Companion Planting: Basic Concept and Resources
While companion planting has a long history, the mechanisms of beneficial plant interaction have not always been well overstood. Traditional recommendations used by gardeners have evolved from an interesting combination of historical observation, horticultural science, and a few unconventional sources.
Companion planting can be described as the establishment of two or more plant species in close proximity so that some cultural benefit (pest control, higher yield, etc.) is derived. The concept embraces a number of strategies that increase the biodiversity of agro ecosystems. Traditional Companion Planting
Table 1. COMPANION PLANTING CHART FOR HOME & MARKET GARDENING (compiled from traditional literature on companion planting) CROP COMPANIONS INCOMPATIBLE Asparagus Tomato, Parsley, Basil Beans Most Vegetables & Herbs Beans, Bush Irish Potato, Cucumber, Corn, Strawberry, Celery, Summer Savoury Onion
Beans, Pole Corn, Summer Savoury, Radish Onion, Beets, Kohlrabi, Sunflower Cabbage Family Aromatic Herbs, Celery, Beets, Onion Family, Chamomile, Spinach, Chard Dill, Strawberries, Pole Beans, Tomato Carrots English Pea, Lettuce, Rosemary, Onion Family, Sage, Tomato Dill Celery Onion & Cabbage Families, Tomato, Bush Beans, Nasturtium
Corn Irish Potato, Beans, English Pea, Pumpkin, Cucumber, Squash Tomato Cucumber Beans, Corn, English Pea, Sunflowers, Radish Irish Potato, Aromatic Herbs Eggplant Beans, Marigold Lettuce Carrot, Radish, Strawberry, Cucumber
Onion Family Beets, Carrot, Lettuce, Cabbage Family, Summer Savory Beans, English Peas Parsley Tomato, Asparagus Pea, English Carrots, Radish, Turnip, Cucumber, Corn, Beans Onion Family, Gladiolus, Irish Potato Potato, Irish Beans, Corn, Cabbage Family, Marigolds, Horseradish Pumpkin, Squash, Tomato, Cucumber, Sunflower
Pumpkins Corn, Marigold Irish Potato Radish English Pea, Nasturtium, Lettuce, Cucumber Hyssop Spinach Strawberry, Faba Bean Squash Nasturtium, Corn, Marigold Irish Potato
Tomato Onion Family, Nasturtium, Marigold, Asparagus, Carrot, Parsley, Cucumber Irish Potato, Fennel, Cabbage Family Turnip English Pea Irish Potato
Trap Cropping Sometimes, a neighbouring crop may be selected because it is more attractive to pests and serves to distract them from the main crop. An excellent example of this is the use of collards to draw the diamond back moth away from cabbage.
Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation Legumes such as peas, beans, and clover have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen for their own use and for the benefit of neighbouring plants via symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium bacteria. Forage legumes, for example, are commonly seeded with grasses to reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizer. Likewise, beans are sometimes interplanted with corn.
Physical Spatial InteractionsFor example, tall-growing, sun-loving plants may share space with lower-growing, shade-tolerant species, resulting in higher total yields from the land. Spatial interaction can also yield pest control benefits. The diverse canopy resulting when corn is companion-planted with squash or pumpkins is believed to disorient the adult squash vine borer and protect the vining crop from this damaging pest. In turn, the presence of the prickly vines is said to discourage rodents from ravaging the sweet corn.
Nurse CroppingTall or dense-canopied plants may protect more vulnerable species through shading or by providing a windbreak. Nurse crops such as oats have long been used to help establish alfalfa and other forages by supplanting the more competitive weeds that would otherwise grow in their place. In many instances, nurse cropping is simply another form of physical-spatial interaction.
Beneficial Habitats Beneficial habitats—sometimes called refugia—are another type of companion plant interaction that has drawn considerable attention in recent years. The benefit is derived when companion plants provide a desirable environment for beneficial insects and other arthropods especially those predatory and parasitic species which help to keep pest populations in check.
