Friday, May 20, 2011

Tomato loves Parsley, Cabbage loves mint - All About Companion Planting


Chives
Native Americans practiced companion planting early in their history by planting corn with beans. Beans fixed nitrogen into the soil for the heavy-feeding corn, and the cornstalk provided a sort of trellis for the pole beans to climb. They added squash to spread along the ground to prevent weeds. Squash, beans, and corn complete the Three Sisters method of gardening developed by Native Americans. Nobody knows where companion planting originated, but there is evidence of its use as far back as in ancient Rome.
Herbs - Parsley, Oregano, Basil
Companion planting is a method of gardening where plants are planted together for several beneficial reasons. Some plants provide pest protection or deterrence for others. Other plants are planted as insect traps to protect the most desirable vegetable plant. And some plants feed other crops while others improve growth and flavor next to certain plants. For instance, basil improves the growth and flavor of tomato.

Companion planting as interplanting crops helps to confuse pests by hiding their host plants. Herbs intermingled with vegetables helps to produce odors that may deter some pests and confuse others. Some plants attract beneficial insects that help to control unwanted pests.

Below is a list of vegetables and their companions:

Asparagus - Tomato, parsley, basil

Bean - Potato, carrot, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, summer savory, rosemary

Beet - Onion, kohlrabi

Cabbage Family (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohrabi) - Potato, celery, dill, chamomile, sage, thyme, mint, pennyroyal, rosemary, lavendar, beets, nasturtium, onion (Thyme deters cabbage worm.)

Carrot - Peas, lettuce, chives, onion, leek, rosemary, sage, tomato, dill (Carrots release a fluid into the soil that is beneficial to peas.)

Celery - Leek, tomato, bush beans, cauliflower, cabbage

Corn - Potato, peas, beans, cucumber, pumpkin, squash

Cucumber - Beans, corn, peas, radish, nasturtium, sunflower

Eggplant - Beans

Leek - Onion, celery, carrot

Onion - Beet, strawberry, tomato, lettuce, bean, summer savory, chamomile

Pea - Squash

Pepper - Carrot, eggplant, onion, tomato

Peppers with Onions
Potato - Horseradish, bean, corn, cabbage, marigold, eggplant (as a trap crop for potato beetle)

Pumpkin - Corn

Radish - Peas, nasturtium, lettuce, cucumbers, chervil

Spinach - Strawberry

Squash - Nasturtium, corn, borage

Strawberry - Bush beans, spinach, borage

Tomato - Chives, onion, parsley, asparagus, marigold, nasturtium, mint, carrot, borage, bee balm, basil

Mint

The following combinations may cause problems:

Hyssop inhibits growth in radishes.

Rue and basil do not like each other.

Garlic, onion, and shallot stunt the growth of beans and peas.

Pole beans and beets stunt each other's growth.

Dill retards growth in carrots and tomatoes.

Kohlrabi stunts growth in tomatoes.

Tomatoes and corn are attacked by the same worm.

Tomatoes and potatoes are attacked by the same worm and the same blight.

Do not plant strawberries with cabbage or cauliflower.

Sage can be injurious to cucumber.

Fennel does not grow well with other plants.

I have been companion planting since I began organic vegetable gardening. I do not have any definitive proof that it works, but I usually do not have many insect pests in the garden--not enough to really mention. And everything tastes very good. I would rather plant this way to try to keep my vegetables healthy than not. It seems to make sense that planting one crop together in a bed would attract insect pests more easily than intercropping with other vegetables and herbs. I have not tried it on a large scale, but I have heard of some gardeners who place their vegetables in their flower beds for the exact same purpose--to confuse and deter insect pests.
©Michelle A. Potter




47 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminders. I can't seem to remember what goes well with what. How do you?

    I like the pot with several compartments.

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  2. Your list is a good reminder for gardeners, like me, who plant veggies amongst perennials. I do so for space reasons - until my new raised bed veggie garden is up and growing. Love your chive photo.

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  3. There is something to the companion planting. I saw you visited Rain Gardener at Gardening by Trial and Error..I have a very sad post regarding her..please stop by.

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  4. Wonderful posting. Companion planting is one of those things I can never seem to remember. Seems I am always getting confused, but this is a great reference for those like me with the forgetsies.

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  5. Great list. I need to start concentrating more on companion planting for the veggie garden.

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  6. Love this post! It's so difficult to find this information all in one place like you have it! Thank you!

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  7. I was most fascinated by your list of what not to plant together. Many of them I did not know. Great post.

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  8. Thanks for the post - companion planting has been on my mind this week as I figure what to interplant with beans and tomatoes. I did not know that tomatoes and parsley go well together ...

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  9. Just learning about this as a novice veg gardener and I will keep your list....very usueful..thx

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  10. This is an extremely interesting post! I grow everything in pots, considering the lack of space here, but when I do finally get a plot of land, if ever, I shall refer to your post as a guide.

    Sky

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  11. Great post! I'm always searching the web for this kind of stuff. Your onions look really good!

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  12. Great tips! I always plant some marigolds around the squash family, too, to deter some pests. But I wasn't aware of some of the other companion plants...I may have to rethink where I plant my fennel now.

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  13. @One I agree...it is a lot to remember. I must refer back to a list I made from an organic gardening book long ago.

    I love strawberry pots...I plant herbs and impatiens in them...as well as strawberries.

