Companion planting can help maximize space and yield in your vegetable garden by reducing pest and disease issues, improving flavor, fostering growth, and providing for successful watering strategies.
Combine vegetables with plants of similar families that will share similar growth rates. Include plants that will deter pests or help in pollination efforts as part of your planting.
Peas and Potatoes
Growing vegetables alongside other plants not only adds variety and enhances the flavor of your food, but can also reduce pest pressure on both. Vegetable plants interact with each other in various ways: providing nutrients for soil health (like beans and peas), deterring pests from other plants or simply improving it or adding fragrance – these relationships between crops known as companion crops make a successful garden design!
If you plan to grow potatoes, planting them near corn, leeks, radishes and onions which provide nitrogen will help your plant withstand fusarium crown and root rot caused by lack of nitrogen. Furthermore, legumes like peas and beans make ideal companion plants as they fix nitrogen into the soil without taking away from other crops and will supply a steady source of nitrates that your potato crop requires for healthy growth.
Peas are an ideal cool-weather crop to plant early spring and again in the fall, enriching soils with nitrogen while providing rows 3 feet apart for planting. There are four main varieties of peas: shelling, snow snap and dry varieties. Shelling peas feature inedible pods that must be removed before eating the seed inside; while snow snap and dry varieties produce edible flat stringless pods containing small peas that are edible once picked from them.
Peas grow best when planted near other vegetables, herbs and flowers such as herbs such as dill marigolds or parsley that protect from weeds; basil chives cilantro repel aphids while adding scent from thyme tarragon or rosemary enhance the taste of peas.
Radishes and Carrots
Carrots typically thrive in shaded areas of your garden and require consistent moisture for tender roots. Radishes provide both of these needs by germinating quickly – usually within a week – and spreading durable foliage that protects from rainstorms while keeping the ground surface soft and damp. They also break up compacted soil that carrots have difficulty penetrating, helping spread out their roots more freely over the garden surface.
Carrots pair well with many vegetables in the vegetable garden, but there are certain combinations that stand out:
Onions Onions provide two benefits to carrots; they repel pests known to attack them (carrot flies) while also helping aerate soil so carrots have access to all their necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Onions also add nitrogen into the soil and can improve flavor of any nearby crops such as carrots.
Beans Beans provide much-needed nitrogen to the soil while simultaneously shading nearby carrots and lettuce plants, and helping deter cabbage flies from landing on them. In addition, beans make excellent companion plants for brassicas, spinach, and beets, providing their nitrogen needs while simultaneously deterring cabbage flies.
While cucumbers can co-exist well with many vegetables, they do not fare well when planted with beans or peppers as they compete for water and nutrients, potentially impeding their development. Nasturtiums make an ideal companion, providing natural ground cover while suppressing weeds to help keep soil loose and fertile.
Other flowers, such as marigolds and dill, can help deter pests from your carrots as well as add color and variety to the vegetable garden. These blooms will not only protect their produce from insects but will also add visual interest and aesthetic charm.
Beets and Green Leafy Vegetables
Beets make great companion plants when growing leafy vegetables in your garden, as they’re fast-growing and help keep soil temperatures down. Their similar growing requirements also make them an excellent candidate for intercropping (planting fast-growing crops together), such as leeks or radishes; just remember to follow planting spacing recommendations accordingly!
Beets can also help prevent disease and insect damage to brassica vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, while their greens make an appealing complement.
Legumes such as beans and peas make great companion plants for beets as they help fix nitrogen into the soil through nitrogen fixing. You can plant both together in early spring, with legumes adding nitrogen while their leaves grow into maturity.
Leafy vegetables such as chard and kale make great companions for beets because they thrive in similar temperatures. Their shallow roots allow you to plant them close by for easy harvesting of both greens and root crops simultaneously.
As an added benefit, chard attracts pollinators and beneficial insects alike, while nasturtium acts as an excellent ground cover in vegetable gardens while repelling aphids and flea beetles.
Beets make for great companion plants in any garden, such as onions, garlic, chives and strong-scented herbs such as thyme, savory, rosemary summer sage mint. Marigolds can provide natural pest control when planted near beets; their bright flowers help repel aphids and other common pests from bothering your crop (Note: Marigolds should generally be considered safe but avoid planting near raw beets due to high levels of oxalates and glucosinolates.)
Tomatoes and Cucumbers
Decidng whether cucumbers and tomatoes should be grown together depends heavily on their specific sun, soil and water requirements. Interplanting them could help relieve stress on garden beds while increasing yield potential over time; if their needs differ significantly however, interplanting could actually compete for key nutrients essential to their survival and healthy development.
Tomatoes and cucumbers, both warm season crops, require full sunlight in order to thrive and access to essential nutrients to support their rapid development into mature vegetables. When planted too close together they risk one crop crowding out the other preventing both from getting enough of these vital elements resulting in poor health and reduced yields for both.
If you want to reduce the risk of disease transmission between cucumbers and tomatoes in your garden, planting them separately in their own areas. This makes it easier to provide both with enough sun, soil and water as well as reduce any risks related to disease transference between them.
If you must combine these crops, make sure they are kept 18 inches or further apart to allow for improved air circulation, reduced disease spread, and enhanced nutrient uptake between both veggies. This will allow for optimal conditions.
Similar to tomatoes, cucumbers also benefit from having beneficial companion plants in their garden. Herbs such as basil, dill and oregano can help repel pests while providing additional vitamins and minerals for growth. Flowers like marigolds and nasturtiums make great choices to attract pollinators into the area.
Beans and peas make great companions for cucumbers, providing free nitrogen from the air that can be utilized by cucumbers as well as other plants. Furthermore, these legumes help replenish soil fertility with their organic matter rich soil additions that replenish its fertility levels.