Home All Things Gardening Companion Planting: Know your Plants Best Friends and Enemies

Companion Planting: Know your Plants Best Friends and Enemies

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Do we want our enemies sleep with us? Of course not! Plants have some enemies too and they don’t want them to live on their bed. However, they do have best friends and living with them will make them healthy and will prevent sickness. They are, what some people called, friends with benefits.

In planting, we need to know who the best friends of your plants in order to maximize their full potential and to get the benefits from each other. Finding good companions for your plants gives you benefits in three ways:

  1. It will improve the health or flavor of the target plant,
  2. The companion plant can assist the growth and life cycle of its partner, and
  3. The plants may repel or trap an undesirable critter or attract beneficial insects.

Is there a scientific explanation on this? According to Science, each type of plant requires a slightly different combination of nutrients. Hence, you need to put in one place plants that require different nutrients. In that manner, your garden can support a diverse range of crops while other plants will enhance the soil with nutrients needed by other crops. It is this symbiotic relationship between these plants that creates better results all around.

Companion planting guide is a necessity for farmers and gardeners most especially if you are adhere to organic farming/gardening principles.

Planting herbs will create more healthy, balanced, and sustainable garden environment in your raised bed since most of these herbs attract or repel beneficial or harmful insects. The strong scent of these herbs confuse insects and thereby protect the target plant. So, planting herbs beside your crops is one of the most organic pest management.

To give guides on companion planting, the Old Farmer’s Almanac (www.almanac.com) have provided a plant list for 10 common vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and more. The list provides the friends and enemies of each plant.

Beans

  • Friends: Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Squash, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Marigolds, Catnip

Did you know that potatoes and marigolds repel bean beetles while catnip repels flea beetles?

  • Foes: Garlic, Onions, Peppers Sunflowers

Corn

  • Friends: Beans, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Melons, Peas, Potatoes, Squash, Sunflowers
  • Foes: Tomatoes

Onions

  • Friends: Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Lettuce, Peppers, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes
  • Foes: Beans, Peas, Sage

Cucumbers

  • Friends: Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Corn, Lettuce, Peas, Radishes, Sunflowers
  • Foes: Aromatic herbs, melons, potatoes

Peppers

  • Friends: Basil, Coriander, Onions, Spinach, Tomatoes
  • Foes: Beans, Kohlrabi

Cabbage

  • Friends: Beans, Celery, Cucumbers, Dill, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Potatoes, Sage, Spinach, Thyme

Did you know that onions repel carrot flies?

  • Foes: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Strawberries, Tomatoes

Lettuce

  • Friends: Asparagus, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Spinach, Strawberries, Sunflowers, Tomatoes
  • Foes: Broccoli

Radishes

  • Friends: Basil, Coriander, Onions, Spinach, Tomatoes
  • Foes: Beans, Kohlrabi

Carrots

  • Friends: Beans, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Radishes, Rosemary, Sage, Tomatoes
  • Foes: Anise, Dill, Parsley

Tomatoes

  • Friends: Asparagus, Basil, Beans, Borage, Carrots, Celery, Dill, Lettuce, Melons, Onions, Parsley, Peppers, Radishes, Spinach, Thyme
  • Foes: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Corn, Kale, Potatoes

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