How to Get Started with Vegetable Companion Planting


Some plants develop greater jointly.

Companion planting is an historic apply wherever two diverse vegetation, normally greens, are planted alongside one another to advantage one or the two of them. Since of that, this very simple gardening procedure will have you making the most of a harvest you’ve only at any time dreamed of.

A single of the most effective illustrations of companion planting is the Three Sisters method, in accordance to the Grasp Gardners of San Diego County. Generations ago, early American colonists observed Native People planting corn, pole beans and squash in the exact same plot. Contrarily, Europeans would typically plant these 3 crops in different beds. Planting the a few alongside one another not only conserved backyard garden room but also benefited 1 a further:

  • Corn provided support for the bean vines as they grew.
  • Beans, which have symbiotic microbes on their roots, are “nitrogen fixers” and added this essential macronutrient back into the soil for the gain of other vegetation, in particular the corn.
  • The squash leaves offered shade and increased soil moisture retention even though discouraging pests with their prickly leaves.

This biodiversity aids just about every crop develop to its entire probable. If you are looking to uncover your plant a companion, don’t stress — you are not limited to these 3 sisters.

Determining which plants go collectively is no sweat at all. All it takes is a tiny research! Refer to this helpful companion planting chart for an in-depth seem at all the plants that you must and should not plant together.


Marigolds and tomatoes make the greatest neighbors when companion planting. (vandervelden/Getty Pictures Signature)

Companion Planting Do’s

The most grown crops — tomatoes, corn, beans and squash — go excellent with each other.

Planting marigolds and tomatoes in close proximity assists repel predatory bugs that like ingesting tomatoes and spreading blight.

Squash and corn go terrific with each other mainly because corn gives some important afternoon shade to the developing squash.

Beans and corn also make a perfect pair because the corn acts as a pure trellis for the beans — supplying them a structured location to grow upward and climb!


Some plants really do not make fantastic neighbors, so refer to this guide when deciding on which vegetation to pair. (Dcwcreations/Getty Photographs)

Companion Planting Don’ts

Whilst planting specific vegetation jointly does support progress, some plants are bullies in direction of other individuals — performing just like the nasty bugs, weeds and soil illness that are also hoping to harm your plants.

For case in point, planting garlic and onions around beans is a huge no-no. Each absorb vitamins from the soil that will stunt — and inevitably destroy — the beans. Check out out for bullies like these!


Japanese beetle on a green leaf.
Some plants will draw the consideration of pests, like this Japanese beetle, absent from your prized generate. (PaulReevesPhotography/Getty Photos)

Suggestions for Deterring Pests

Pam Zaklan, an Oregon Condition University Extension Assistance Learn Gardener, features these suggestions to those who want to preserve pests out of their companion planting garden:

  • Use Four O’clock flowers to draw in Japanese beetles out of roses.
  • Plant mustard to discourage cabbage worms and harlequin bugs from cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.
  • Garlic deters rabbits as perfectly as tree borers, aphids, cabbage looper, codling moths, Japanese beetles, snails, carrot root flies, ants and cabbage maggots. What’s more, it is especially useful when planted around, roses, cucumbers, peas, lettuce or celery.
  • Plant spearmint and peppermint to draw in bees and repel black flea beetles, ants, mosquitoes, white cabbage butterflies, aphids, and cabbage maggots. Do not plant mint in the vicinity of parsley. Plant mints in containers as they can quickly get out of control.
  • For squash bugs, plant mint, chives, garlic, onion, tansy, radishes, nasturtiums, marigolds and bee balm around and among the vines of winter season and summertime squash.

View this Backyard Wise online video to understand about companion planting and choose your initial ways into a broader earth of gardening.

The much more you tumble in love with obtaining a good backyard, the additional you comprehend how a great deal you really don’t know. Exmark’s Yard Sensible responses the lawn-and-backyard queries owners are on the lookout for.


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Debbie A. Cunningham

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