Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves etc. that can
alternately repel (anti-feedants) and/or attract insects depending on your
needs. In some situations they can also help enhance the growth rate and
flavor of other varieties.
shows us that using companion planting through out the landscape is an
important part of integrated pest management. In essence companion planting
helps bring a balanced eco-system to your landscape, allowing nature to do
its' job. Nature integrates a diversity of plants, insects, animals, and
other organisms into every ecosystem so there is no waste. The death of one
organism can create food for another, meaning symbiotic relationships all
around. We consider companion planting to be a holistic concept due to
the many intricate levels in which it works with the ecology.
By using companion planting, many gardeners find that they can discourage
harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many varieties of herbs,
flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. Be open to experimenting and find
what works for you. Some possibilities would be using certain plants as a border, backdrop
or interplanting in your flower or vegetable beds where you have specific needs. Use
plants that are native to your area so the insects you want to attract already know what
to look for! Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most popular with beneficial
Companion planting can combine beauty and purpose to give you an
enjoyable, healthy environment. Have fun, let your imagination soar. There are many ways
you can find to incorporate these useful plants in your garden, orchard, flower beds etc.
Following is a our plant guide (with some tips) to help you "work
in harmony with nature." Yes- we do practice companion planting at
Golden Harvest Organics LLC. We always have.
This guide is not intended to solve garden problems as the suggestions may work
differently in various situations or perhaps not at all. Don't let that discourage you from giving
the ideas a try! What works for some may not work for others and vice versa. Experimenting
is the only way we can gain new insight for our own individual gardens.
This page is Copyright
© Golden Harvest Organics LLC and the information may not
be physically or electronically copied, printed or otherwise distributed
without specific permission from our company.
Perennial that roots deeply. Fixes the soil with nitrogen, accumulates iron, magnesium,
phosphorous and potassium. Withstands droughts with it's long taproot and can improve just
about any soil! Alfalfa has the ability to break up hard clay soil and can even send its'
roots through rocks! Now that is a tenacious plant! Alfalfa is practically pest and
disease free. It needs only natural rainfall to survive.
A tropical annual that needs hot conditions to flourish.
Good with sweet corn, it's leaves provide shade giving the corm a rich, moist root run.
Host to predatory ground beetles. Eat the young leaves in salads.
Licorice flavored herb, good host for predatory wasps which
prey on aphids and it is also said to repel aphids. Deters pests from brassicas by
camouflaging their odor. Improves the vigor of any plants growing near it. Used in
ointments to protect against bug stings and bites. Good to plant with coriander.
ASPARAGUS: Friends: Aster
family flowers, dill ,coriander, carrots, tomatoes, parsley, basil, comfrey and
marigolds. Avoid: Onions, garlic and potatoes.
Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with
peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Basil can be helpful in repelling
thrips. It is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Do not plant near rue or
A fresh leaf bay leaf in each storage container of beans
or grains will deter weevils and moths. Sprinkle dried leaves with other deterrent herbs
in garden as natural insecticide dust. A good combo: Bay leaves, cayenne pepper, tansy and
All bean enrich the soil with nitrogen fixed form the
air, improving the conditions for whatever crop you plant after the beans
are finished. In general they are good company for carrots, celery, chards, corn,
eggplant, peas, potatoes, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and cucumbers.
Beans are great for
heavy nitrogen users like corn and grain plants because the nitrogen used up by the corn and grains
are replaced at the end of the season when the bean plants die back. French Haricot beans, sweet corn and
melons are a good combo. Summer savory deters bean beetles and improves
growth and flavor. Keep beans away from the alliums. Growing tip: Do
not allow beans to mature on the plant, or it will stop producing, and do
not pick beans or cultivate when they are wet, or it will spread viral
BEE BALM (Oswego, Monarda):
Plant with tomatoes to improve growth
and flavor. Great for attracting beneficials and bees of course. Pretty perennial that
tends to get powdery mildew.
Good for adding minerals to the soil. The leaves are composed
of 25% magnesium making them a valuable addition to the compost pile if you
don't care to eat them. Beets are also beneficial to beans with the exception of runner beans.
Runner or pole beans and beets stunt each other's growth. Companions for
beets are lettuce, onions and brassicas. Beets and kohlrabi grow perfectly
together. Beets are helped by
garlic and mints. Garlic improves growth and flavor. Rather
than planting invasive mints around beets use your mint clippings as a
Companion plant for tomatoes, squash,
strawberries and most plants.
Deters tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. One of the best bee and wasp attracting plants.
Adds trace minerals to the soil and a good addition the compost pile.
