Planting Vegetables: Companion Plants And Guidelines
Companion plants benefit each other when planted in close proximity. They work (and play) well together, attracting good insects and keeping away the unwanted ones. Companion plants also provide nutrients and in some cases natural shade and support to their garden neighbors.
|Companion Plants||Incompatible Plants|
|Bush Beans||Cabbage, Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Strawberry, Carrots, Peas, Radishes||Onion|
|Pole Beans||Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce||Onion|
|Cabbage Family (Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower)||All Aromatic Herbs, Bush Beans, Onions, Spinach||Dill, Strawberries, Pole Beans, Tomato|
|Cucumber||Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radish, Tomato||Aromatic Herbs|
|Lettuce||Beans, Cucumber, Peas, Spinach, Strawberry|
|Onion Family||Beets, Cabbage Family, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Pepper, Radishes, Squash, Strawberries, Tomato||Beans|
|Pepper||Bean, Carrot, Onion|
|Spinach||Cauliflower, Eggplant, Peas, Strawberry|
|Squash||Beans, Onion, Radish|
|Strawberry||Bush Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Spinach|
|Tomato||Carrot, Cucumber, Mint, Onion Family, Parsley, Peas, Sage||Cabbage Family|
Many vegetables and herbs have natural substances in their roots, flowers and leaves that repel unwanted pests and attract beneficial insects. Some companion plants help other varieties grow by providing shade or enhancing flavor. Simply put, companion planting helps balance your garden's ecosystem, allowing nature to do its job. Nature integrates many different plants, animals, and many more organisms into every ecosystem so nothing goes to waste.
How close should you plant these companion plants? To make it simple, take an average spacing between the two varieties. If one variety should be spaced 12 in. apart and the other calls for 6 in., space them 9 in. apart. Be sure to keep an eye on the heights for proper shading. Try not to completely shade out any of your shorter veggies and herbs.
Plants that are not compatible should be placed in different gardens or opposite ends of larger beds (larger than 10 by 10 ft.). Don't plant incompatible plants in the same patio container and keep them apart in pots on your deck.
Here are some guidelines on how much to grow (when feeding two to three people):
|Tomatoes:||3-4 plants of several varieties|
|Cauliflower, broccoli:||2-4 plants|
|Lettuce & spinach:||2-4 ft. row|
|Carrots & radish:||2-4 ft. row|
|Bush beans:||4 ft. row|
|Pole beans:||3 plants for each pole|
|Peppers:||1-2 plants each of 3-4 varieties|
|Squash, zucchini:||2-4 plants total|
|Melons, pumpkins:||1 plant per variety|
Some varieties of ripe cherry tomatoes tend to split open after a good rainstorm - it is due to excess water pressure inside a thin-skinned fruit. If you think it is going to rain, harvest all your ripe and near-ripe cherries so you don't lose them.
- Burpee Home Garden