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Companion Plants

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companionplantsbasilandtomatoes.jpg

Companion Plants - Basil and Tomatoes

Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Forget all the pricey fertilizers and insecticides. If you want a healthy and bountiful garden on the cheap, just put a little thought into which plants you put together. Farmers have long-recognized that certain plant combinations (known as companion plantings) can:

  • Control pests
  • Attract pollinators
  • Encourage growth
  • Increase the flavor of edibles
  • Maximize garden space

Here's a list of companion plant combinations to try in your garden:

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Companion Plants

To Control Pests …  
Plant With
Asparagus tomatoes, marigolds, petunias or parsley (repels asparagus beetle)
Beans marigolds, potatoes, summer savory, nasturtium, petunias or rosemary (repel Mexican bean beetle), corn (repels raccoons), rhubarb (repels black fly)
Beets onions (repel aphids, leaf miners and more)
Broccoli rosemary, dill, mint and sage (repels cabbage moth), oregano (repels cabbage butterfly), nasturtiums (repels aphids)
Brussels sprouts oregano or nasturtiums (repels cabbage moth)
Cabbage catnip (repels aphids, cabbage moth, etc.), onions (repels rabbits), mint, sage, celery thyme, rosemary, oregano, southernwood, nasturtiums or hyssop (repels white cabbage moth), turnips or geraniums (repel cabbage worm), dill or clover (repel aphids and worms)
Carrots leeks, onions, rosemary, sage, chives or coriander (repel carrot fly)
Cauliflower sage (repels cabbage moth), oregano (repels cabbage butterfly), nasturtiums (repels aphids)
Celery leeks, onions, rosemary, sage, chives or coriander (repel carrot fly)
Chard onions (repels aphids and slugs)
Corn beans, cucumbers, melons, squash or pumpkins (deters raccoons), radishes (repels corn borers)
Cucumbers corn (protects against wilt), radishes, oregano, nasturtiums or tansy (repel cucumber beetles), garlic (repels aphids), dill (repels aphids and spider mites)
Eggplant green beans (repels Colorado potato beetle), marigolds, thyme or tarragon (repel nematodes and more)
Fruit trees nasturtiums (repels aphids, codling moths), southernwood or lavender (repels moths), clover (repels aphids), parsnips
Grapes chives (repels aphids), basil, geraniums (repel Japanese beetles), oregano (repels moths)
Green beans summer savory or potatoes (repels bean beetles)
Kohlrabi lettuce (repels earth fly), mint (repels cabbage maggot), oregano (repels cabbage butterfly), sage (repels cabbage maggot & moth), chives (repel aphids), thyme (repels cabbage moth)
Leeks carrots (repels onion fly and leek moth)
Lettuce mint or hyssop (repels aphids & cabbage worm), sage (repels slugs and cabbage moths), onions, garlic (repels rabbits) dill (repels aphids, attracts hoverflies & predatory wasps), chervil (repels aphids and slugs)
Melons marigolds or oregano (repel cucumber beetles), nasturtium (repels aphids and cucumber beetles)
Onions carrots (repels onion fly)
Peas garlic (repels aphids)
Peppers geraniums (repels beetles), marigolds (repels nematodes)
Potatoes beans, hoseradish, nasturtium, catnip or coriander (repels Colorado potato beetle), marigolds (repels nematodes)
Pumpkins marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano (repels squash bugs and beetles), radishes (repels flea beetle), dill (repels spider mites and aphids)
Radishes lettuce (repels earth fly), nasturtiums (repels flea beetles)
Raspberries garlic or rue (repels Japanese beetles)
Rhubarb garlic or onions (repel aphids)
Spinach radishes (attracts leaf miners away from spinach)
Squash nasturtiums and tansy (repels squash bugs and flea beetles), borage (deters worms), radishes (repels flea beetles, squash borers), lemon balm
Strawberries borage (attracts predatory wasps), thyme, onions (scent repels many pests)
Sweet potatoes summer savory, dill or thyme (repels weevils), marigolds (repels nematodes)
Tomatoes chives, garlic, onions, leeks, shallots or chives (repels aphids and other pests), borage, marigolds, petunias (repels hornworm), nasturitums (repels aphids and whitefly), asparagus (repels nematodes), borage (increases disease resistance), geranium
Vegetables marigolds, nasturtium or borage (smell repels many pests)
Watermelon nasturtiums (repels white fly), oregano (repels cucumber beetle)
Zucchini nasturtiums or marigold (repels squash bugs and flea beetles)
   
To Attract Pollinators …  
Plant With
Cucumbers dill or borage (attracts wasps and honey bees)
Fruit trees sweet alyssum (attracts wasps), basil or lavender (attracts bees)
Grapes hyssop or basil (attracts honey bees)
Peppers basil, bee balm, marjoram (attract honey bees and wasps)
Potatoes sweet alyssum (attracts wasps)
Pumpkins dill (attracts wasps and honey bees)
Strawberries borage (attracts bees and wasps)
Squash borage, dill (attracts bees and wasps)
Tomatoes mint, borage, bee balm or basil (attracts honey bees and wasps)
   