The leaves contain vitamin C and are rich in calcium, potassium and mineral
salts. Borage may
benefit any plant it is growing next to via increasing resistance to pests and disease.
It also makes a nice mulch for most plants. Borage and strawberries help
each other and strawberry farmers always set a few plants in their beds to
enhance the fruits flavor and yield. Plant near tomatoes to improve growth
and disease resistance. After you have planned this annual once it will self seed.
Borage flowers are edible.
BROCCOLI: Companions for
broccoli are: Basil, Bush Beans, Cucumber, Dill, Garlic, Hyssop, Lettuce,
Marigold, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and
Tomato. Celery, onions and potatoes improve broccolis' flavor when planted
near it. Broccoli loves plenty of calcium. Pairing it with plants that need
little calcium is a good combination such as nasturtiums and beets as this
frees up the calcium in the soil for the broccoli. Put the
nasturtiums right under the broccoli plants. Herbs such as rosemary, dill
and sage help repel pests with their distinct aromas. Foes: Grapes,
strawberries, mustards and rue.
(Member of the family
Polygonaceae) Accumulates calcium and can be grown as an excellent
cover crop aka green manure. Buckwheat’s shallow white blossoms attract
beneficial insects that control or parasitize aphids, mites and other pests.
The beneficials it attracts include the following: hover flies (Syrphidae),
predatory wasps, minute pirate bugs, insidious flower bugs, tachnid flies
and lady beetles. Flowering may start within three weeks of planting and
continue for up to 10 weeks. Buckwheat will take up phosphorus and some
minor nutrients that are otherwise unavailable to plants. These nutrients
are released as the residue of the buckwheat breaks down and are then
available for later crops. The fine roots makes topsoil loose and friable
with only minimal tillage.
Celery, dill, onions and potatoes are good
companion plants. Celery improves growth and health. Clover interplanted
with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native cabbage aphid and
cabbageworm populations by interfering with the colonization of the pests
and increasing the number of predatory ground beetles. Plant Chamomile with
cabbage as it Improves growth and flavor. Cabbage does not get along with strawberries, tomatoes,
peppers, eggplants, rue, grapes, lettuce and pole
Good for loosening compacted soil with it's deep roots so it's also
compatible next to shallow rooted crops. Plant it with strawberries. Caraway
can be tricky to establish. The flowers
attract a number of beneficial insects especially the tiny parasitic wasps. Keep it away from
dill and fennel.
Their pals are leaf lettuce, onions
and tomatoes. Plant dill and parsnips away from carrots. Flax produces an
oil that may protect root vegetables like carrots from some pests. One
drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato plants can stunt the growth of
your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavor.
Deters flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs,
ants and weevils. Fresh catnip steeped in water and sprinkled on plants will
drive away flea beetles.
Companions: Bean, cabbage family, leek,
onion, spinach and tomato. Flowers for celery: cosmos, daisies and
snapdragons. Foes: Corn, Irish potato and aster flowers. Carrots can be infected with
aster yellow disease from asters.
Annual. Improves flavor of cabbages, cucumbers
and onions. Host to hoverflies and wasps. Accumulates calcium, potassium and sulfur, later
returning them to the soil. Increases oil production from herbs. Leave some flowers
unpicked and German chamomile will reseed itself. Roman chamomile is a low growing
perennial that will tolerate almost any soil conditions. Both like full sun. Growing
chamomile of any type is considered a tonic for anything you grow in the garden.
Companions: Bean, cabbage family, tomato, onion
and roses. Don't overlook chard's value as an ornamental plant in flower
beds or wherever you have room for it. Don't grow chard near cucurbits,
melons, corn or herbs.
Companion to radishes, lettuce and broccoli for improved growth and flavor.
Keeps aphids off lettuce. Said to deter slugs. Likes shade.
Improves growth and flavor of carrots and tomatoes.
A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, mustard,
etc) and many others. Help to keep aphids away from tomatoes, mums and sunflowers. Chives
may drive away Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly. Planted among apple trees it helps
prevent scab and among roses it prevents black spot. You will need patience
as it takes about 3 years for plantings of chives to prevent the 2 diseases.
A tea of chives may be used on cucumbers and gooseberries to prevent downy
and powdery mildews. Avoid planting near beans and peas. See chive tea on disease page.
