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 insects.
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.
BASIL: Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Do not plant near rue or sage.
BEANS: All bean enrich the soil with nitrogen fixed form the air. In general they are good company for carrots, celery, chards, corn, eggplant, peas, potatoes, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and cucumbers. Keep beans away from the alliums.
BORAGE: Companion plant for tomatoes, squash, strawberries and most plants.
CARROTS: Their pals are leaf lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Plant dill and parsnips away from carrots. Tomato plants can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavor.
CELERY: Companions: Bean, cabbage family, leek, onion, spinach and tomato. Foe: Corn.
CHAMOMILE: Improves flavor of cabbages, cucumbers and onions.
CHIVES: Improves growth and flavor of carrots and tomatoes. A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, mustard, etc) and many others. Avoid planting near beans and peas
CORN: Amaranth, beans, cucumber, white geranium, lamb's quarters, melons, morning glory, parsley, peanuts, peas, potato, pumpkin, soybeans, squash and sunflower. Keep corn away from celery and tomato plants.
CUCUMBERS: Cucumbers are great to plant with corn and beans. Keep sage, potatoes and rue away from cucumbers.
GARLIC: Plant near roses to repel aphids. It also benefits apple trees, pear trees, cucumbers, peas, lettuce and celery. Garlic accumulates sulfur: a naturally occurring fungicide which will help in the garden with disease prevention.
LETTUCE: Does well with beets, bush beans, pole beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish and strawberries.
MARIGOLDS: (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.
MELONS: Companions: Corn, pumpkin, radish and squash.
ONIONS: 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 your carrots confuses the carrot and onion flies! Onions planted with strawberries help the berries fight disease. Keep onions away from peas and asparagus.
OREGANO: 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 grapes.
PARSLEY: Allies: Asparagus, carrot, chives, onions, roses and tomato. Sprinkle the leaves on tomatoes, and asparagus. Mint and parsley are enemies. Keep them well away from one another.
PEAS: Peas fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant next to corn. Companions for peas are bush beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Celery, Chicory, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Parsley, Early Potato, Radish, Spinach, Strawberry, Sweet pepper and Turnips. Do not plant peas with onions.
PEPPERS, BELL (Sweet Peppers): Plant peppers near tomatoes, parsley, basil, geraniums, marjoram, lovage, petunia and carrots. Onions make an excellent companion plant for peppers.
PUMPKINS: Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.
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.
RUE: Deters aphids, fish moths, flea beetle, onion maggot, slugs, snails, flies and Japanese beetles in roses and raspberries. Companions for rue are roses, fruits, raspberries and lavender. You should not plant rue near cucumbers, cabbage, basil or sage.
STRAWBERRY: 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. Discourages cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles and black aphids. Honey bees love it.
SUNFLOWERS: Planting sunflowers with corn is said by some to increase the yield.
TARRAGON: Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavor of vegetables.
TOMATOES: Tomato allies are many: asparagus, basil, bean, carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, marigold, pot marigold and sow thistle. Keep potatoes, cabbage and cauliflower and tomatoes apart.