Companion Planting Planner

Companion planting is one of easiest and most natural ways to set your vegetable garden up for success.

  1. When you are trying to plant a successful vegetable garden, growing certain plants together, a practice known as companion planting, has numerous benefits for your garden. Some vegetable plants help shield their neighbor from the sun, while others keep predatory insects away and provide protection against disease.
  2. The best thing about companion planting is that it increases the biodiversity of your patch; that is, the variety of life forms in your garden. Some of the greatest companion plants in my garden are those which have nothing to do with my vegetable patch, but are the awesome locally native trees and shrubs I have planted about the place.

There are many things that go into a successful garden, like good soil, proper sunlight, and timely watering. But one that is often overlooked is practicing the simple basics of companion planting.

When you are trying to plant a successful vegetable garden, growing certain plants together, a practice known as companion planting, has numerous benefits for your garden. Some vegetable plants help shield their neighbor from the sun, while others keep predatory insects away and provide protection against disease. A single page application could be a good format for the companion planner due to its cross-platform compatibility. Has 970 commits by a single person so a lot of work has gone into it. But the very complex code base and software design quality isn't worth the time spent learning someone else's code/system.

The Good Of Companion Planting

Companion Planting Basics and Garden Planning

What you place where in the garden can have a huge impact on another plant’s health and yields. When vegetable plants are grown near plants they are compatible with, good things occur.

Some plants benefit from the nutrients provided to the soil from their companion partner plants. Others benefit because their companion plants help deter and drive away pests.

In addition, companion plants can also provide support or shade for a fellow variety grown in close proximity. Take for instance, growing lettuce mix underneath tomato plants in mid-summer.

The tomato plants helps in providing shade for the lettuce during the heat of summer. Meanwhile, the lettuce crop acts as a living mulch. Not only conserving moisture in the soil for the tomato plants, but helping keep weeds out too.

The Non-Compatible Side Of Companion Planting

Unfortunately, certain plants can also have a negative effect on others when planted nearby. And it can certainly spell big trouble for their well-being and productivity.

What kind of trouble? Well, for starters, some can stunt the root and foliage growth of other vegetable plants when growing nearby.

Other plants, meanwhile, can attract unwanted pests to a nearby plant that can severely limit harvests.

Good Companion Planting Basics

So where you do you start when it comes to companion planting basics? It all starts with taking stock of everything you will be growing.

Next, you need to arm yourself with a bit of planting knowledge of what plants do best near others, and which don’t. (We have included some great basic companion partner info in the next section)

Companion Planting Guide - Farmers' Almanac

From there, you can create a garden plan utilizing simple companion planting basics. Basics that can set the stage for healthier plants, better growth, and bigger harvests!

And those basics go far beyond just planting fellow vegetable plants. Many herbs and flowers can and should be grown in the garden as well for their positive benefits to nearby vegetable plants.

As it turns out, not only are many annuals and herbs beautiful and fragrant, they also are great for repelling common garden pests!

In fact, in our Companion Planting Experiment a few years back in our OWG test garden, it was amazing at just how effective annual flowers can be in keeping a garden safe from pests.

With all of that in mind, here is a look at some of the best relationships between common vegetable plants in the garden.

Companion Planting In The Vegetable Garden

Tomatoes and Peppers

These two garden favorites are wonderful to grow near or with cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, lettuce and asparagus. But if you really want to help your tomatoes grow, plant basil nearby.

Basil is well-known as a natural deterrent against tomato hornworms, aphids, and beetles. Ind addition, it’s thought that growing basil near tomatoes also helps to improve their flavor

One more benefit to growing basil – it can help to repel mosquitoes. And who wouldn’t like to garden more without those pesky pests!

Always avoid planting peppers and tomatoes near potato plants. Blight and disease can easily be shared and spread between the plants.

Companion Planting Planner

Beans, Corn, Cucumbers & Squash

Beans do extremely well when planted with corn. Native Americans used this as part of the “Three Sister” planting method, planting corn, beans and squash together.

Companion Planting Chart, Map And Guide Companion Gardening ...

As it went, the corn stalks supported the bean vines. Meanwhile, the beans help to fix nitrogen in the soil for the corn. All while the prickly squash vines help keep out racoon and other pests.

Cucumbers and zucchini likewise are excellent crops to grow with beans and corn. Other crops that will do well near beans are potatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, pumpkins and gourds.

When growing beans, two crops to avoid are garlic and onion. Unfortunately, these two crops actually stunt the growth of the beans and can severely limit the harvest.