C. coccineum kills root nematodes. (the bad ones)
It's flowers along with those of C. cineraruaefolium have been used as botanical
pesticides for centuries. (i.e. pyrethrum) White flowering chrysanthemums repel Japanese
beetles. To the right is a picture of the painted daisy from which pyrethrum
Long used as a green manure and plant companion
and is especially good to plant under grapevines. Attracts
many beneficials. Useful planted around apple trees to attract predators of the woolly
aphid. Clover interplanted with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native
cabbage aphid and cabbageworm populations by interfering with the
colonization of the pests and increasing the number of predator ground
COLLARD GREENS: You can
plant them with: Basil, Bean, Cucumber, Dill, Garlic, Hyssop, Lettuce,
Marigold, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Sage and
Thyme. Keep them away from Grapes, Rue and Tansy.
This is one amazing plant. Accumulates calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Likes wet
spots to grow in. Comfrey is beneficial to avocado and most other fruit
trees. Traditional medicinal plant. Good trap crop for slugs. Excellent
compost activator, foliage spray, nutrient miner. Comfrey is truly essential
to all gardens. More on comfrey.
CORIANDER (Cilantro, Chinese Parsley etc.):
The leaves of this plant are Cilantro. When left to flower and go to seed
the dried tan seeds are Coriander, a familiar spice. It is a member of the
carrot family. Repels harmful insects such as aphids, spider mites and potato beetle. A tea
from this can be used as a spray for spider mites. Partners coriander are for
anise, caraway, potatoes and dill.
Amaranth, beans, cucumber, white geranium,
lamb's quarters, melons, morning glory, parsley, peanuts, peas, potato,
pumpkin, soybeans, squash
and sunflower. A classic example is to grow climbing beans up corn while
inter-planting pumpkins. The corn provides a natural trellis for the beans,
pumpkins smother the weeds and helps corn roots retain moisture. Corn is a
heavy feeder and the beans
fix nitrogen from air into the soil however the beans do not feed the corn
is growing. When the bean plants die back they return nitrogen to the
soil that was used up by the corn. A win-win situation. Another interesting helper for corn is
the weed Pig's Thistle which raises nutrients from the subsoil to where the
corn can reach them. Keep corn away from celery and tomato plants by at
least 20 feet.
COSTMARY: This 2-3
foot tall perennial of the chrysanthemum family helps to repel moths.
Cucumbers are great to plant with corn and beans. The three plants like the
same conditions: warmth, rich soil and plenty of moisture. Let the cucumbers
grow up and over your corn plants. Cukes
also do well with peas, beets, radishes and carrots. Radishes are a good
deterrent against cucumber beetles. Dill planted with cucumbers helps by
attracting beneficial predators. Nasturtium improves growth and flavor.
Keep sage, potatoes and rue away from cucumbers. It is said that cucumbers
don't do well planted next to tomatoes. We have never had a problem with
planting them next to each other.
These beautiful, tuberous annuals that can have up to dinner plate size flowers
DILL: Improves growth and
health of cabbage. Do not plant near carrots, caraway, lavendar or tomatoes. Best friend for lettuce.
The flower heads of dill are one of the best nectar sources for beneficial
insects in the garden attracting hoverflies, predatory wasps and many more. Repels aphids and spider mites to some degree. Also may repel the
dreaded squash bug! (scatter some good size dill leaves on plants that are
squash bugs, like squash plants.) Dill goes well with lettuce, onions,
cabbage, sweet corn and
cucumbers. Dill does attract the tomato horn worm so it would be wise to plant it
somewhere away from your tomato plants.
Do plant dill in an appropriate spot for the swallowtail butterfly caterpillars to feed on. Even their
caterpillars are beautiful.
EGGPLANT: Plant with amaranth,
beans, peas, spinach, tarragon, thyme and marigold. Eggplant is a member of
the nightshade family and does well with peppers as they like the same
A spray (see insect treatments) made from the leaves can be used
against aphids, carrot root fly, cucumber beetles and peach tree borers. Put branches and
leaves in mole runs to banish them. Elderberry leaves added to the compost
pile speeds up the decomposing process.
FENNEL: Fennel is not
friendly and is allelopathic to most garden plants, inhibiting growth or
causing them to bolt. It actually kills many plants. Dill is the only thing
you can plant with fennel. Other than that plant it by it's self. On a
positive note the foliage and flowers attract beneficials such as ladybugs,
syrphid flies, tachninid flies, beneficial parasitoid wasps and hoverflies
Fennel is a good flea repellent. An old saying says to "plant fennel
near your kennel" to deter fleas. Dried fennel leaves provide
additional flea repelling insurance when put inside the dog house or kennel.
Plant with carrots, and potatoes. Flax contains tannin and linseed oils which may offend
the Colorado potato bug. Flax is an annual from 1-4 feet tall with blue or white flowers
that readily self sows.
