Secrets of Companion Planting

It is almost time to plant our gardens. You might want to choose which plants to plant beside one another, based on the following advice from Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte and published by McKenzie.

Vegetables and fruits, like people, have natural friends they prefer to be with. They help each other, like corn with pumpkins.

Sometimes plant friendships are a bit one-sided. Carrots will help beans, but the beans don’t help carrots. Beans will, however, help their cucumber neighbors.

Plants have bad companions, too, and you’ll be doing them a favor to keep them apart. Beans and onions are natural enemies, so you’ll do them a favor to keep them at opposite sides of the garden.

Getting to know the good and bad companions can double the bounty of our gardens. The only work required is to plan our garden planting right.

Asparagus planted with parsley gives added vigor to both.

Beans grow well with carrots, cauliflower, beets, cucumbers and cabbages. Carrots especially help beans to grow. They are inhibited by any member of the onion family and dislike gladiolus. Bush beans planted with potatoes protect them against the Colorado potato beetle.

Beets grow well with bush beans.

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Turnips and Rutabaga have similar likes and dislikes, insects and diseases. They are helped by aromatic plants or those which have many blossoms such as dill, sage, onions and potatoes. They dislike strawberries, tomatoes and pole beans.

Carrots grow well with leaf lettuce and tomatoes but have a pronounced dislike for dill. Onions, leeks and herbs act as a repellent to the carrot fly whose maggot often attacks its roots.

Corn does well with potatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, pumpkin and squash.

Cucumbers like beans, peas, radishes and sunflowers. They dislike potatoes.

Gladiolus, peas and beans have inhibiting effects on each other.

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.

Potatoes do well planted with beans, corn, cabbage and horseradish, marigold and eggplant (which is a lure for the Colorado potato beetle). They do not do well near pumpkin, tomato, raspberry, squash, cucumber and sunflower.

Pumpkins grow well with corn, a practice followed by American Indians. Pumpkins and potatoes have an inhibiting effect on each other.

Tomatoes are compatible with chives, onion, parsley, marigold, and carrot. Keep away from the Brassica family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and turnips) as they repel each other.

Turnip and/or Rutabaga planted near peas mutually benefit each other.

Happy gardening!

By Alma Copland, Home Economist
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