Knowing which plants work well together in your vegetable garden can reduce the number of chemicals needed, naturally deter pests and enhance crop yields – this technique is commonly known as companion planting.
Some plants serve as natural trellises for tall crops such as corn and beans, while other combinations deter or repel specific pests, attract pollinators or add nutrients to the soil.
Tomatoes and Radishes
Tomatoes are an integral component of any garden, offering deliciously versatile produce for use in sandwiches, soups, salads or stuffing and frying. Tomatoes are easy to grow and can be planted either individually in rows or groupings that share similar watering needs in order to deter pests, enhance flavor profiles and maximize space utilization within a vegetable garden.
Many cool-season vegetables like leaf lettuce, carrots, beets and radishes thrive when planted alongside tomatoes in an arrangement. Their fast-growing plants can fill in any gaps left by slow-growing tomatoes so you can harvest more of your favorite produce. Marigolds add an additional benefit by deterring pests while drawing pollinators in.
Garlic makes an ideal companion plant for tomatoes, deterring many common garden pests such as cabbage worms, cucumber beetles and squash bugs. Plus its fragrant bloom helps mask any unpleasant odors associated with unripe tomatoes while possibly improving taste as well as increasing yield! Basil also works to deter these same pests – possibly leading to higher yield.
Radishes can also be planted near tomato plants to deter flea beetles and reduce space requirements in container gardens, while their quick production can serve as an early blight protection cover crop for tomatoes.
Long-season vegetables like peas and leaf lettuce need quick-growing companions in order to be harvested before cooler weather sets in. Early strains of radish will be ready within three weeks while later varieties will need six to eight weeks. Planting near rosemary, sage and thyme can also prove advantageous; these herbs have been known to deter aphids which attack these two vegetables.
Asparagus and beans can work well together in the garden. Asparagus provides natural support for beans while its roots help loosen soil in garden beds. Furthermore, asparagus deters asparagus beetles and root-knot nematodes while tomatoes combat early blight or other diseases that affect them both.
Cabbage and Garlic
When growing a vegetable garden, your goal should be to maximize yield while making efficient use of space. Companion planting is a gardening technique designed to achieve this by pairing certain vegetables together to repel pests, increase growth rates and enhance flavor – this chart can help you select which crops to combine for optimal productivity in your vegetable patch.
Cabbage and garlic make an excellent duo in any vegetable garden due to their shared nutritional, soil pH and sunlight needs. Both plants can also be easily harvested while being grown in cool temperatures. Incorporating garlic as part of this combination may even help deter pests such as the cabbage worm, diamondback moth or whitefly from bothering the cabbage plants themselves or serve as a barrier between rows. It should be planted around their base or used as a border between rows for maximum effectiveness.
Spinach grows beautifully alongside cabbage. Both plants thrive in cool temperatures and spinach is one of the earliest seeds you should sow in spring, with large yields produced and harvesting leaves as needed – an added advantage when planted near cabbage! Make sure to harvest it early so it doesn’t start shading out its blooms!
Other leafy greens like Swiss chard, kale and collards work well alongside cabbage as they share similar cold weather conditions and harvest timeframes. Swiss chard makes an especially good option as an interplanting partner because its natural trellising capabilities help support larger plants as they mature.
Many herbs pair beautifully with cabbage. Sage and thyme can help deter aphids that attack cabbage plants while simultaneously adding delicious flavor. Basil can also help ward off pests by attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs and flies that reduce pesticide needs.
Peas are another fantastic vegetable to pair with cabbage. As fast-growing veggies that can be harvested within about the same amount of time as cabbage, peas make an excellent companion plant and require less space than carrots to thrive – they’re even great as trellises for tall plants like corn, beans or amaranth!
Beans and Peas
Beans and peas are fast-growing legumes that make great starter plants for new gardeners. Seeds can easily be sown either directly into the ground or pots, and should always be planted when frost danger has passed – never after heavy rain as seeds can easily be bruised by moisture. Once planted, support should be provided using either twiggy branches, pea netting, bamboo canes, or other forms of support to train runner beans over fences or trellises.
Similar to tomatoes and radishes, beans and peas benefit greatly from being planted alongside other vegetables and herbs – known as companion planting – for optimal success in their seasons without competing with each other for nutrients or water. Beans and peas both benefit from planting garlic alongside these plants because garlic’s natural nitrogen source makes the ground fertile, repelling bugs that could harm them simultaneously, thus making garlic an excellent companion choice.
Other companion plants for beans and peas include fennel, which repels eggplant-damaging pests, and nasturtiums which attract beneficial insects to your garden. Basil also works well when growing alongside both beans and peas; for optimal results it is wise to consult a chart of vegetable pairings prior to sowing seeds.
Peas and beans will do well in various soil types as long as they drain well and contain plenty of organic matter, with rich compost being ideal to amending the soil before and during crop development. Furthermore, it’s crucial that no other plants shade them from developing.
Spinach and Lettuce
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” rings especially true in vegetable gardens, where many gardeners have adopted companion planting techniques aimed at increasing productivity while saving costs associated with pesticide treatments and chemical sprays.
One approach for doing so is pairing vegetables from the same family together. For instance, cabbage plants do well when planted alongside its members such as beets, lettuce and carrots/radishes; planting these together also encourages pollination which in turn boosts yields. Other good companion vegetables include garlic which repels aphids as well as basil that enhances leafy green flavor.
As with other groups of vegetables, the same principle holds true with other groups of veggies. As a general guideline, heavy feeders (e.g. corn and tomatoes) should not be planted near one another as this will compete for soil nutrients while also being susceptible to the same insect pests. Onions planted near lettuce should also be avoided since this can reduce growth significantly – however radishes, cucumbers, beets, and bush beans all do very well together when grown in similar soil conditions.
Additionally, herbs can provide effective solutions to deter insects while adding fragrance and freshness to homegrown produce. Basil, chives, marjoram, parsley and rosemary all thrive when grown alongside most vegetables; their aroma enhances flavor while drawing pollinators to your plants and attracting pollinators as pollenators feed off pollen from these flowers. Nasturtiums, marigolds, sunflowers and zinnias all work as annual and perennial companions as they attract beneficial insects that consume insects that damage crops while also benefiting your vegetable harvest from pesticide-fed insect eatable crops!
As part of your spring gardening plans, take some time to draw a diagram of your vegetable garden and consider which vegetables would thrive best in each section of the plot. Spending some time thinking carefully about where and what to plant can make the difference between a good harvest and one that fails; keeping in mind that certain veggies grow best alone or when kept separate; for instance beans don’t do well when grown near onions; peppers should avoid planting near cabbage and cauliflower which have similar traits.