• Planting two or more vegetables together to help benefit their growth is called companion planting. This method of planting can be used to prevent pest problems and maximize the health of vegetables. Companion planting is especially popular in organic gardens. Rather than use chemical pesticides, you can simply use thoughtful vegetable placement to minimize pests in your garden.

    Understanding Companion Planting

    To make the best use of companion gardening, it can be useful to understand why it is that some plants seem to enjoy each other's company so much. In many cases, it has to do with protection from pests. Some plants will repel certain pests that are a particular problem to other crops. By planting these two vegetables together, both plants can enjoy the repellent properties of the first. In other cases, a plant will attract a beneficial insect, or one that will feed on problem pests that attack neighboring plants. The growth patterns of some plants also make them beneficial to others. Plants that enjoy shade grow well in the shadow of tall, sun-loving varieties.

    Beneficial Pairings

    Tomatoes are one of the more common backyard vegetables. To get the best tomato crop possible, plant asparagus, carrot or onion nearby. Potatoes are another common staple. They grow well with beans, corn and cabbages. Lettuce is best paired with carrot, cucumber or radish. Plant corn with crops that grow low to the ground and don't need a lot of direct sunlight such as potatoes, beans, cucumber, squash and pumpkin. Any crop in the cabbage family will enjoy the company of beet, cucumber, lettuce, onion, spinach and chard.

    Harmful Pairings

    Just as some vegetables will benefit their neighbors, others can harm them. Peas should not be planted near garlic and onions, or their growth will be stunted. Tomatoes and corn make a bad pairing, as do onions and beans. Potatoes should be kept away from pumpkin, tomato, cucumber, turnip and squash. Dill will prevent carrots from growing properly. Tomato and kohlrabi will each stunt the growth of the other.


    Plant Pals: Gardening with Companion Plants and Vegetables

    Companion Planting: Basic Concepts and Resources

    Companion Planting

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