Companion Planting recognizes that some plants are beneficial in many ways to ultimately help each other in their growth & health, as well as deter pests or attract helpful animals like Bees etc. They will do this in many ways, a few being:
- The smell of the volatile oils in the Companion Plant discourages certain pests.
- Nitrogen-fixing plants of the Legume family supply Nitrogen to other plants.
- Some plants have shapes which confuse the pest' recognition ability.
- Some plants will attract beneficial animals like Bees, which consequently pollinate, insects which kill pests, or other birds or insects which spread seeds etc...
- Others simply enhance each others growth by physical & energetic means. For instance, Tomatoes & Marigolds like each other, Beans & Sunflowers don't like each other, as they are competing for light & space ~ a lot of common sense...
Calendula & Marigold - In Companion Planting, the first rule is: "Marigolds with everything!" I personally love Calendula however, I so leave it to self-seed itself all over the garden.
The roots of Marigold give off a substance which drives away the eel-worm. They are therefore good to plant near Potatoes, Tomatoes & Roses. (I plant them as borders in the garden - they look gorgeous anywhere) The Mexican beetle avoids Bean rows which have Marigold/Calendula growing among them. Dogs won't cock their legs against pots which contain Calendula. A clump is useful in every flower-bed; an edging gives protection for the Vegetables.
Marigolds are stronger in power than Calendula, so will kill Twitch Grass (a pest in NZ), Couch Grass, Nematode & Eel Worm. It is another good companion for Potatoes & general Pest deterrence.
Chamomile - Known as The 'Plant Doctor' because of it's ability to encourage other plants to increase their essential oil & so taste & smell more stronger & more vital... Chamomile is easy to grow, & looks beautiful anywhere, though keep it well trimmed to avoid a straggly look. Many other plants enjoy it's company, especially Mint, which will become tastier when grown next to Chamomile. Plant Chamomile next to ailing plants to help revive it. Cabbages & Onions love Chamomile, though keep it approx a meter away from Onions. Collect & dry the Chamomile Flowers, then make a tea by soaking a handful in cold water for a day or two. This can then be used for any plant which is looking sickly, or a young plant is in need of assistance. And finally, Chamomile will help activate the Composting process if added to your Compost pile!
Basil - Basil is best planted next to Tomatoes - everyone knows how well they go together in cooking! Used as a border for the Tomato patch, the plants will find it easier to resist disease & the fruits will be tastier. Bees love Basil, while Aphids, Fruit-Fly, White-Fly, the House-Fly & Mosquitoes hate it. Keep a pot near doors & windows to keep Flies out of your Home. Also very handy for medicinal & cooking uses if grown nearby. Keep Basil away from Rue - they definitely dislike each other!
Lavender - Everyone must have seen & admired the beauty of Lavender... though it also has other good qualities. Lavender is a general Insect Repellent, good to use as a border for the Garden. It attracts many Bees to the area, & can be used for cosmetic, liqueur, medicinal or perfume reasons. It also deters Moths to great affect - hence the popularity of Lavender Bags in drawers & cupboards.
Nasturtium - Nasturtiums can have a tendency to grow abundantly, but are very easily controlled. They also possess many benefits for your Garden plants... They are good companions for Radish, Cabbage & Cucumber. Orange coloured Nasturtiums will deter Aphids, Squash Bug & Striped Pumpkin Beetles, yellow ones tend to attract the beetles! So plant orange Nasturtium close to your garden to deter insects, & plant yellow Nasturtium far away from the garden to attract the insects. Nasturtium is excellent in the Orchard & will control the Woolly Aphid if left to wander.
Tansy - Tansy is a good all-round bitter Insect repellent. It is great planted near Cabbages, Roses, Raspberries & Grapes. It concentrates Potassium in the soil, so benefits any plants nearby! Plant it for protection against Japanese Beetle, Striped Cucumber Beetle, Squash Bug, Cut Worms, Cabbage Worms, Ants, Flies, Mosquitoes & Fruit Moth. It is noticeably helpful under Peach Trees, which it assists greatly by warding off flying insects & keeping Borers away.