Japanese beetles like a magnet which then dine on the foliage. The foliage is pure poison
to them and they won't live to have dessert! It is important to mention that
Four O'clock are also poisonous to humans and animals. Please be careful where you plant them if
you have children and pets. They are a beautiful annual plant growing from 2-3 feet high with a
bushy growth form.
Plant near roses to repel aphids. It also benefits apple trees, pear trees,
cucumbers, peas, lettuce and celery. Plant under peach trees to help repel
borers. Garlic accumulates sulfur: a naturally occurring fungicide
which will help in the garden with disease prevention. Garlic is systemic in
action as it is taken up by the plants through their pores and when garlic tea
is used as a
soil drench it is also taken up by the plant roots. It has value in offending codling moths, Japanese
beetles, root maggots, snails, and carrot root fly. Researchers have observed that
time-released garlic capsules planted at the bases of fruit trees actually kept deer
away. It's certainly worth a try! Concentrated garlic sprays have been observed to repel and
kill whiteflies, aphids and fungus gnats among others with as little as a
6-8% concentration! It is safe for use on orchids too.
-Repels cabbage worms and Japanese beetles, plant around grapes, roses,
corn, tomatoes, peppers and cabbage. Geraniums help to distract beet
leafhoppers, carrier of the curly top virus.
Deters gophers, and moles.
Hyssop is beneficial to grapes as are basil, beans, geraniums, oregano, clover,
peas, or blackberries. Keep radishes and cabbage away from grapes. Planting
clover increases the soil fertility for grapes. Chives with grapes help repel aphids.
Plant your vines under Elm or Mulberry trees.
HEMP: Repels many types
of beetles which attack brassicas.
Plant in containers in the potato patch to keep away Colorado potato bugs.
Horseradish increases the disease resistance of potatoes. There are some
very effective insect sprays that can be made with the root. Use the bottomless pot method
to keep horseradish contained. Also repels Blister beetles. We have observed that the root
can yield anti-fungal properties when a tea is made from it. (See: Horseradish: Disease)
(Marrubium Vulgare) like many
varieties in the mint family, the many tiny flowers attract Braconid and
Icheumonid wasps, and Tachnid and Syrid flies. The larval forms of these
insects parasitize or otherwise consume many other insects pests. It grows
where many others fail to thrive and can survive harsh winters. Blooms over
a long season, attracting beneficial insects almost as long as you are
likely to need them. For best results use horehound directly as a companion
plant. Stimulates and aids fruiting in tomatoes and peppers.
Companion plant to cabbage and grapes, deters cabbage moths
and flea beetles. Do not plant near radishes. Hyssop may be the number one preference
among bees and some beekeepers rub the hive with it to encourage the bees to keep to their
home. It is not as invasive as other members of the mint family making it safer for
Kale: Kale has certainly made a
comeback as a "super food" in recent years. Kale descended from wild cabbage
that was grown in Turkey previously known as Asia Minor. The more modern
varieties of kale are sweeter than the older versions yet retain all the
nutrients of it's ancestors. Prsonally we like the new and old varieties of
When used in a powder mixture or tea as a spray, this versatile sea herb will not only
repel insects but feed the vegetables. In particular we have observed that kelp foliar
sprays keep aphids and Japanese beetles away when used as a spray every 8 days before and
during infestation times. If you have access to seaweed, use it as a mulch to keep slugs
KOHLRABI: May be planted
with beets cucumber, mint, onion, oregano, sage, chives and thyme. Kohlrabi and beets are perfect to grow with
one another as beets form in the soil and Kohlrabi makes it's bulb above the
soil! Do not plant kohlrabi with pole beans,
pepper, strawberry or tomatoes.
LAMIUM: This will repel potato bugs- a big problem
for many gardeners!
An annual member of the Delphinium family, larkspur will attract Japanese
beetles. They dine and die! Larkspur is poisonous to humans too.
LAVENDER: Repels fleas and
moths. Prolific flowering lavender nourishes many nectar feeding and beneficial insects.
Lavenders can protect nearby plants from insects such as whitefly, and
lavender planted under and near fruit trees can deter codling moth. Use dried sprigs of lavender to repel moths. Start plants in winter from cuttings, setting
out in spring.
Use leeks near apple trees, carrots, celery and onions which will improve their growth.
Leeks also repel carrot flies. Avoid planting near legumes.
LEMON BALM: Sprinkle
throughout the garden in an herbal powder mixture to deter many bugs. Lemon balm has
citronella compounds that make this work: crush and rub the leaves on your skin to keep
mosquitoes away! Use to ward off squash bugs!