To Maximize Garden Space …  
Plant With
Asparagus tomatoes
Beans radishes, chard, celery
Beans, pole squash, corn, cucumbers
Beets lettuce, kohlrabi
Broccoli beets, marigolds, nasturtiums (require little calcium), lettuce, spinach, radishes (require little space)
Carrots lettuce
Celery beans, tomatoes, spinach
Corn pole beans, melons, summer squash, zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers, potatoes, peas
Cucumbers corn, beans, peas, carrots, radishes, beets
Eggplant beans, peas, spinach
Kohlrabi beets, potatoes
Lettuce beans, sunflowers, carrots
Peas beans, corn, cucumbers, carrots, turnips, radishes, potatoes, tomatoes, celery, eggplant, spinach
Peppers marjoram, basil
Potatoes radishes, spinach, lettuce, scallions, cabbage
Radishes peas, beans, lettuce
Spinach beans, peas, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, celery
Strawberries caraway
Summer squash corn, pole beans, spinach, cucumbers
Tomatoes carrots, asparagus, lettuce, spinach, arugula, chard, celery
Watermelon corn, peas, sunflowers
Zucchini corn
   
To Improve Growth & Flavor …  
Plant With
Asparagus parsley, dill, coriander, carrots, tomatoes, parsley, basil, marigolds, comfrey
Basil tomatoes
Beans carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, summer savory
Beans, bush strawberries, beets
Beets bush beans (nitrogen fixer), garlic, mint, kohlrabi
Broccoli beans (nitrogen fixer), garlic, celery, onions, potatoes, peppermint, dill, rosemary, chamomile, sage, rhubarb, chives, chervil
Brussels sprouts beans (nitrogen fixer), peppermint, dill, rosemary, chamomile, sage, rhubarb, chives
Cabbage garlic, mint, dill, rosemary, chamomile, sage, chives, celery
Carrots beans (nitrogen fixer), garlic, chives
Cauliflower beans (nitrogen fixer), garlic, peppermint, dill, rosemary, chamomile, sage, rhubarb, chives
Celery beans (nitrogen fixer), tomatoes, leeks, cauliflower, cabbage
Corn beans (nitrogen fixer)
Cucumbers beans (nitrogen fixer), nasturtium, chamomile
Eggplant beans (nitrogen fixer), garlic
Fruit trees garlic, leeks
Grapes clover
Green beans summer savory
Kale beans (nitrogen fixer), garlic, peppermint, dill, rosemary, chamomile, sage, rhubarb
Kohlrabi garlic, peppermint, dill, rosemary, chamomile, sage, rhubarb, beets
Lettuce onions, radishes, strawberries, cucumbers, carrots, okra, dill, beets, broccoli
Okra green peppers, eggplant, chervil
Onions lettuce, cabbage, beets, strawberries, tomatoes, summer savory, chamomile, leeks
Parsley asparagus
Peas beans (nitrogen fixer), carrots, beans, potatoes, cucumber, corn, radishes, turnips
Peppers bee balm, garlic, tomatoes, onions, basil
Peppers, hot tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, okra, cucumbers
Potatoes beans (nitrogen fixer), garlic, cabbage, corn, horseradish, sweet alyssum
Radishes beans (nitrogen fixer), nasturtium, chervil, cucumbers
Rutabagas peppermint, dill, rosemary, chamomile, sage
Spinach/lettuce tomatoes (provides shade to delay bolting), strawberries
Strawberries beans (nitrogen fixer), borage (increases production and flavor), onions (increases disease resistance)
Summer squash beans (nitrogen fixer)
Sweet potatoes Sweet alyssum
Swiss chard beans (nitrogen fixer)
Tomatoes basil, bee balm, chives, mint, parsley, borage (calcium-rich)
Turnips peas (nitrogen fixer) peppermint, dill, rosemary, chamomile, sage, rhubarb
Zucchini beans (nitrogen fixer)
   
Do Not Plant With
Asparagus garlic, onions, potatoes
Basil sage, rue
Beans garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, fennel, chives, gladiolus (they inhibit growth)
Beans, pole kohlrabi, summer savory, beets
Beets pole beans or mustards (they inhibit growth)
Broccoli pole beans, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers or mustards (they inhibit growth and flavor)
Brussels sprouts tomatoes, peppers, mustards
Cabbage tomatoes, peppers, mustards, pole beans, strawberries, rue, grapes
Carrots dill, parsnips
Cauliflower tomatoes, peppers, mustards
Collard greens grapes, tansy, rue
Corn tomatoes (they attract similar pests)
Cucumbers garlic, sage, rue, potatoes
Dill tomatoes (attracts hornworm), lavender, carrots
Garlic beans, peas
Grapes cabbage, radishes, collard greens
Kale tomatoes, peppers, mustards
Kohlrabi strawberries, pole beans, tomatoes, peppers, mustards
Lettuce cabbage (inhibits growth & affects flavor)
Mint parsley
Onions beans, peas, parsley, asparagus
Parsley mint
Parsnips carrots
Peaches tomatoes, potatoes, raspberries
Peas garlic, onions, shallots, chives, grapes or gladiolus (they inhibit growth)
Peppers beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, fennel, apriccots, kohlrabi
Potatoes tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, raspberries, sunflowers (increase chance of potato blight), pumpkins (they inhibit growth) rosemary
Pumpkins potatoes (they inhibit growth)
Radishes cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, hyssop, grapes
Rutabagas tomatoes, peppers, mustards
Sage onions, cucumbers, rue
Squash potatoes, sweet potatoes (will compete for space)
Strawberries broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi
Sweet potatoes squash (will compete for space)
Tomatoes corn (they attract similar pests), potatoes (increases chance for disease), fennel, dill, kohlrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other brassicas, (they inhibit growth)
Turnips tomatoes, peppers, mustards, potatoes, radishes

*Note: Mint, horseradish and some of the other plants on the list can be invasive. Always do your own research before planting your garden.

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