Companion planting is one of the best things that we can do on our farm. Some plant companions can help to improve the flavour and yield of homegrown fruits and vegetables, others help to repel pests and parasites, others improve soil health, regulate shade or aid pollination and so much more. But what are the best plants for companion planting? Which work best and how? You can try some of it to make your farm more efficient and productive.
Try some of these successful companion planting combinations in your farm:
It benefits from the company of basil, onions, rosemary, sage, and parsley. Marigolds are often planted among tomatoes to ward off insects and nematodes. Tomatoes and potatoes belong to the same family, but they should not be planted together.
Beans, peas, and vegetables from the cabbage family grow well with potatoes. They like squash as companions but not cucumbers and pumpkins. Potatoes have a number of enemies such as potato beetles. Grow basil and marigold with potatoes to repel these beetles and nematode worms.
Grow spinach, lettuce, and radishes around the pepper. They enjoy the light shade provided by the taller pepper plants and return the favor by suppressing weeds. Planting basil and chives with peppers is a good idea; they not only repel some of the pests that bother pepper plants but also improve the flavor of the peppers. Garlic, onions, and leeks are good companions too.
Plant some herbs like thyme and tarragon to keep off these insects. Spinach helps keep weeds in check as it flourishes in the shade of the eggplants. These veggies have high nitrogen requirement that can be met by planting beans near them, but select shorter varieties that will not hinder sunlight.
Good companions for carrots are lettuce and radish. Onions and leeks repel carrot flies, but while leeks can be grown in the same bed with carrots, onions should be grown in a separate bed nearby to avoid competition. Chives and marigolds are helpful too, but avoid planting dill and parsnips near carrots.
Dill, onions, garlic, celery, basil and sage are good companions for broccoli. These aromatic plants repel many pests and attract some of their predators. Onions and celery enhance the flavor of broccoli. The high calcium requirement of this vegetable can be met by growing beets. You can plant cucumbers, potatoes, bush beans, lettuce and radish with broccoli.
As with broccoli, dill is a great companion to cabbage as well as other cruciferous vegetables because the herb attracts wasps that prey on many cabbage pests. Planting celery and onions close to cabbage help its growth while chamomile improves flavor.
Although cabbage does well with potatoes, other members of the nightshade family–peppers, tomatoes and eggplants–shouldn’t be grown with cabbage.
Beans are the best companions of cauliflower. Dill, celery and onions protect cauliflower, so do zinnias planted around it. Their blooms attract ladybugs that keep cauliflower pests in check. Avoid planting strawberries anywhere near cauliflower since they attract slugs that can do tremendous damage to the cauliflower heads.
You can grow beans, peas, carrots, beets and radishes with cucumbers. Plant
Marigolds and sunflowers with cucumbers to repel cucumber beetles.
Squash prefer the same companions as cucumbers. Grow radishes, beets and carrots around them. Planting legumes in the same plot makes more nitrogen available to squash plants.
Corn can be paired with almost any member of the legume family and the squash family to form the “three sisters” planting. That includes beans and peas as well as cucumbers and melons. Besides them, you can plant potatoes and lettuce with corn.
Carrots and tomatoes can be grown near asparagus patches, but avoid potatoes, onions and garlic. Marigolds and herbs like basil, dill, and parsley protect the tender shoots from asparagus beetles. Tomatoes also have a protective effect on asparagus since they contain solanine, which is toxic to these beetles.
Spinach likes a bit of shade that can be provided by slightly taller plants like beans, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes and celery. Squash is good companion, so is onion.