LETTUCE: Does well with beets,
broccoli, bush beans, pole beans, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish and
strawberries. It grows happily in the shade under young sunflowers. Dill
and lettuce are a perfect pair. Keep lettuce away from cabbage. Cabbage is a
deterrent to the growth and flavor of lettuce.
LOVAGE: Improves flavor and
health of most plants. Good habitat for ground beetles. A large plant, use one planted as
a backdrop. Similar to celery in flavor.
(Calendula): Given a lot of credit as a pest deterrent. Keeps soil free of bad nematodes;
supposed to discourage many insects. Plant freely throughout the garden. The marigolds you
choose must be a scented variety for them to work. One down side is that marigolds do
attract spider mites and slugs.
(T. patula) has roots that exude a substance which
spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control you want to
plant dense areas of them. There have been some studies done that proved this nematode
killing effect lasted for several years after the plants died back. These marigolds also help to
deter whiteflies when planted around tomatoes and can be used in greenhouses for the same
purpose. Whiteflies hate the smell of marigolds. Do not plant French
marigolds next to bean plants.
(T. minuta) is the most powerful of the insect
repelling marigolds and may also overwhelm weed roots such as bind weed! It is said to
repel the Mexican bean beetle and wild bunnies! Be careful it can have an herbicidal
effect on some plants like beans and cabbage.
As a companion plant it improves the flavor of vegetables
and herbs. Sweet marjoram is the most commonly grown type.
Companions: Corn, pumpkin, radish and squash.
Other suggested helpers for melons are as follows: Marigold deters beetles,
nasturtium deters bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest
Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles,
fleas, aphids and improves the health of cabbage and tomatoes. Use cuttings as a
mulch around members of the brassica family. Mint flowers attract hoverflies and predatory wasps.
Earthworms are quite attracted to mint plantings. Be careful where you plant it as mint is
an incredibly invasive perennial. We have found that placing peppermint
cuttings (fresh or dried) where
mice are a problem is very effective in driving them off!
(castor bean plant) Deter moles and mice if planted
here and there throughout the garden. Drop a seed of this in mole runs to drive them
away. This is a poisonous plant. See Moles: Critter Trouble
They attract hoverflies. Plus if you
want a fast growing annual vine to cover something up morning glory is an excellent
Nasturtium is an excellent companion for many plants. It is a companion to
radishes, cabbage family plants (cabbage, collards, cauliflower, kale,
kohlrabi, broccoli and mustards), deterring aphids, squash bugs, and striped
pumpkin beetles, and improving growth and flavor. Plant as a barrier around tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, and under fruit trees. Deters wooly aphids, whiteflies,
cucumber beetles and other pests of the
cucurbit family. Great trap crop for aphids (in particular the black aphids) which
it does attract, especially the yellow flowering varieties. It likes poor soil with low
moisture and no fertilizer. Keeping that in mind there is no reason not to
set potted nasturtiums among your garden beds. It has been the practice of some fruit growers that planting
nasturtiums every year in the root zone of fruit trees allow the trees to take up the
pungent odor of the plants and repel bugs. Studies say it is among the best
at attracting predatory insects. It has no taste effect on the fruit. A nice
variety to grow is Alaska which has attractive green and white variegated leaves. The
leaves, flowers and seeds of nasturtiums are all edible and wonderful in salads!
Try our recipe for: Nasturtium Salad
flowers attract bees. Sprays made from these are rich in silica and calcium. Invigorating
for plants and improves their disease resistance. Leaving the mixture to rot, it then
makes an excellent liquid feed. Comfrey improves the liquid feed even more. Hairs on the
nettles' leaves contain formic acid which "stings" you.
) Plant lettuce around your okra plants and they will shade the lettuce in
the summer giving you some more growing time. Okra also does well with
peppers and eggplants as it helps protect these brittle stemmed plants from
high winds. It also gets along with basil, cucumbers, melons, and black eyed
peas. For planting with the peas plant your Okra first. When the okra is up
and established plant the peas around the edges of the okra planting. You
may find that the peas are far less bothered by aphids when near okra.
Planting chamomile and
summer savory with onions improves their
flavor. Other companions are carrot, leek, beets, kohlrabi,
strawberries, brassicas, dill, lettuce and tomatoes. Intercropping onions and leeks with
confuses the carrot and onion flies! Onions planted with strawberries help
the berries fight disease. Keep onions away from peas and asparagus.
An annual herb that is pretty, tasty and said to repel hornworms! Like
the other basils it also does well with
peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Keep away from rue and sage.
