Companion Planting II: What NOT to Plant Together

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As we learned in least week’s article, companion planting can be beneficial to your garden and embraces a number of strategies that increase the biodiversity or your soil. Native American farmers planted squash, corn, and beans together because the corn acts as a trellis for the beans, the beans return nutrients to the soil, and the broad leaves of the squash control weeds while keeping moisture in the soil. But what about plants that are natural enemies? Take a look at six combinations of plants that don’t get along in the garden:

  1. Onions & Peas – According to the Farmer’s Almanac, companion planters believe that onions (and shallots or garlic) can stunt peas’ (and beans’) growth and should not be planted near one another.
  2. Broccoli & Lettuce – Research shows that lettuce is sensitive to chemicals found in residues left behind by broccoli plants. Sowing lettuce near broccoli—or in the spot where it used to grow—may hinder seed germination and growth.
  3. Potatoes & Tomatoes – These two vegetables usually contract the same diseases, so when they’re right next to each other, the diseases spread more easily.
  4. Dill & Carrots – Dill and carrots are believed to be enemies in the garden, though no scientific research backs this common observation.
  5. Peppers & Beans – Peppers and beans are both susceptible to anthracnose, so if one gets it, they’ll both wind up infected when planted side-by-side. This disease ruins fruits by causing dark, soft spots to appear.
  6. Grapes & Cabbage – Folklore says that sowing cabbage seeds near grape vines spells trouble for your homemade wine. Gardeners noticed this effect over 2,000 years ago!

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