Security Through Diversity A more general mixing of various crops and varieties provides a degree of security to the grower. If pests or adverse conditions reduce or destroy a single crop or cultivar, others remain to produce some level of yield.
COMPANION VEGETABLE GARDENING It's said that vegetables are like people, they thrive on companionship. It is believed that vegetables will yield up to twice as much when they are surrounded with companion plants. So in this article we will discuss the top 12 vegetables and their best friends. If you're getting ready to plant your vegetable garden you may want to try placing the various vegetable crops so you can take advantage of their natural friends. If you have already planted your vegetable garden you may want to make some changes in subsequent plantings later this summer.
The following are a list of the top 12 vegetables and their ideal plantingcompanions.
Beans--they like celery and cucumbers but dislike onions and fennel. Beets--Bush beans, lettuce, onions, kohlrabi, and most members of the cabbage family are companion plants. Keep the pole beans and mustard away from them. Cabbage--Celery, dill, onions and potatoes are good companion plants They dislike strawberries, tomatoes, and pole beans. Carrots--Leaf lettuce, radish, onions and tomatoes are their friends, Plant dill at the opposite end of the garden. Corn--Pumpkins, peas, beans, cucumbers and potatoes are nice companion plants, Keep the tomatoes away from them. Cucumbers--They like corn, peas, radishes, beans and sunflowers. Cucumbers dislike aromatic herbs and potatoes so keep them away.
Lettuce--It grows especially well with onions. Strawberries carrots, radishes and cucumbers also are friends and good companion plants. Onions--Plant them near lettuce, beets, strawberries and tomatoes but keep them away from peas and beans. Peas--Carrots, cucumbers, corn, turnips and radishes plus beans, potatoes and aromatic herbs are their friends. Keep the peas away from onions, garlic, leek, and shallots
Radishes--This is one vegetable that has a lot of friends, they are excellent companion plants with beets, carrots, spinach and parsnips. Radishes grow well with cucumbers and beans. It's said that summer planting near leaf lettuce makes the radishes more tender. Avoid planting radishes near cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi or turnips. Squash--Icicle radishes, cucumbers and corn are among their friends. Tomatoes--Carrots, onions and parsley are good companion plants. Keep the cabbage and cauliflower away from them.
Sometimes plant friendships are one-sided. Carrots are said to help beans, but beans don’t reciprocate. Though beans will help nearby cucumbers. Other plants have bad companions and you'll be doing them a favour to keep them apart. Beans and onions are natural enemies so keep them at opposite sides of the garden. If you have a patio you might try mint to repel ants, and basil to keep the flies and mosquitoes away. Both herbs have pretty flowers and are fragrant too. Besides, they're nice to harvest and use in the kitchen. "Carrots Love Tomatoes" getting to know good and bad companions can double the bounty of your garden. The only required work is to plan your garden planting properly.
Herb Companion Chart The idea that herbs make good companion plants is not new. Some of the earliest written documents on gardening discuss these relationships. When selecting your companion plants you will need to consider more than which pests are deterred. Think about what each plant adds or takes away from the soil and what effect the proximity of strong herbs may have on the flavour of your vegetables. Try to avoid placing two heavy feeders or two shallow rooted plant types near each other.
Herb Companions Pests Repelled Basil Tomatoes Flies, Mosquitoes Dead Nettle Chives Carrots Potato Bug Potatoes CabbageDislikes Carrots Dill
Garlic Fennel Most plants dislike this herb Roses, Raspberries Japanese Beetle, Aphids Marigolds Mexican Bean Beetles, Nematodes, others Plant throughout the garden White Cabbage Moth, aphids, flea beetles Cabbage, Tomatoes Mint
Pot Marigold Tomatoes Tomato Worm, Asparagus Beetles, others Rosemary Cabbage, Beans Carrots, Sage Cabbage Moth, Bean Beetle, Carrot Fly Cabbage Moth, Carrot Fly, Flea Beetle, Slugs Rosemary, Cabbage, CarrotsDislikes Cucumbers Sage Thyme Cabbage Worm Cabbage