Monday, September 19, 2011

Homegrown - Companion planting guide

Companion planting is a must for organic gardeners. We need all the help we can get keeping bugs at bay and helping plants thrive.

With companion planting, one plant can help another, either by deterring the pests that might attack it, or by attracting beneficial insects, or by providing the right nutrients.

Every spring I find myself referring to Xanthe White's lovely book Organic Vegetable Gardening, so I can work out which plants are best grouped together.

Then the other day I had a brainwave.

I should post a list of companion planting tips here so that you can refer to it too, and so that I can find it any time I want to. (Yes, I quite often look up old Craving Fresh posts to check things.)

For all you keen gardeners out there, here's a companion planting A-Z for the most common garden vegetables, as gleaned from Organic Vegetable Gardening :

Likes: Basil
Helps: Tomatoes

Likes: Onions, chives, dwarf beans.
Dislikes: Runner and climbing beans.

Like: Carrots, cauliflowers, cucumbers, strawberries.
Dislike: Onions.
Help: Cabbages, cucumbers, strawberries, corn, potatoes.
Harm: Beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages.

Bok choi
Likes: Celery, dill, chamomile, sage, peppermint, rosemary, onions and potatos. Thyme and hyssop will help repel the white cabbage butterfly.
Harms: Radishes, strawberries, tomatoes.

Broad beans
Like: Carrots, cauliflower, beetroot, corn (broad beans can be grown up corn stalks)
Help: Cucumber, cabbages.
Dislike: Onions and garlic.

Likes: Potatoes, beets, onions, pyrethrum, peppermint and rosemary.
Dislikes: Tomatoes, beans, strawberries.
Harms: Radishes, strawberries, tomatoes.

Brussels sprouts
Like: Dill, celery, chamomile, sage, peppermint, rosemary, potatoes, beets, onions, nasturtium, marigolds, pyrethrum.
Dislike: Strawberries, beans, tomatoes.
Harm: Radishes, strawberries, tomatoes.

Like: Queen Anne's lace, lovage, carrots, alyssum, thyme, rosemary, onion, sage, peppermint, chamomile, potato, marigolds.
Dislike: Strawberries, tomatoes, pole beans.
Help: Potatoes.
Harm: Radishes, strawberries, tomatoes.

Like: Onions, chives, black salsify and rosemary (which all deter carrot fly), plus carrots grow well with tomatoes, lettuces and radishes.
Help: Peas, leeks.
Dislike: Dill.

Likes: Celery.
Dislikes: Strawberries, tomatoes.
Harms: Radishes, strawberries, tomatoes.

Likes: Leeks, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, bush beans.

Likes: Potatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, broad beans, sunflowers.
Helps: Melon, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, potatoes.
Dislikes: Tomatoes.

Like: Beans, peas, radishes, sunflowers.
Dislike: Potatoes, aromatic herbs.
Help: Lettuce

Eggplants (aubergines)
Help: Potatoes

Helps: Most plants as it deters many insects that blight the vegetable garden.
Harms: Beans (it inhibits their growth).

Jerusalem artichokes
Like: Sweetcorn.

No recommended companions.

Like: Marigolds, celery, carrots.

Like: Strawberries, cucumbers, carrots, radishes and onions.

Mesclun lettuce
Likes: Almost everything
Harms: Beetroot

Like: All brassicas, beets, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuces, summer savory, chamomile.
Dislike: Peas and beans.
Help: Parsnips, shallots, carrots, brassicas, tomatoes.

Like: Onion, peppermint, rosemary.

Like: Carrots, turnips.
Dislike: Onions, garlic.
Help: Turnips.

Like: Basil

Like: Horseradish, beans, corn, cabbage, marigold, eggplant, hemp, nasturtium.
Dislike: Tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, cucumber, raspberry, sunflowers.
Harm: Pumpkins, cucumber, tomatoes.

Pumpkins (squash)
Like: Corn.
Dislike: Potatoes.

Like: Nasturtiums, leaf mustard
Dislike: Brassicas.
Help: Cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, melons, zucchini, beans, lettuce, kohlrabi.

Like: Onions, garlic.
Dislike: Peas, beans.

Silverbeet/Swiss chard
Likes: Strawberries.

No recommended companion plants for spinach.

Spring onions
Help: all plants by repelling pests.

Like: Borage, beans, onion, garlic.
Dislike: Brassicas.
Help: Lettuces

Like: Basil, chives, onion, parsley, garlic, marigolds, nasturtium, carrots.
Dislike: Potatoes, corn, brassicas.

Like: Rhubarb leaves or French or African marigolds dug into the soil to deter nematodes.
Help: Peas.

Likes: Radishes.

Note: For a better understanding of why, when and where to plant your vegetables, you're best to refer to Xanthe White's Organic Vegetable Gardening.

Linked up to Monday Mania and Patchwork Living Blogging Bee


  1. This is a great idea and one I shall refer to often! Thanks!!

  2. wow, so handy thanks Emma, I'm about to dig another vege patch, so this will help heaps... and I will have to move my strawberries!

  3. Hello Emma,

    Thank you for the list and the link to her book. All looks so interesting.
    Happy days.


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