Can be used with most crops but especially
good for cabbage. Plant near broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to repel
cabbage butterfly and near cucumbers to repel cucumber beetle. Also benefits
Allies: Asparagus, carrot, chives, onions, roses
and tomato. Sprinkle the leaves on tomatoes, and asparagus. Use as a tea to ward off asparagus
beetles. Attracts hoverflies. Let some go to seed to attract the tiny parasitic
wasps and hoverflies.
Parsley increases the fragrance of roses when planted around their base. Rose problems? See: Rose Rx for answers.
Mint and parsley are enemies. Keep them well away from one another.
Plant them along with bush bean, garlic,
marigolds, onion, pea, pepper, potato and radish. Parsnips like
frequent, regular watering, so do not plant them with anything that prefers
a drier soil. Like many root vegetables, parsnips
taste their best when harvested after a few light frosts which causes them
to convert their starch into sugars.
PEACH TREE: Grape,
Garlic, Onion and Asparagus may be planted under or near peach trees. In
particular garlic may help repel peach tree borers which are a big problem
for peach growers. Keep Potato, Tomato and Raspberry away from peaches.
Peas fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant next to corn. Companions for peas are bush beans,
bole beans, carrots, celery, chicory, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley,
early potato, radish, spinach, strawberry, sweet pepper, tomatoes and
turnips. Do not plant peas
with chives, gladiolus, grapes, late potatoes or onions.
Repels white cabbage moths, aphids and flea beetles. It
is the menthol content in mints that acts as an insect repellant. Bees and other good guys
PEPPERS, BELL (Sweet Peppers):
Plant peppers near tomatoes, parsley, basil, geraniums, marjoram, lovage,
petunia and carrots. Onions
make an excellent companion plant for peppers.
They do quite well with okra as it shelters them and protects the brittle
stems from wind. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. They should also
not be grown near apricot trees because a fungus that the pepper is prone to
can cause a lot of harm to the apricot tree. Peppers can double as
ornamentals, so tuck some into flowerbeds and borders. Harvesting tip: The
traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most
varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers can be harvested at
any stage of growth, but their flavor doesn't fully develop until maturity.
Chili peppers have root exudates that prevent root
rot and other Fusarium diseases. Plant anywhere you have these problems.
While you should always plant chili peppers close together, providing
shelter from the sun with other plants will help keep them from drying out
and provide more humidity. Tomato plants, green peppers, and okra are good
protection for them. Teas made from
hot peppers can be useful as insect sprays. Hot peppers like to be grouped
with cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, tomato, okra, Swiss chard and squash.
Herbs to plant near them include: basils, oregano, parsley and rosemary.
Never put them next to any beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels
sprouts or fennel.
Repels fleas. The leaves when crushed and rubbed onto your skin will repel
chiggers, flies, gnats, mosquitoes and ticks. Warning: Pennyroyal is
highly toxic to cats. It should not be planted where cats might ingest it
and never rubbed onto their skin.
They repel the asparagus beetle, leafhoppers, certain
aphids, tomato worms, Mexican bean beetles and general garden pests. A good companion to
tomatoes, but plant everywhere. The leaves can be used in a tea to make a potent bug
POACHED EGG PLANT:
Grow poached egg plant with
tomatoes, they will attract hover flies and hover flies eat aphids.
POTATO: Companions for
potatoes are bush bean, members of the cabbage family, carrot, celery, corn, dead
nettle, flax, horseradish, marigold, peas, petunia, onion and Tagetes
marigold. Protect them from scab by putting comfrey leaves in with your
potato sets at planting time. Horseradish, planted at the corners of the
potato patch, provides general protection. Alyssum makes a perfect living
mulch for them. Don't plant these
around potatoes: asparagus, cucumber, kohlrabi, pumpkin, rutabaga, squash
family, sunflower, turnip and fennel. Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart as
they both can get early and late blight contaminating each other.
PUMPKINS: Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters
beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest
protection. Again dill may help repel those frustrating squash bugs. See squash
entry for more tips.
