Two days ago I planted seed for tomatoes, peppers, okra, and carrots. Not such a big deal really, but I planted them all together in the same raised bed area. I know your probably thinking “whoa, can all of that be grown together in the same area?” And the answer is “yes, as long as you learn what types of plants work together compatibly.”
Of course there is a bit of an art to learning what types of plants work well together and are actually of benefit to each other. This afternoon I plan to plant corn, cucumbers, and some beans together.
There are quite a few benefits to learning about companion planting and what does and doesn’t work well together.
Companion planting allows the plants to benefit from being able to help each other deter pests, attract beneficial insects, helping to boost the growth of the plants by which they have been planted. For example if beans are planted next to corn they work to add nutrients to the soil ,namely nitrogen, which the corn feeds upon to grow strong. Likewise, peanuts (which are an underground legume) can also be planted next to corn to add nitrogen to the soil.
There are also beautiful flowers that can be interspersed throughout your vegetable garden, not only to help make your vegetable garden a thing of beauty, but the flowers also help to attract beneficial insects and to deter bad insects, and some flowers even help to ward off deer and rabbits.
For instance marigolds can help keep deer away and also repel nematodes. Plants in the mint family will keep aphids at bay and are not only good for the vegetable garden, but how about planting them in your rose garden to keep the aphids away? Basil also works well planted near tomatoes and can serve to keep mosquitoes and mites and funguses away.
Nasturtiums work very well around the garden to repel whiteflies and squash bugs. Plant it around your pumpkins and tomatoes for a pretty look, and the added benefit of nasturtiums is that the pretty flowers can add a peppery taste to your salads.
Here is a list of plants that can work together in your garden, not only to be of benefit to each other, but also to beautify the vegetable garden a bit as well. You may later find that there are even more plants that are compatible or non compatible within these groups. This list just serves as a starting point to help you along the way to discovering “The Art of Companion Planting”
Friend:beets,celery,corn,cucumber,marigolds,eggplant,melons,potatoes,strawberries,brassicas(cabbage family plants such as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts,etc.)
Foe: garlic,onion, fennel
Foe: pole beans
Friend: bush bean,cabbage, chamomile,corn,garlic,potatoes,rosemary
Foe : strawberries, tomato,pole bean
Friend: celery, corn, dill,onion,peas,potatoes,rosemary, fava bean
Foe: strawberries, tomato, pole bean
Friend: chives, leeks, onion,lettuce, peas,tomato
Melons (such as cantaloupe, etc., other than watermelon)
Friend: brassicas,corn, eggplant,legumes,potato
Pumpkins and Squash
Friend: bush beans
Foe: tall vegetables (any kind)
(Article and photos copyright: T.Wilson & Small Town Living/stliving.com)