When it comes to planting a garden, think of your vegetable patch as a team effort. Some plants will prosper in pairs, and others won’t get along so well. But with a little planning, you can map out your garden with the perfect arrangement of companion plants to get a greater crop yield — and one that tastes delicious.
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting refers to finding crops that work better together in pairs. If you plant tomatoes with basil, the tomatoes will taste better and yield up to 20% more crops upon harvest. If your cabbage patch is under attack from cabbage worms, plant garlic nearby to repel them.
The history of companion planting stems back to ancient China. Thousands of years ago, mosquito ferns were planted in tandem with rice crops. Mosquito ferns are a super fertilizer, as they host colonies of blue-green algae (cyanobacterium) that transform atmospheric nitrogen into nitrate fertilizer.
The Native Americans also used a method known as “three sisters planting,” which plants corn, beans, and squash together.
Here’s how it works: corn provides a natural trellis for beans to climb, and bean vines stabilize corn plants. Beans also infuse the soil with nitrogen, enhancing the growth of the corn and squash. Squash vines create a mulch-like soil surface, preventing moisture from evaporating, and the spiny squash puts off predators from getting too close.
Companion Planting Chart
Check out this companion planting chart to learn more about the best companion plants for your garden.
The following list details some of the most popular companion planting choices.
Garlic Companion Planting
Plant Near: Fruit trees, nightshades (potatoes, carrots, capiscum peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, and other vine plants), marigolds, mints
Don’t Plant With: Beans and peas
Asparagus Companion Planting
Plant Near: Tomatoes, parsley, dill, coriander, basil, parsley, comfrey, marigolds, nasturtiums
Don’t Plant With: Alliums, potatoes
Beans And Legumes Companion Planting
Plant Near: Beets, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, eggplant, peas, tomatoes, brassicas, corn, grapes, larkspur, spinach, potato, marigolds, mustards, radish, potato, peppermint, rosemary, lettuce, onions, squashes
Don’t Plant With: Tomatoes, chilli peppers
Kale Companion Plants
Plant Near: Beets, alliums, spinach, chards, celery, chamomile, marigolds, dill, sage, peas, spearmint, thyme, wormwood, borage, nasturtium, garlic, rye-grass, rosemary, onions, corn, wheat, potatoes
Don’t Plant With: Tomatoes, beans, strawberries
Companion Plants For Tomatoes
Plant Near: Basil, chives, parsley, onions, celery, borage, nasturtiums, geraniums, calendula, carrots
Don’t Plant With: Potatoes, fennel, brassicas, cucumber, beans
Strawberry Companion Plants
Plant Near: Thyme, borage, caraway, bush beans (string beans)
Don’t Plant With: Brassicas, tomatoes, potatoes, okra, mint
Okra Companion Plants
Plant Near: Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, beans, lettuce, squash
Cucumber Companion Planting
Plant Near: Beans, celery, corn, dill, lettuce, peas, radishes
Don’t Plant With: Aromatic herbs, potatoes, tomatoes
Squash Companion Plants
Plant Near: Fruit trees, strawberries, corn, beans, okra, buckwheat, borage, radishes, marigolds, nasturtiums