Carrots Love Tomatoes - Companion Planting for Gardens

I am a "learn as you go" gardener. I plant first and figure it out second. I will be the first to say that it doesn't always work out the greatest. I had years and years of dismal gardens in Colorado. I have had a ton of success in Ohio, however the more I do learn, the more that I think it was luck rather than knowledge that has helped me up to this point. It's a good thing I do like to learn because that keeps me reading. I have wanted to read the book Carrots Love Tomatoes - Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening by Louise Riotte for a long time. I have no idea why I waited so long and now that I have read the book I wish I had read it years ago.

Carrots Love Tomatoes is a very easy read that is surprisingly full of wonderful information - much of it I had not ever heard before. As I mentioned previously I have been gardening for 14 years and have read a lot of books on the subject. To find so much new to me information was a nice surprise. Originally published in 1975 and revised and reprinted in 1998 Carrots Love Tomatoes is 206 pages and not only worth reading, but worth buying. Yes you read that right - me who almost never buys a book and always borrows from the library read the book I borrowed and then bought myself one to keep on hand at all times.

The book is divided into sections based on type of crop. Included are vegetables, herbs, wild plants, grasses, grains and field crops, fruit growing, nuts and ornamental trees and shrubs. In each chapter the book covers each food item one by one. There is a little bit of general information about each plant, how best to take care of it, plants it grows best with or likes to be paired with, as well as plants that it should avoid. Here is an example taken from page 22.

"Pea (Pisum sativum)

Peas grow well with carrots, turnips, radishes, cucumbers, corn, beans, and potatoes, as well as many aromatic herbs. They do not grow well with onions, garlic, and gladiolus.

Always plow pea vines under or return them to the compost pile. Wood ashes used around the base of pea vines help to control aphids."

There is a section on pest control with some old fashioned remedies that I have a feeling work better than anything I have tried to date. I am especially anxious to get rid of a rabbit feasting on my peas and am in the market for an old hose to cut up to look like a snake. I hope it works, since the other tidbit of information is that rabbits don't like onions and as we can see above peas and onions don't grow well together.  I didn't know that before reading this book.

Carrots Love Tomatoes is a great book to have on hand especially when you are planning your garden each year. There are sample garden plans available in the back of the book to give you a better idea of how companion planting looks in real life. I dog eared so many pages to refer to in the future that by the end of the book I knew I had to own it. I have already use some of the information in my garden and can see positive results. If you are struggling with your garden and need some good old fashioned information and ideas, this is the book for you. Happy gardening!

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Comments 10 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for such wonderful advise.


jayb23 profile image

jayb23 6 years ago from India

Thanks for sharing this Jennifer. Carrot loves tomatoes does sound interesting to me.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

Sound like a great book, I never knew it mattered. I will have to give it a go. I too borrow from the library. I order books and then have 4 or 5 waiting for me. I rarely buy a book that can be checked out. I might follow your lead with this though.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

In regard to "learn as you go..." I learned to put the roots down first. They grow better!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I, too am a "learn as I go" gardener. This inofrmation is just great. Thanks


knell63 profile image

knell63 6 years ago from Umbria, Italy

I love your gardening style sounds exactly like mine. I have a terrace though and too try living frugally by growing tomatoes, peppers and zuccini there. Not with much success but lots of fun. I think I will try planting some carrots with them next year, that might be the secret.


John Yeoman profile image

John Yeoman 6 years ago from Story writing land in the centre of England

Jennifer, the problem with the truisms of companion planting is that they usually don't work. Everyone's soil and microclimate are too different. For example, Louis Riotte's mantra that legumes don't like alliums is very arguable. As a professional gardening author, I've often grown spring onions among bush beans and a friend, a market gardener, grows garlic around his climbing beans quite successfully.

Louis Riotte is the lady who once ingenuously argued that putting an electric horseshoe over plants increased their growth. By that logic, every plant grown under an electric pylon would be a giant. Frankly, Ms Riotte is one diode short of a semiconductor :)


Cedar Cove Farm profile image

Cedar Cove Farm 6 years ago from Southern Missouri

My wife loved this book! It is a great gardening mehtod and works well with "Square Foot Gardening".


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

I have heard of this kind of gardening before. I kinda have to agree with John Y. about the soil. I will have to check it out. I am sure there is a lot of good advice in Carrots Love Tomatoes. Thank you


strich56 5 years ago from California

Enjoyed reading this hub, I'll be employing some of the suggestions in my raised bed his year, Thanks!

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