Companion planting, because who you are seated next to is as important in the garden as it is at a wedding. I’m not even joking. You could have the best soil, a gorgeous raised bed and your plants don’t thrive because you may have (unknowingly) planted them next to their nemesis. So let’s avoid the whole catastrophe and drama by learning about companion planting and who should be next to who.
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Companion planting is best used in conjunction with raised beds and square foot gardening. This will allow you to get the most out of whatever space you have available to you. I would strongly recommend you pick up a seeding square as it makes gardening in this manner a cinch!
Planting dill anywhere near tomatoes or carrots is a big no-no. It is however good for brassicas, and great for corn, cucumbers, lettuce, and onions.
This is one plant that definitely plays nice with others. You can comfortably plant it beside tomatoes, dill, beans, brassicas, peas, tomatoes, celery, corn, lettuce, onion and radish. Just keep it away from sage and also potatoes.
Companion to beans, beets, cucumber, dill, melons, parsley, peas, potatoes, soya beans, squash, and sunflower. Avoid planting next to celery or tomatoes. Corn is often planted in close proximity to squash and beans as part of the three sisters planting method adopted by multiple indigenous groups in North America. This was really the start of companion planting as a gardening method.
Celery is a good partner for beans, brassicas, cucumber, garlic, leek, lettuce, onion, and tomatoes.
Carrots are pretty mellow and can be planted with beans, Brassicas, chives, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, pole beans, radish, rosemary, sage, and tomatoes. You will, however, want to avoid planting them close to dill, parsnips, and potatoes.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to keep some space between root crops so they don’t compete for available phosphorus. Carrots planted near tomatoes may have stunted roots but will have exceptional flavour. Chives also benefit carrots.
Brassicas (ie: Broccoli, Cabbage etc)
Brassicas and herbs are besties. They will benefit from being planted near sage, dill, rosemary, mint and chamomile (but be careful as both mint and chamomile will SPREAD). Plants that need acidic soil such as tomatoes, eggplants and peppers should be planted well away from your precious brassicas.
You either love them or hate them, but if you are planting them in your garden then keep them with bush beans, brassicas, corn, garlic, leeks and lettuce. You can also add chopped up mint leaves as a mulch for them. Just make sure to keep them away from your pole beans as they will stunt each other’s growth.
Bush & Pole beans
All beans fix nitrogen in the soil, this makes them great for planting with carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish and strawberries. They will not benefit from being near members of the Amaryllidaceae family which includes chives, garlic, leeks, and onions.
I do love me some potatoes, mashed, baked, fried, I’m really not picky how they get into my belly. So these are always in my garden. If you are planting them, make sure to keep them close to bush beans, celery, corn, garlic, marigolds, onions, and peas. Don’t plant potatoes too close to brassicas, carrots, cucumber, squash, sunflower, or turnips. I have recently started to take my potatoes out of the ground and instead build a potato tower to grow them vertically!
We all know that basil and tomatoes go together in the kitchen, but the same is true for in the garden This garden favourite naturally improves the flavour of tomatoes, but it also helps them grow! There are so many different kinds and I must admit I am a bit basil-obsessed. I am growing 9 different kinds this year and I see lots of pesto in my future! If you want to know some of my hints and tips for growing amazing basil I got your back.
Basil is a champ at repelling a number of garden insects such as aphids, asparagus beetles, mites, flies, mosquitoes, and tomato hornworms (I had a few of these guys last year).
Lettuce is a garden staple and super easy to grow. If that wasn’t enough it also plays nicely with just about everyone. This includes beets, brassicas, strawberries, carrot, celery, chervil, cucumbers, dill, garlic, onions, radish. I picked up this adorable itty bitty Tom Thumb lettuce from my go-to seed supplier Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I can’t wait to grow it this year in my garden ’cause it’s beyond adorable.
Onions do well with beets, brassicas, carrots, leeks, lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes. If you want to improve the flavour of your onions then make sure to plant them near chamomile (Disclaimer: Chamomile WILL spread) and summer savoury. The big no-no for onions are peas, so keep these two far from each other. If you are looking for more information on growing onions then I have you covered!
Peas are known BFFs with beans, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, peppers. potatoes, radish, spinach, strawberries and turnips. As mentioned above these guys hate onions and they don’t like to talk about. So let’s just keep far them apart.
Peppers are one of the “dirty dozen”, so it’s important to grow these yourself. In order to make sure they do well then keep them close to basil, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, oregano, parsley, rosemary, Swiss chard, and tomatoes. Keep them away from beans, brassicas, or fennel (more on this guy in a second).
I have no idea why I left tomatoes to the end as they are my favourite thing to grow and eat! Especially when paired with basil, which as I mentioned above they grow great next to. Tomatoes also do well near beans, carrots, celery, cucumber, garlic, lettuce, onion, and peppers.
I’m sad to say that corn can attract tomatoes pests so it should not be planted anywhere near them. Another one to watch out for are potatoes as they can spread blight to tomatoes. So it’s best to keep some space between them. With a bountiful tomato harvest, you will have more than enough tomatoes to make your own small batch tomato sauce.
So there you have it, some of the basics of companion planting. So go forth and make the most of the space you have and grow what you eat.