Cucumbers

Plant near beans, corn and radishes. The corn works really well as it provides some shade protection for the cucumbers and allows for the vines to grow up and have support.

Avoid planting cucumbers around potatoes as they can encourage blight in potato crops.

Garlic and Onion

Not only do garlic and onions go well with peppers and tomatoes in the kitchen, they also grow well in the garden together.

Plant onions and garlic near or with tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, carrots, lettuce and basil. In addition to avoiding planting near beans, keep away from peas and strawberries as well.

Broccoli

Members of the broccoli family do well when planted near carrots, and near greens such as lettuce, kale and spinach.

Peas

Plant peas with corn, carrots, celery, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and turnips. Avoid planting with onions, garlic and shallots.

They can also be planted near carrots, cucumbers. Do not plant directly near the nightshade family plants of potatoes, peppers or tomatoes.

Plant Those Marigolds!

There are many annual flowers that can really help to repel pests. At the top of list are Marigolds. But others such as Alyssum, Zinnias and Nasturtiums all work wonders too.

Marigolds can help protect against an entire cast of vegetable garden pests. That includes aphids, nematodes, tomato hornworms, squash bugs and even cabbage worms. See; Growing Marigolds In The Garden

Even better, they help to keep rabbits, deer and squirrels at a distance too with their strong scent. But if that isn’t enough, consider that marigolds also attract all kinds of beneficial pollinators with their beautiful blooms.

Check Out Our Latest Garden Podcast: 8 Simple Garden Tools Every Gardener Should Own For A Better Garden!

Honey bees, butterflies, and wasps all love the flashy blooms and sweet nectar that marigolds produce. And marigolds are one of the easiest annual flowers to grow!

Marigold varieties seed French Margiolds can be directly seeded in the garden to germinate and grow quickly. Not only do they help protect your vegetable plants, they look great too!

Here is to trying out companion planting in your garden this year. And, to growing your best garden ever! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary

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By Linda Ly

Gardeners know that a diverse mix of plants, from annuals and perennials to flowers and vegetables, makes for a healthier garden. But did you know that the right (or wrong) combination of certain plants could actually make them more (or less) productive?

The process is known as companion planting. It is believed that growing certain plants in close proximity to others may help deter pests, promote growth and even improve flavor—or on the opposite end of the spectrum, certain plants, when planted close to one another, may actually stunt each other’s growth.

Learn which flowers and veggies work well together, and which ones should be planted far from one another.

What are Companion Plants?

Companion plants are plants that complement one another in terms of growth and production. For example, one plant may attract an insect that might protect a companion plant. Another plant may act as a repellent for a bug that might be harmful to the plant next to it.

Companion Planting Chart

It is also important to look at the nutrients individual plants need. A companion plant may need less of one specific nutrient while its neighbor desperately needs it to thrive. In this case, companion planting would eliminate the competition between the two plants.

Benefits of Companion Planting

There are many benefits to companion planting. Most gardeners would agree, the more help you can get to achieve a productive, fruitful garden, the better! What and how can companion planting help?

  • Natural Supports – Plants and flowers that grow tall and strong will lend themselves as natural, organic supports to crops that grow low or sprawl. An example of this would be planting tall sunflowers next to cucumbers or snap peas. The sprawling crops can use the taller plants as a trellis.
  • Plant Health – Growing plants next to their companions can improve the overall health of both plants. By eliminating competition between plants, you allow one to absorb what it may need without depriving the other. Additionally, as nutrients are pulled from the soil by one plant, the result can actually change the entire biochemistry of the soil. And when done right, the soil can then change or improve the flavor of other plants in the area.
  • Optimize Soil – A plant’s root system can easily affect the soil it is in. Plants with long taproots like parsnips and carrots will lift nutrients from the depths of the soil. The nutrients can then benefit those plants with shallow root systems. Nitrogen is also important to many plants, and some, such as peas and beans, actually help to draw nitrogen in, making it more available in the soil for the plants that need it.
  • Prevent Weeds – Alternating upright plants and sprawling ones can create a thicker cover across the majority of the open land in your garden area, which will ultimately prevent weeds.
  • Regulate Shade & Wind – Too much sun can damage tender and fragile plants. Companion planting can help prevent this by offering shelter as taller plants protect smaller ones. The same is true for wind. The taller and larger plants will offer protection from harsh winds.

