Companion planting is a great way to maximize your garden by pairing vegetables, flowers, or herbs together. This ensures plants are attracting the right pollinators, giving the nutrients it needs, or reducing pests. Each plant is grown next to each other to benefit one another - it's a win-win! This may look like planting marigold flowers next to tomatoes to attract beneficial bugs or chives to deter aphids.
One of the most common companion plants are tomato and basil. Basil repels insects and moths (which turn into hornworms that eat tomatoes). Onion also pairs well with tomatoes (and other nightshade family vegetables) to deter pests and provide beneficial nutrients. These three are great to start in your garden, as all three also pair well in the many recipes!
There are plenty benefits to companion planting but here are a few reasons to try this while starting your own garden;
Shade regulation: Larger plants can provide shade needed for smaller plants; like corn and lettuce
Deterring pests: The smell of some plants can drive away bugs (like the smell of garlic).
Attracting bugs: Not all bugs are pests, there are some we want in our garden. There are some plants that bring in necessary pollinators or wasps.
Soil health: Companion planting is also great to provide the necessary nutrients needed for other plants. Many legumes (peas, beans) make nitrogen for the soil that is excellent for other plants.
Weed suppression: Some plants help prevent the growth of weeds, such as cucumbers or potatoes.
Maximizing space: You may have just a small area to plant in and companion planting can help you make the most out of what you have.
See our companion chart below to get ideas of which plants to put together in your garden. Simply print or save this chart, look down on the column on the left and find the vegetable you would like to plant. Then look across the row and see multiple ideas of what would make a good companion plant.
We hope this guide gives you plenty of ideas of what to plant in your own garden and gets you growing your own food! Tag us if you use our guide and share what you are growing.