This edible weed makes good ground cover in the corn
patch. Use the stems, leaves and seeds in stir-frys. Pickle the green seed pod for caper
If purslane is growing in your garden it means you have healthy, fertile
One of the workhorses for the garden. Companions for radishes are: radish, beet, bush beans, pole beans, carrots,
chervil, cucumber, lettuce, melons, nasturtium, parsnip, peas, spinach and
members of the squash family. Why plant radishes with your squash plants? Radishes may protect them from squash
Anything that will help keep them away is worth a try. Radishes are a
deterrent against cucumber beetles and rust flies. Chervil and
nasturtium improve radish growth and flavor. Planting them around corn and letting
them go to seed will also help fight corn borers. Chinese Daikon and Snow
Belle radishes are favorites of flea beetles. Plant these at 6 to 12 inch intervals
amongst broccoli. In one trial, this measurably reduced damage to broccoli. Radishes
will lure leafminers away from spinach. The damage the leafminers do to
radish leaves does not stop the radish roots from growing, a win-win
situation. Keep radishes away from
hyssop plants, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and turnips. Radishes
are a good indicator of calcium levels in the soil. If you radish grows and
only produces a stringy root you need calcium. See our charts on nutrient
deficiencies and soil amendments for more information. For some good eating
try our delicious Radish varieties.
A good companion to all brassicas. Try
planting cabbage and broccoli plants your rhubarb patch watch them thrive.
Rhubarb protects beans against black fly. Some other interesting companions
for rhubarb are the beautiful columbine flowers, garlic, onion and roses! It
helps deter red spider mites from the columbines. A spray made from boiled
rhubarb leaves, which contain the poison oxalic acid may be used to prevent
blackspot on roses and as an aphicide.
ROSEMARY: Companion plant to cabbage, beans, carrots and sage.
Deters cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies. Use cuttings to place by the crowns
of carrots for carrot flies. Zones 6 and colder can overwinter rosemary as houseplants or
Deters aphids, fish moths, flea beetle, onion
maggot, slugs, snails, flies and Japanese beetles in roses and raspberries.
Companions for rue are roses, fruits (in particular figs), raspberries and
lavender. To make it
even more effective with Japanese beetles: crush a few leaves to release the smell.
Has helped repel cats for us. You should not plant rue near cucumbers, cabbage,
basil or sage. A pretty perennial with bluish-gray leaves. May be grown indoors in a sunny
window. Rue may cause skin irritation in some individuals. Remedy: See cats and dogs: Rue
An excellent use of plant allelopathy is
the use of mow-killed grain rye as a mulch. The allelochemicals that leach
from the rye residue prevent weed germination but do not harm transplanted
tomatoes, broccoli, or many other vegetables.
Use as a companion plant with broccoli, cauliflower,
rosemary, cabbage, and carrots to deter cabbage moths, beetles, black flea beetles and
carrot flies. Do not plant near cucumbers, onions or rue. Sage repels cabbage moths and black flea
beetles. Allowing sage to flower will also attract many beneficial insects and the flowers
are pretty. There are some very striking varieties of sage with variegated foliage that
can be used for their ornamental as well as practical qualities. More
SPINACH: Plant with peas
and beans as they provide natural shade for the spinach. Gets along with cabbage,
cauliflower, celery, eggplant, onion, peas, strawberries and fava bean.
Plant spinach with squash. It's a good use of space because by the time
squash plants start to get big the spinach is ready to bolt.
Plant with cabbage, and here and there in the garden.
Wonderful lemony scent when crushed or brushed in passing. Roots easily from cuttings.
Does not like fertilizer! It is a perennial that can get quite bushy. We have started to
cut it back every spring and it comes back in not time. A delightful plant that is
virtually pest free.
They add nitrogen to the soil making them a
good companion to corn. They repel chinch bugs and Japanese beetles. Why not
try soybeans, they are good for you. They are many tasty ways to prepare them.
Companions: Beans, corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes,
melon, mint, onions and pumpkin. Helpers:
Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavor. Marigolds deters beetle.
Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest
protection. Dill may repel the squash bug that will kill your squash vines.
Generously scatter the dill leaves on your squash plants. Keep squash away from potatoes.
SWEET POTATOES: Sweet
potatoes are not the same as regular potatoes. They are a member of the
morning glory family. "Regular" potatoes are a member of the
Solanaceae family which is the same as tomatoes, peppers etc. Aromatic
herbs such as dill, thyme, oregano etc. are some of the plants that work
well with them. Summer savory helps to confuse and perhaps repel the
Sweet potato weevil. They do well with root crops: beets, parsnips and
salsify. Bush beans and regular potatoes are companions to them also. Alyssum
makes a perfect living mulch for them. A
few, only a few, pole beans may be planted with them and left to grow on the
ground with the potato vines. Keep them away from squash. The
problem with sweet potatoes and squash is they will compete with each other
as they both like to spread out. In fact that is the general problem with
sweet potatoes- they take up so much room and need full sun. Another idea is
to grow them in a container. For your reference: you could grow a single
sweet potato plant in a box or tub that is at least 12" high and
15" wide. Use a light, porous soil mix. Place a stake or trellis in the
center to support the vine which grow up and outwards.
