Companion planting in a vegetable garden is an old-age gardening method of planting vegetables in close proximity so that one crop benefits the other. This technique has fascinated many gardeners for centuries as it has been responsible for a well-balanced ecosystem in their garden. No matter whether you want to own several vegetable beds or grow a few veggies in pots; vegetable companion planting can be accomplished easily. The main aim is to achieve greater net yield or quality. Not only this, through companion gardening you can safely discourage pests, increase crop production and beautify a garden space.
As one veggie can’t be grown with every other; this companion planting guide will tell the common vegetable combinations that work well. Follow the guide for successful propagation of your companion plants:
Companion Planting Definition:
It is a method of planting 2 or more crops together, with an objective to achieve a specific goal. The main idea behind this technique is that the crops will benefit each other in one way or the other. Groups of plants/crops that thrive well together are known as ‘companions’.
Companion Planting Chart:
The chart given below depicts certain companion planting vegetables with their good and bad neighbors. Follow this table before planting two or more veggies in close proximity:
|Companion Planting Vegetables||Companions||Enemies|
|Asparagus||Basil, parsley, tomato, carrot||Radish, garlic, onion, potatoes|
|Bush Beans||Cucumber, celery, potato, broccoli, carrot, Chinese cabbage||Onion, garlic|
|Pole Beans||Radish, broccoli, eggplant, pea, cucumber, carrot||Beet, onion, garlic|
|Beet||Leek, lettuce, garlic, onion, bush beans, kohlrabi||Pole beans, tomato|
|Brassicas/ Cabbage Family(cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts)||Lettuce, spinach, onion, cucumber, celery, beet||Eggplant, tomato, pole beans|
|Carrot||Brassicas, lettuce, leek, pea, onion, tomato, radish, beans||Potato, radish|
|Celery||Onion, tomato, garlic, cucumber, bush beans, lettuce, Brassicas, spinach||_|
|Cucumber||Celery, beans, onion, pea, tomato, Brassicas, asparagus, lettuce, radish, kohlrabi||Potato|
|Eggplant||Beans, pea, spinach, garlic||_|
|Leek||Celery, beet, spinach, carrot, onion, tomato||Beans, pea|
|Lettuce||Pea, carrot, radish, beans, cucumber, onion||_|
|Onion||Brassicas, leek, lettuce, tomato, beet, kohlrabi, carrot||Asparagus, pea, beans|
|Pea||Spinach, turnip, corn, beans, celery, radish, eggplant, carrot, cucumber, tomato||Onion|
|Potato||Carrot, onion, Brassicas, bush beans, celery, garlic||Cucumber, turnip, kohlrabi, Asparagus, tomato|
|Radish||Beans, beet, lettuce, pea, tomato, spinach, cucumber, carrot||Potato, Asparagus, turnip|
|Spinach||Leek, pea, lettuce, eggplant, radish, Brassicas||Potato|
|Tomato||Carrot, garlic, lettuce, onion, parsley, basil, beans, asparagus, celery, cucumber||Brassicas, potato, kohlrabi|
|Turnip||Pea, cabbage||Potato, radish, root vegetables|
Guidelines/Benefits for a Companion Vegetable Planting:
There are many ways in which companions benefit each other like in deterring pests, improving flavor, fixing nitrogen, trap cropping, improving growth etc. They are addressed as follows:
- Pest Control: Many plants produce chemicals from their body parts that help in deterring various pests. Such plants are ideal for planting near vulnerable crops. For example: many garden pests hate the smell of garlic & onion plants so planting them with some other plants will help in controlling many insects.
- Bush beans & potato together will prevent beans from the Mexican bean beetle and potato from the Colorado potato beetle.
- Plant lettuce with kohlrabi or radish to deter earth flies.
- Complementing tomato and asparagus will improve vigor of respective plants.
Tip: To prevent all the pests entering your garden, follow our link Garden Pest control and Treatment.
- Trap Cropping: In this method, ‘insect’s favorite’ crop is planted in the garden area so as to keep that pest away from rest of the crops. For example: Flea beetle is kept away from Spinach by planting Chinese mustard as trap crop. Similarly, potato plant is protected from Colorado potato beetle by planting eggplant with it.
- Flavor Improvement: Many crops impart a better flavor when grown with their compatibles. For example: basil when complemented with tomato improves its flavor.
- Space utilization: Companion planting utilizes all the selected garden space thus helps in saving it. For example: if you plant onion with beet instead of only a patch of onions; you will be saving more space in your garden. Same result is achieved if any other vegetable is grown with the veggie it is compatible with. (see chart)
- Nitrogen Fixation: Many plants have a tendency to fix nitrogen from the air and make it available to the soil. In this way, they act as natural fertilizers for many crops. For example: Legumes such as beans are common nitrogen fixers and when paired with corn crop provides it the desired nitrogen content. Corn in turn provides support to the bean plant.
Tips For Companion Planting Garden:
- Plant shade tolerant & short plants beneath bushy, tall plants.
- Use Olivia’s Growing solution to let your companions propagate faster.
- For sun-loving crops, put small plants at the southern end while tall plants at the northern end. In this way, all plantations will get the desired amount of sunlight.
- Study maturation rates of your companions before planting them.
- If you are growing carrots and tomatoes together; tomatoes may shunt the growth of carrot plant but will impart good flavor at the same time.