A diverse mix of plants makes for a healthy and beautiful garden. Many gardeners believe and scientific studies have proven that companion planting, the close planting of different plants that enhance each other’s growth or protect each other from pests, has real benefits unique to specific combinations. Practical experience has demonstrated to many gardeners how to mate certain plants for their mutual benefit.
Companions help each other grow—tall plants, for example, provide shade for sun-sensitive shorter plants. Companions also prevent pest problems. Plants like onions repel pests and other plants can lure pests away from more delicate plants. Or one plant may attract the predators of another plant’s pests.
Here is a great video for the basics:
- Garlic & Roses – Gardeners have been planting garlic with roses forever since garlic can help to repel rose pests.
- Cabbage & Tomatoes – Tomatoes are repellent to diamondback moth larvae, which are caterpillars that chew large holes in cabbage leaves.
- Radishes & Spinach – Leafminers, a small fly, moth, beetle, or sawfly whose larvae burrow between the two surfaces of a leaf, are typically harmful t o spinach leaves and radishes are a natual repellant. Even if the leafminers get to the radish leaves, it usually doesn’t prevent the radishes from growing nicely underground.
- Corn & Beans – The beans attract beneficial insects that prey on corn pests such as leafhoppers, fall armyworms and leaf beetles. And bean vines climb up the corn stalks.
- Cabbage & Dill – Dill is a great companion for cabbage family plants, such as broccoli and brussels sprouts. The cabbages support the floppy dill, while the dill attracts the tiny beneficial wasps that control imported cabbageworms and other cabbage pests.
- Melons & Marigolds – Certain marigold varieties control nematodes in the roots of melon as effectively as chemical treatments.