Friends are beans, borage, lettuce, onions, spinach
and thyme. Foes: Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
and kohlrabi. Allies: Borage strengthens resistance to insects
and disease. Thyme, as a border, deters worms.
SUMMER SAVORY: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and
flavor. Include it with sweet potatoes. Discourages cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles,
sweet potato weevil and black aphids. Honey bees love it when it is in
SUNFLOWERS: Planting sunflowers with corn is said by some
to increase the yield. Aphids a problem? Definitely plant a few sunflowers here and there
in the garden. Step back and watch the ants herd the aphids onto them. We have been doing
this for years and it is remarkable. The sunflowers are so tough that the aphids cause
very little damage and you will have nice seed heads for the birds to enjoy.
Sunflowers also attract hummingbirds which eat whiteflies. Talk about a
Direct seed or set out starts of
sweet alyssum near plants that have been attacked by aphids in the past.
Alyssum flowers attract hoverflies whose larva devour aphids. Another plus
is their blooms draw bees to pollinate early blooming fruit trees. They will
reseed freely and make a beautiful groundcover every year.
Plant with fruit trees, roses and raspberries keeping in mind that it can be invasive and
is not the most attractive of plants. Tansy which is often recommended as an ant repellant
may only work on sugar type ants. These are the ones that you see on peonies and marching
into the kitchen. At least for us placing tansy clippings by the greenhouse door has kept
them out. Deters flying insects, Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs,
ants and mice! Tie up and hang a bunch of tansy leaves indoors as a fly repellent. Use
clippings as a mulch as needed. Don't be afraid to cut the plant up as tansy will bounce
back from any abuse heaped on it! It is also a helpful addition to the compost pile with
its' high potassium content.
Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this
one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavor of vegetables.
Deters cabbage worms. Wooly thyme makes a wonderful
groundcover. You may want to use the upright form of thyme in the garden rather than the
groundcover types. Thyme is easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. Older woody plants should
be divided in spring.
Tomato allies are many: asparagus, basil, bean, carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic,
head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pea, pepper, marigold,
pot marigold and sow thistle. One drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato
plants can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of
good flavor. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes, improves
growth and flavor. Bee balm, chives and mint improve health and flavor.
Borage deters tomato worm, improves growth and flavor. Dill, until mature,
improves growth and health, mature dill retards tomato growth. Enemies: corn
and tomato are attacked by the same worm. Kohlrabi stunts tomato growth. Keep
potatoes and tomatoes apart as they both can get early and late blight
contaminating each other. Keep apricot, dill, fennel, cabbage and cauliflower away from them. Don't
plant them under walnut trees as they will get walnut wilt: a disease that
attacks tomatoes growing underneath these trees.
TURNIP: Peas are good
companions for turnips due to their nitrogen fixing in the soil. Cabbage
does well with turnips because of the turnip's tendency to repel certain
pests. Do not plant potatoes, radishes or other root vegetables near your
turnips. These vegetables will compete for nutrients with the turnips and
reduce crop size and yield. Other plants that do not do well with turnips
are delphinium, larkspur and mustard.
Watermelon: May be
planted in between hills of corn. Grow them with corn, nasturtiums, peas,
sunflowers, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and radishes. Nasturtium helps to
deter bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.
GERANIUMS: These members of the pelargonum family draw Japanese beetles to
feast on the foliage which in turn kills them.
WORMWOOD: Keeps animals out
of the garden when planted as a border. An excellent deterrent to most insects.
Don’t plant wormwood with peas or beans. A tea made
from wormwood will repel cabbage moths, slugs, snails, black flea beetles and fleas
effectively. The two best varieties for making insect spray are Silver King and Powis
Castle. Adversely Powis castle attracts ladybugs which in turn breed directly on the
plant. Silver Mound is great as a border plant and the most toxic wormwood. Note: As
wormwood actually produces a botanical poison do not use it directly on food crops.
See More on wormwood. for more details.
For insect spray: See wormwood spray
Yarrow has insect repelling qualities and is an excellent natural fertilizer. A handful of
yarrow leaves added to the compost pile really speeds things up. Try it! It also attracts
predatory wasps and ladybugs to name just two. It may increase the essential oil content
of herbs when planted among them. Yarrow has so many wonderful properties to it and is an
ingredient in our own Golden
Pretty zinnias attract hummingbirds which eat
whiteflies. Alternately the pastel varieties of zinnias can be used as a
trap crop for Japanese beetles. All zinnias attract bees and other insect
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