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  14. @joene I have tried planting cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes among my perennials because I ran out of space in the garden. It worked really well. How does it work for you...in terms of pests?

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  15. @Darla Yes, that is very sad. I did not know her, but I visited her blog a few times.

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  16. @Hanni I forget, too...need to refer to a list I have which helps. And I have noticed the forgetsies are more frequent as I age. :)

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  17. @HolleyGarden I think it helps. And I hope it works for you. Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. @Desperate Gardener Thanks! I hope it helps. I know I am always referring back to the list. Thanks for visiting.

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  19. @gardenwalkgardentalk.com I have made the mistake of planting basil and rue together...does not work. Thanks for stopping by.

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  20. @Sheila Read You are welcome, Sheila. I am glad the list helps. Good luck with your garden.

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  21. @Donna I hope it helps. Thanks for visiting.

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  22. @aseaaranion I have planted tomatoes in pots when I did not have room. In some ways, you can control more when they are in individual pots. Thanks for stopping by.

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  23. @Bumble Lush (A Garden Blog) I am glad it helps. Those are scallions that have gotten a bit big, but they are still delicious. Thanks for visiting.

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  24. @Rose I plant fennel in a pot, because it does not do well with other plants. I also plant my mints in pots because they spread so fast. Good luck and thanks for visiting.

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  25. I have a question, how can you put so much soil in that strawberry jar?

    I have one. If I put soil higher than the lowest hole, the soil will go out, especially when I water it.

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  26. Wonderful post, I liked the very clear listing of plants. Now I know what to plant in that space next to my strawberries!

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  27. I enjoyed this post. Thanks for the reminder. I used to plant this way when I first started gardening. I still do to a point, but have forgotten some of the combinations. I recently came across a used copy of one of the companion planting books, Carrots Love Parsley, or something like that. I'll have to figure out where I put it.

    Thanks for your nice comment on my GBBD post.

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  28. Awesome post! My smoky bronze fennel does play well with it's neighbors, though. I usually keep my rue away from other plants but this year I tucked a clump into a bed with lavender and 'Blue Fortune' agastache. So far all is well. This is post reminds me of a book I own called Carrots Love Tomatoes. :o)

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  29. I have to admit I don't do as much companion planting as I probably should. I do have one great book on the subject called 'Carrots Love Tomatoes' thatwas originally published back in 1975 that I refer to at times. If you haven't read it, it's worth looking for in your local library.

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  30. Stopped by from another blog. I shall be back. I like the list of companion gardening. I had heard of it but can't remember how it goes. Thanks.

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  31. Great post! I have been companion planting since I started vegetable gardening a few years ago. I think it is working. At least well enough for me to get a good harvest. I think it is funny how some plants don't get along. It is all about the drama in the garden!

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  32. What a mine of information. Don't do veg but otherwise would certianly bookmark this post. Love the simplicity and common sense of the three Sisters method. The strawberry planter is a good idea for keeping mint restrained - a herb that brings a a zing to strawberry desserts too

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  33. @GreenGardenMom Sometimes I mix the soil with some mulch which helps to prevent it from seeping out. I particularly like the strawberry jars with the openings that form 'cups' instead of just a side opening, but sometimes they are hard to find. Thanks for visiting.

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  34. @Marguerite I am so glad it helps. Thanks for stopping by.

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  35. @Corner Gardener Sue I have read that book as well...very helpful...and a very good reference. Thanks for visiting.

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  36. @Casa Mariposa I am glad things are doing well. I have noticed there are exceptions at times. That is a great book...good reference. Thanks for visiting.

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  37. @Debbie/GardenofPossibilities Great book and a great reference. I sometimes don't have room to always companion plant, but I try to do it as much as possible.

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  38. @Lola Hi Lola! I am glad you like the list. I figured if I was going to write about companion planting I should provide a complete list. Thanks for stopping by.

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  39. @Karin / Southern Meadows Isn't it funny how even in the stillness of the garden there is some drama? :) Thanks for your delightful comment!

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  40. @PatioPatch I am so glad you liked the post. Your comment made me hungry... Thanks for visiting.

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  41. fantastic info (and gorgeous pictures from your garden)! my aunt was telling me about companion planting recently but she couldn't remember the specific pairings (other than tomato and basil) so this is great. thanks so much!

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  42. @Gardening not Landscaping Thank you...I am still learning how to take good garden photos.

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  43. @tracy I often need to refer to a list as well. I am so glad it helped.

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  44. I always like to read information on companion planting! I am a big fan of it but like others mentioned I forget some of the dos and don'ts so it is great to have a fresh post about it. In fact, I see I have already made a mistake and am growing brocolli near my strawberries in my small 4x4 raised bed. Everything looks great right now but...do you know what I should watch for with this uneasy combination?

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  45. @igardendaily.com I have not experienced it, but what I have read is the strawberries will impede the growth of all the brassicas...broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. Can you move the strawberries?

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  46. I'm just starting to garden and place plants together, and it's true that plants grow better in groups. I like to keep things in separate pots still, and just place small plastic pots within big ones. The roots land up intermingling anyway, but I can move them easily from one pot to the other if they aren't growing well. I am perplexed with my tomatoes, as the bees come around but don't seem to want to light on any flowers, I am starting to think it might be because I placed wormwood there to deter the hopping flea beetle (forgot their name)

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