Companion Plantings by Rambling Rose

This article is somewhat late, but I believe it still has merit for this summer's gardeners.

As a child helping in my mom's veggie patch I never asked why some things were planted together.  They just were.

A neighborhood gardener always planted a marigold hedge around her veggies, she had done this for years and saved all her seeds. After 25+ years she was the super star. 

The flowers brought in pollinators and detracted other not so nice insects. As I progressed to my own edibles I began reading about which plants play well with others and often smiled when thinking about the wisdom of the veggie mavens of my childhood.  

Beneficial plants help increase soil nutrients and chase away pests and attract the good guys.

Here is a short list of some of the friendlies and not so friendlies with a short explanation of what they do.

Tomatoes are possibly the number one home grown plant, and in our area, any extra help is a plus. Tomatoes and basil are great growing together as well as in cooking. Basil repels various flies which carry viruses and fungi. Marigolds repel nematodes and beetles.   

On the other side tomatoes should not be near cabbages, beets, potatoes and corn. Those attract earwigs and several blights that can spread to each another. 

Green beans and peas are also popular, growing with corn stalks gives them a ready-made trellis and fixes nitrogen in the soil.  Beans and peas do not like anything from the onion family, so a little space is good to prevent a Hatfield-McCoy feud.

Lettuce also vies for the top spot on the edible hit parade. Slugs are enemy #1 and planting mint, chives or garlic slows them down. 

I've always planted flowers among my veggies. Zinnias, nasturtium (edible, peppery flavor) and catmint (perennial) add color, bees and hummers…  what better combination.



P.S.  These are old tried and true tips but be on the lookout for new friendlies and please share!