Make a garden productive through companion planting, Part 2: Guide to pairing

Companion planting is the practice of planting two or more plants together because they benefit each other. It has some benefits such as providing nutrient requirements for the accompanying plants, developing growth habits, pest-repelling abilities, and more. 

Although the practice is already well-known, it takes trial and error before finding out the proper match to each companion plant. 

To help you get started, here’s a list of common plants and their possible pairs:

Amaranth – plant with corn to shade the soil, retain water, and attract predatory ground beetles that could damage corn. 

Basil – best planted next to tomatoes to help improve their flavor. The herb also helps repel various pests such as aphids, asparagus beetles, mites, flies, and mosquitoes. Basil can also be planted next to oregano and peppers.

Beans – should be planted next to plants of the Brassica family, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, and strawberries because beans are nitrogen fixers in the soil. Avoid planting near garlic and onions though. 

Carrots – these grow well with beans, lettuce, onions, peppers, pole beans, radish, rosemary, and tomatoes. Tomatoes will bring out the flavor in carrots, but the carrots might be smaller as tomatoes and carrots compete for soil nutrients. Avoid planting next to dill and potatoes, though.

Cilantro – can be grown with most plants because it is known to be a pest-repellant. 

Garlic – usually a great companion plant for roses because it helps repel aphids and other pests. It can also be grown with potatoes, lettuce, strawberry, and tomatoes.

Onions – plant next to herbs because these can enhance the flavor of the onion. It also works best when planted next to carrots because it keeps carrot rust flies away. 

Rosemary – this herb is best planted next to beans, spinach, and carrots. It also keeps pests such as cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles, and carrot flies at bay. 

Tomatoes – usually, this plant is sensitive when it comes to companion planting. They shouldn’t be planted next to potatoes because they would be at risk of being infected with blight. Tomatoes also don’t work well with cucumbers since both are fighting for the same nutrients in the soil. However, they do perform better when planted with basil, beans, carrots, celery, garlic, lettuce, onion, and peppers. 

Determining the types of plants that go well together isn’t set in stone. You can try experimenting as to what the best matches for your soil and climate are. If unsure, then there’s no harm in consulting a guide every now and then. 

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