tomatoes will protect them. The adults will lay the eggs on the nasturtium leaves instead.
The nasturtium can be pulled while the eggs are at a junior stage to rid the garden of this cycle. Also when they are flowering nasturtium attract bees and provide homes for beneficial bugs.
You should plant marigolds close to crops that suffer from aphids and greenfly. Marigolds emit a scent that repels aphids and attracts hoverflies, which are a predator of aphids.
Foxgloves as a companion plant have a growth-stimulating effect on all the plants near it. It is also said to protect the garden from disease and strengthen tender plants.
Certain flowers are grown as companion plants near edible crops in order to attract insects for pollination. Capsicums and eggplants, which have smaller flowers, benefit from having flowers nearby to ensure they get pollinated.
Bee friendly plants include calendula, marigolds, sunflowers, poppies, clover, nasturtiums, Queen Anne’s Lace, echinacea, borage and purple tansy.
Borage is a great companion for your strawberries, attracting lots of bees for increased yields.
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Asparagus Basil, Coriander, Dill, Parsley, Carrots, Tomatoes, Marigolds Garlic, Potatoes, Onions Marigolds, Parsley, Tomato protect from asparagus beetles Beans Beets, Brassicas, Carrot, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Celery, Chards, Corn, Eggplant, Peas, Potatoes Alliums (chives, garlic, leeks, onions), Peppers, Tomatoes For Broad Beans: Fennel Corn is a natural trellis, and provides shelter for beans. Beans provide nitrogen to the soil. Beets Brassicas (ie. broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, turnip), Kohlrabi, Garlic, Lettuce, Onion, Sage Pole and Runner Beans The beans and beets compete for growth. Composted beet leaves add magnesium to the soil when mixed. Broccoli Basil, Bush Beans, Chamomile, Cucumber, Dill, Garlic, Lettuce, Marigold, Mint, Onion, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Tomato Grapes, Mustard, Oregano, Strawberry, Tomato Rosemary repels cabbage fly. Dill attracts wasps for pest control. Brussels Sprouts Dill, Potato, Thyme Strawberry, Tomato — Cabbage Beets, Bush Beans, Celery, Chamomile, Dill, Mint, Onion, Potato, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage Beans (Pole and Runner), Mustards, Peppers, Strawberry, Tomato Celery, onion and herbs keep pests away. Rosemary repels cabbage fly. Carrots Beans (Bush and Pole), Garlic, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Peas, Rosemary, Tomato Dill, Parsnip Beans provide nitrogen in soil which carrots need. Onion, parsley and rosemary repel the carrot fly Cauliflower Beans, Celery, Oregano, Peas, Tomato Strawberries Beans provide the soil with nitrogen, which cauliflower needs. Celery Bush Beans, Cabbage, Dill, Leeks, Marjoram, Tomatoes Parsnip, Potato — Chives Basil, Carrots, Marigold, Parsley, Parsnip, Strawberries, Tomato Beans — Corn Beans, Cucumbers, Marjoram, Parsnip, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Squash, Zucchini Tomato Tomato worm and corn earworm like both plants. Beans and peas supply nitrogen. Cucumber Beans, Celery, Corn, Dill, Lettuce, Peas, Radish Potato, Sage, strong aromatic herbs, Tomato Cucumbers grow poorly around potatoes and sage. Dill Cabbage, Corn, Cucumbers, Dill, Fennel, Lettuce, Onions Coriander, Tomato Cross-pollinates with coriander, ruining both. One only a few plants that grows well with Fennel. Eggplant Beans, Marjoram, Pepper, Potato — — Kohlrabi Beets, Lettuce, Onions Strawberries, Pole Beans, Tomato Lettuce repels earth flies. Leek Carrots, Celery, Lettuce, Onions Beans, Peas Companion attributes are the same as garlic, onion, chives (alliums). Lettuce Beans, Beets, Carrots, Corn, Marigold, Onions, Peas, Radish, Strawberries Parsley Mints repel slugs (which feed on lettuce). Marigold Brassicas (broccoli, etc), Cucurbits (cucumber, etc), Peppers, Tomato, and most other plants — It is said that you can plant Marigolds throughout the garden, as they repel insects and root-attacking nematodes (worm-like organisms). Be aware they may bother allergy sufferers. Onions Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Lettuce, Marjoram, Rosemary, Savory, Strawberry, Tomato Beans, Peas Repels aphids, the carrot fly, and other pests. Parsley Asparagus, Beans, Radish, Rosemary, Tomato Lettuce Draws insects away from tomatoes. Peas Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Cucumber, Lettuce, Marjoram, Parsnip, Potato, Sage Alliums (Chives, Garlic, Onion, Shallots) — Potato Beans, Cabbage, Corn, Eggplant, Horseradish, Marjoram, Parsnip Celery, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Rosemary, Strawberries, Tomato Cucumber, tomato and raspberry attract harmful pests to potatoes. Horseradish increases disease resistance. Pumpkin Beans, Corn, Radish Potato — Radish Cabbage, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Marjoram, Parsnip — Radish is often used as a trap crop against some beetles(flea and cucumber). Sage Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Peas, Rosemary, Strawberries — Repels cabbage fly, some bean parasites. Spinach Beans, Lettuce, Peas, Strawberries — Natural shade is provided by beans and peas, for spinach. Squash Fruit trees, strawberries — Similar companion traits to pumpkin. Strawberries Borage, Bush Beans, Caraway Broccoli, Cabbages The herb, Borage, is likely the strongest companion. Tomatoes Alliums, Asparagus, Basil, Borage, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Marigold, Peppers Brassicas, Beets, Corn, Dill, Fennel, Peas, Potatoes, Rosemary Growing basil about 10 inches from tomatoes increases the yield of the tomato plants. Turnip Peas — — Zucchini Flowering herbs (for pollination) — Attracts bees