Companion planting is a tried and true method of gardening that has been around for thousands of years. The earliest record of companion, or shared planting, is known today as the ‘Three Sisters Garden’. Attributed to the Native Northern Americans, the Three Sister Garden consists of corn, beans and squash. Each vegetable provides benefits to the others and each will grow better together than apart.
The tall, sturdy corn stalks provide support for climbing bean vines, beans increase the nitrogen in the soil for the corn and the huge squash leaves shade the ground to keep the shallow corn roots cool. The squash plant leaves act as a living mulch to keep weeds down and conserve moisture for all three crops.
Here are some other vegetable and herb plant companions that grow well together.
Surround cabbage plants with companion plants that will repel cabbage worms, like onion, dill, sage, beets, rosemary, thyme and lavender.
Grow any vegetable in the cabbage family (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.) with the above mentioned companion plants for better production and fewer pest problems.
Cucumbers and sunflowers are good companion plants. Sunflowers produce very little shade, so cucumbers can thrive when planted at their base and sunflower stalks provide a strong support which cucumber vines can grow on.
Corn and cucumbers grow well together also.
Also check out my post: How To Start a Fruit and Vegetable Garden.
Potatoes and eggplants are great companions, because the eggplant acts as a trap for the potato beetle. The underground growing potato helps keep soil loosened so these above-ground plants thrive when planted close by; broccoli, cabbage, peas, kale and lettuce.
The sweetheart of the home garden can taste even better when basil and/or oregano are planted nearby.
Onions, chives, parsley, carrots and nasturtiums are also good companion plants for tomatoes and for each other. Nasturtiums are edible flowers that add plant-boosting nitrogen to garden soil.
Zucchini plants have large leaves that keep soil cool and help prevent weed growth in the garden. Corn, tomatoes and beets appreciate the cooler soil provided by the large leaves. Plant parsley nearby to repel pests that enjoy feasting on zucchini.
Natural Pest Repellent
Plant marigolds around the garden perimeter and between the tomatoes plants. Marigolds work hard to repel a variety of above and below ground insects.
The scent of radishes repel insects throughout a garden and are especially beneficial when used as a companion plant for lettuce and cucumbers.