How to Companion Plant. Planting your Garden. Grow vegetables in raised bed that are beneficial and grow well together

Yummy Heirloom Tomatoes
Yummy Heirloom Tomatoes


We have started our garden for the 2010 season.  Normally I would grow my plants from seeds started in the house or in my classroom at school but this year decided to direct seed into the ground.  It's been two weeks and our garden is doing some serious POPPING!!  My tomato seeds have already established themselves, squashes are looking awesome, cucumbers have popped their heads out of the ground, summer lettuces are taking off, and peppers & carrots are doing well.  My herb garden has also come to life-the basil I planted last year reseeded itself-as did the lemon balm.  I added thyme, oregano, and dill to my herb section and they have all sprouted as have the lilac seeds.   I also scattered marigold seeds among the peppers and tomatoes and they have come to life and look like they will do all right.  For spending less than $10 this year it looks like my garden is going to do very, very, well.  We also planted ALL HEIRLOOM seeds this year so that we can harvest the seeds and use them next year saving us the cost of purchasing the seeds in the spring.  If you have seen the prices for produce lately you need to think seriously about having a garden of your own.  My family will save well over $100 this summer on produce alone-possibly more if the news is correct and the price of produce is going to skyrocket this summer.  Plus, it's TONS of fun watching your garden come to life.  Check back later for pics and more info!!


For centuries gardeners have noticed that certain vegetables thrive in the company of certain plants while doing poorly when planted with others. There is scientific evidence that secretions given off by the roots, leaves, or flowers of some plants may be the cause of the symbiotic relationships. An example would be that the roots of the black walnut tree giving off a chemical that inhibits the growth of tomatoes. Another example would be onions inhibiting the growth of beans, peas, and several other vegetables. While some plants may have a negative effect on others, the opposite is true as well. Tomatoes and basil do well together as do cabbages and cucumbers. Some plants can even attract insects that are beneficial to other plants.

It is also well know that certain plants repel pests that are attracted to other plants. Marigold roots repel the tiny worm like nematodes, a huge plus when trying to grow tomatoes, and parsley has been known to repels carrot flies. Other plants seem to successfully lure pests away from their neighbors like eggplants luring the Colorado potatoe beetle away from potato plants. I've compiled a list of some plants that are beneficial to one another in some way. While my list isn't expensive, I hope you find it helpful.

Companion Planting

Vegetable or Herbs
Does Well
Does Poorly
parsley, tomatoes 
peppers, oregano, asparagus
Beans (bush)
beets, carrots, cucumbers, strawberries,
fennel, garlic, onions 
Beans (pole) 
marigolds, radishes 
garlic, onions 
celery, corn, dill, onions
fennel, pole beans, tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, pole beans
corn, sunflowers
lettuce, parsley, tomatoes
beans, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, squash
beans, cabbage, corn, peas
lettuce, onions, cucumbers
carrots, tomatoes
carrots, cucumbers, onions, rdishes
beets, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes
peas, asparagus 
beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, radishes
garlic, onions
beans, cabbage, corn, peas
beets, carrots, spinach
aspargus, basil, garlic, marigold, parlsey
cabbabe, fennel, potatoes

When deciding to integrate companion planting into your garden this year there are several tricks or techniques that you can use. Mix up your crops. If you want to grow lots of tomatoes plant smaller plots of them and mix them with other vegetables or flowers. Be sure to harvest them regularly to keep them producing.  We had so many tomatos last year we decided to "sun dry" them.  It was really simple-just slice the tomatoes and put them on foil on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees or less.  Be sure to either spray the foil or add some olive oil  to your tomatos as they WILL STICK to the foil.  Let them sit in the oven for several hours until they are noticably dry-then put them in an air tight container.  We still have sundried tomatoes from last year.  They are awesome in sauces, on pizzas, and mixed into other dishes.  I have a great recipe for pork "hamburgers" using the sun dried tomatoes.  DELICIOUS!!Inter-plant herbs and flowers with your veggies. By planting herbs and flowers amongst your vegetables you will attract all types of birds to your garden space effectively cutting down on the insect population.  You can plant things like basil, oregano, and rosemary very easily next to the flowers in your flower beds.  One  of the perks is they smell FABULOUS!  I like to drop herb seeds in the crack in the concrete in my walkways-their fragrance is released every time someone steps on them.  Create a spot for "beneficial" creatures that prey on pests. A great addition to your garden can be a beneficial creature like a toad or lizard. Create an enticing environment for them by having rock piles or even perennial plants available for them to use for shelter. I took a large broken pot and turned it on it's side for our frog buddy to use.  It keeps the rain off of him and provides plenty of shade during those hot summer days.  Add a birdbath. Attracting birds to your gardening area can help cut down on the number of insects you have nibbling on your fruits and vegetables.  We have a birdbath in the middle of one of our gardens.  We also have tons of hummingbird feeders on our porch-I don't know if this helps the insect population any but we have at least a dozen hummers daily visiting us and it's an absolute HOOT to watch them fly and dodge each other.  The cost of the feeder is worth the summer long entertainment you will receive. 

I hope this hub has peaked your interest in using companion planting in your garden this year. If you know of any other beneficial companion plants, or any other plants that help others by repelling pests, please feel free to email me and let me know. Happy Gardening!

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Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Interesting and concise hub, asparagus grows well alongside everything apparently! Growing a mixed garden is part of my American Indian heritage and I am an advocate with an appetite!

Ben Zoltak

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