Companion Planting Guide For Vegetables

Popular Companion Plants for Vegetables

  • Dill and Basil – Dill and basil are natural protectants for tomato plants, keeping away the dreaded hornworm.
  • Marigolds – One of the best companion plants out there, marigolds help virtually any vegetable. They are particularly helpful for tomatoes, repelling the nematodes that like to attack the roots of vegetables.
  • Mint – Mint repels both ants and cabbage moths.
  • Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums help prevent insects, particularly aphids, from attacking other plants. Aphids love Nasturtiums and will surround them instead of their neighboring plants.
  • Sage – Another helpful herb in the garden, sage can protect from cabbage moths.
  • Zinnias – Zinnias are excellent companion plants and attract ladybugs into the garden. Ladybugs are known to control unwanted pests like cabbage flies.

Companion Planting Chart

Type of VegetableFriendsEnemiesSpecial Notes
Asparagus
Basil, carrots, coriander, dill, marigolds, parsley, tomatoesGarlic, onions, potatoesMarigolds, parsley and tomatoes protect against asparagus beetles.
Basil
Asparagus, beans, beets, bell peppers, cabbage, chili peppers, eggplant, marigolds, oregano, potatoes, tomatoesRueWhen basil is grown about 1 foot from tomato plants, it will increase the tomatoes yield. It also improves the flavor of lettuce.
Beans
Beets, carrots, chard, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, peas, radishesGarlic, onionsNasturtiums and rosemary deter bean beetles
Beets
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bush beans, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kohlrabi, onionsCharlock, field mustard, pole beansPole beans and beets will compete for growth. Composted beet leaves add magnesium to soil when mixed. Magnesium plays an important role in photosynthesis.
Broccoli
Basil, beets, bush beans, carrots, celery, chamomile, cucumber, dill, garlic, lettuce, marigolds, mint, nasturtiums, onions, radishes, rosemary, sage, spinach, Swiss chard, thymeAsparagus, cantaloupe, climbing beans, mustard, peppers, pumpkins, strawberries, sweet corn, watermelonRosemary repels the cabbage fly that is detrimental to broccoli.
Cabbage
Beets, celery, chard, lettuce, spinach, onionsKohlrabi, tomatoesHyssop, mint, and sage deter cabbage moths
Carrots
Beans, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, tomatoesDillChives improve flavor, rosemary deters carrot flies
Corn
Climbing beans, cucumber, marjoram, peas, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, zucchiniTomatoesTomato worms and corn earworms like both plants. Beans and peas supply nitrogen.
Onions
Cabbage, carrots, chard, lettuce, peppers, tomatoesBeans, peasChamomile improves growth and flavor
Potatoes
Basil, beans, celery, corn, garlic, horseradish, lettuce, marigolds, onions, peas, radishes, spinachAsparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, kohlrabi, melons, peppers, raspberries, squash, sunflowers, strawberries, tomatoesCucumbers, tomatoes and raspberries attract harmful pests to potatoes. Horseradish increases disease resistance.
Pumpkin
Beans, corn, marigolds, nasturtiums, squashPotatoesNONE
Radishes
Beets, cabbage, carrots, chives, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, spinach, squashHyssopsRadish plants will work as a trap crop to protect against certain beetles.
Squash
Beans, corn, dill, marigolds, nasturtiums, peas, radishes, strawberries, sunflowersPotatoesSquash has similar traits to pumpkin in terms of companion plants.
Strawberries
Bush beans, caraway, chives, lettuce, onions, sage, spinach, squashCabbage family, eggplants, peppers, potatoes, tomatoesNONE
Tomatoes
Asparagus, carrots, celery, onions, parsley, peppersCorn, dill, kohlrabi, potatoesBasil, mint, and bee balm improve growth and flavor
Zucchini
Beans, corn, dill, garlic, marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano, peas, radishes, spinachPotatoes and pumpkinNONE

Tips for Watering Companion Plants

When growing different varieties of plants side by side, try to group them together by water needs. Deep-rooted vegetables like tomatoes and asparagus should be placed in the same bed, as they will thrive with less frequent (but more thorough) watering that soaks deep into the soil.

On the flip side, shallow- to medium-rooted plants like beans and chard benefit from more frequent watering that saturates just the first few inches of soil. Wind soaker hoses around your plants and attach them to dual outlet electronic timers to easily manage your watering schedule for different beds.

Companion planting is a great way to ensure you have a garden that will grow healthy plants and produce large bounties. A lot of work goes into maintaining a productive garden, so it is worth the time, effort and research it takes to grow like-minded plants that will help each other out. And with Gilmour’s guide to companion planting, we take some of the guesswork out of the process for you!