So you are thinking of starting a vegetable garden but did you know that plants not only like to be with other plants but sometimes they thrive when paired with other varieties?
In most areas of gardening companion planting is important, but with vegetable gardening a knowledge of plant pairing is vitally important.
Companion planting can help to prevent insects, diseases in certain plants. For example, planting marigolds around tomato plants can help to prevent deer from eating them but the opposite can also be true and there are some combinations that should be avoided as it could end up diminishing the plant’s taste and even help it to become infected with diseases.
Here are some examples of companion planting that can help your garden thrive.
Basil: This herb is a companion to almost any vegetable and plant. It helps vegetables like tomatoes to achieve full flavour and to promote growth.
Beans: This vegetable is perfect to plant around beets, carrots, cucumbers, and strawberries. Other friends of beans include marigolds and summer savoury which work to help enhance the flavour of the beans and prevent beetles from destroying them. One to avoid planting with beans is garlic as this will stunt their growth.
Carrots: Chives, rosemary, and sage are good friends with carrots. They help carrots to be flavourful and to stop insects like the carrot fly from destroying the carrots. Be sure not to plant dill near carrots though as this can prevent the carrots from growing properly.
Cucumbers: Beans and tomatoes are great companions to cucumbers. You can plant some marigolds around the base of the plants to help deter beetles and plant some Tansy to prevent ants. Be sure not to plant sage anywhere near cucumbers as sage can instantly destroy the plant.
Strawberries: Friends of strawberries include lettuce and thyme. Thyme especially helps to prevent worms from infesting the strawberry plant.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes have many companions. These include cucumbers, basil, and mint to help to enhance the flavour of the tomatoes. Some things to keep away from tomatoes are dill, and potatoes. While dill can be placed near tomatoes when it’s growing, once it reaches maturity it can prevent the tomatoes from properly growing.
This guide shows how you can use companion planting to make the most of your harvest.