Rosemary - Rosemary is a favourite of older Cottage Gardens. Rosemary is a good companion to Cabbage, Bean, Carrot & Sage. It deters Cabbage Moth, Bean Beetles & Carrot Fly. It also improves the growth & flavour of vegetables. Rosemary & Potatoes do not like each other, so keep them apart. It looks gorgeous planted as a hedge around the Cabbage patch... You can also use it as an insect repellent, as well as in a medicinal tea.
Best Companion Planting Guide...
Both Vegetables & Herbs work very effectively as Companion Plants, so Scroll down to find your favourite Vegetables or Herbs, and find the best Companions for you & your Garden!
Apples - Chives, Horsetail, Foxgloves, Wallflowers, Nasturtiums, Garlic, Onions.
Apricots - Basil, Tansy, Southernwood.
Asparagus - Tomatoes, Parsley, Basil.
Basil - Tomatoes, Asparagus, Parsley, Apricots.
Beans - Carrots, Cucumbers, Cabbages, Lettuce, Peas, Parsley, Cauliflower, Spinach, Summer Savoury.
Broad Beans - Potatoes, Sweet corn.
Dwarf Beans - Beetroot, Potatoes.
Beetroot - Onions, Silver beet, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Cabbage, Dwarf Beans.
Borage - Strawberries.
Brussels Sprouts - Nasturtiums.
Cabbages - Beans, Beetroot, Celery, Mint, Thyme, Sage, Onions, Rosemary, Dill, Potatoes, Chamomile, Oregano, Hyssop, Southernwood, Nasturtiums, Tansy, Coriander.
Carrots - Peas, Radishes, Lettuce, Chives, Sage, Onions, Leeks.
Cauliflowers - Celery, Beans, Tansy, Nasturtium.
Celery - Tomatoes, Dill, Beans, Leeks, Cabbage, Cauliflowers.
Chamomile - Mint, Cabbages, Onions.
Chervil - Dill, Coriander, Radish.
Chives - Parsley, Apples, Carrots, Tomatoes.
Citrus - Guava.
Coriander - Dill, Chervil, Anise, Cabbages, Carrots.
Cucumbers - Potatoes (early crop only), Beans, Celery, Lettuce, Sweet Corn, Savoy Cabbages, Sunflowers, Nasturtiums.
Dill - Carrots, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Fennel, Coriander.
Fennel - Dill, Coriander.
Hyssop - Grapevines, Potatoes.
Kohlrabi - Beetroot, Onions.
Garlic - Roses, Apples, Peaches.
Grapevines - Geraniums, Mulberries, Hyssop, Basil, Tansy.
Leeks - Carrots, Celery.
Lettuce - Carrots, Onions, Strawberries, Beetroot, Cabbages, Radishes, Marigolds.
Melons - Sweet Corn.
Mint - Cabbages, Chamomile.
Onions - Carrots, Beetroot, Silver beet, Lettuce, Chamomile, Kohlrabi, Zucchini.
Parsley - Tomatoes, Asparagus, Roses, Chives.
Parsnips - Peas, Potatoes, Peppers, Beans, Radishes, Garlic.
Peaches - Tansy, Garlic, Basil, Southernwood.
Peas - Potatoes, Radishes, Carrots, Turnips.
Potatoes - Peas, Beans, Cabbage, Sweet corn, Broad Beans, Green Beans, Nasturtium, Marigolds, Foxgloves, Horse Radish, Egg Plant.
Pumpkin - Sweet corn.
Radishes - Lettuces, Peas, Chervil, Nasturtium.
Raspberries - Tansy.
Sage - Carrots, Cabbages, Strawberries.
Silver beet - Onions, Beetroot, Lavender.
Spinach - Strawberries.
Squash - Sunflowers.
Strawberries - Borage, Lettuce, Spinach, Sage, Pyrethrum.
Sunflowers - Squash, Cucumber.
Sweet corn - Broad Beans, Potatoes, Melons, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Squash, Tansy.
Thyme - Cabbage Family.
Tomatoes - Asparagus, Celery, Parsley, Basil, Carrots, Chives, Marigolds, Foxgloves, Garlic, Sweet corn.
Turnips - Peas, Nasturtiums.
Zucchini - Nasturtiums.
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