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Companion Planting Reference Guide: Why and How?

 

Companion planting allows you to select plants that benefit each other in a number of different ways; moreover, many common garden plants have allelopathic effects which means they can slow the growth of certain types of neighboring plants! 

Companion Planting Guide Resource Page

 

The composting vertical Garden Tower is the definition of a companion planting system -- 50 plants in 4 square feet at six elevations guarantees plant-to-plant interactions at the stem and root levels. 

Here's a fantastic go-to infographic to quickly reference for a reasonable understanding of which vegetables will thrive near to each other and which veggies you need to put a little space between:

 

(Click the image below for the readable full-resolution version!)

Companion planting infograhic for organic gardening

This infographic is from http://afristarfoundation.org/educational-resources/

Afristar Foundation develops educational resources for schools, community programs and adult education in the form posters, educational documentaries and informational booklets. We make use of accessible media to illustrate techniques and principles of sustainability and to spread information in a manner that is fun, colorful and easy to understand.  To learn more visit http://afristarfoundation.org/

- See more at: http://www.gardentowerproject.com/news/towerpower-blog#sthash.YjKtzXxt.dpuf

Afristar Foundation develops educational resources for schools, community programs and adult education in the form posters, educational documentaries and informational booklets. We make use of accessible media to illustrate techniques and principles of sustainability and to spread information in a manner that is fun, colorful and easy to understand.  To learn more visit http://afristarfoundation.org/

 

If you want to take this concept further -- read on:

 

The following tables offer valuable insights for plant selection and design in a Garden Tower or conventional garden. 

Determine what plant(s) you would like to grow, check the table to learn which companion plants will help your desired plant thrive and which plants you should avoid planting adjacent to it!  Don't be intimidated, it's simpler than it looks! (use Firefox browser for the largest text!)

 

Vegetables:
(Go to Herbs or Flowers)

Common nameScientific name
HelpsHelped byAttractsRepelsAvoidComments   

Alliums

Allium

fruit trees, nightshades (tomatoes, capsicum peppers, potatoes), brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, etc.) carrots

carrots

slugs, aphids, carrot fly, cabbage worms[1]

beans, peas, parsley

Alliums include onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives, and others

Asparagus

Asparagus officinalis

Tomatoes[2]

Aster Family flowers, Dill, Coriander, Tomatoes, Parsley, Basil, Comfrey, Marigolds

coupled with Basil seems to encourage lady bugs

Onion, Garlic, Potatoes

Brassicas

Brassica

potatoes, cereals (e.g. corn, wheat)

geraniums, dill, alliums (onions, shallots, garlic, etc.), rosemary, nasturtium, borage

wireworms

mustards, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, etc.)

Brassicas are a family of species which include broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and cauliflower.

Beans

Phaseolus

Corn (see Three Sisters), Spinach, lettuce, rosemary, summer savory, dill, carrots, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and cucumbers

Eggplant, Summer savoury

California beetles

Tomatoes, chili peppers, alliums (onions, garlic, etc.), brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, etc.)

Hosts nitrogen-fixing bacteria, a good fertiliser for some plants, too much for others

Beets

Beta Vulgaris

lettuce, kohlrabi, onions and brassicas

Catnip, Garlic, Mint

Runner or pole beans[2]

Good for adding minerals to the soil through composting leaves which have up to 25% magnesium. Runner or pole beans and beets stunt each other's growth.

Broccoli

Brassica oleracea

geraniums, dill, alliums, rosemary, nasturtium, borage

mustards, Tomatoes, peppers

Rosemary repels cabbage fly, geraniums trap cabbage worms, same general companion profile as all brassica (cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.)

Cabbage

Brassica oleracea

geraniums, dill, alliums, rosemary

mustards, Tomatoes, peppers strawberries, and pole/runner beans

Rosemary repels cabbage flies, geraniums trap cabbage worms, same general companion profile as all brassica (cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.)

Carrots

Daucus carota

Tomatoes, Alliums (onions, chives, etc.), lettuce

alliums (leeks, shallots, etc.), rosemary, wormwood, sage, beans, flax

assassin bug, lacewing, parasitic wasp, yellow jacket and other predatory wasps

Dill, parsnip, radish

Tomatoes grow better with carrots, but may stunt the carrots' growth. Beans (which are bad for tomatoes) provide the nitrogen carrots need more than some other vegetables. Aromatic companion plants repel carrot fly. Alliums inter-planted with carrots confuse onion and carrot flies.

Celery

Apium graveolens

Cosmos, Daisies, Snapdragons

corn, Aster flowers, these can transmit the aster yellows disease

Corn / Maize

Zea mays

beans

Sunflowers, legumes (beans, peas, etc.), peanuts, cucurbits (squash, cucumbers, melons, etc.), amaranth, white geranium, lamb's quarters, morning glory, parsley, and potato[2]

Tomato, Celery

Provides beans with a trellis, is protected from predators and dryness by cucurbits, in the three sisters technique

Cucumber

Cucumis Sativus

Nasturtiums, radishes, marigolds, sunflowers, peas, beets, carrots, and Dill

Beneficial for ground beetles

Tomato, Sage

Common nameScientific nameHelpsHelped byAttractsRepelsAvoidComments

Eggplant or Aubergine

Solanum melongena

Beans, Peppers

Marigolds, tarragon, mints

Marigolds will deter nematodes.

 

Leek

Allium ampeloprasum v. porrum

Celery, apple trees

carrots

cabbage worms, aphids, carrot fly, others

Legumes (beans, peas, etc.), Swiss chard

Same companion traits as all alliums (onions, garlic, shallots, chives, etc.)

Lettuce

Lactuca sativa

Radish, Kohlrabi, beans, carrots

celery, cabbage, cress, parsley

Mints (including hyssop, sage, and various "balms") repel slugs, a bane of lettuce and cabbages

Mustard

Brassicaceae, Sinapis alba

Cabbage, cauliflower, radish, Brussels sprouts, turnips

various pests

Same general companion profile as all brassica (cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.)

Nightshades

Solanaceae

carrots, alliums, mints (basil, oregano, etc.)

beans, black walnuts, corn, fennel, dill, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.)

Nightshade plants include tomatoes, tobacco, chili peppers (including bell peppers), potatoes, eggplant, and others

Common nameScientific nameHelpsHelped byAttractsRepelsAvoidComments

Onion

Allium cepa

Tomatoes, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc.)

Carrots

aphids, carrot fly, other pests

Beans, lentils, peas, parsley

Same companion traits as all other alliums (chives, garlic, shallots, leeks, etc.)

Peppers

Solanaceae, Capsicum

themselves, marjoram

tomatoes, geraniums, petunias

Tomato Hornworm

beans, kale (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.)

Pepper plants like high humidity, which can be helped along by planting with some kind of dense-leaf companion, like marjoram and basil; they also need direct sunlight, but their fruit can be harmed by it...pepper plants grown together, or with tomatoes, can shelter the fruit from sunlight, and raises the humidity level.

Potato

Solanum tuberosum

Horseradish

Atriplex, carrot, cucumber, onion, raspberries, squash, sunflower, tomato

Horseradish increases the disease resistance of potatoes

Parsnip

Pastinaca Sativa

fruit trees

a variety of predatory insects

The flowers of the parsnip plant left to seed will attract a variety of predatory insects to the garden, they are particularly helpful when left under fruit trees, the predators attacking codling moth and light brown apple moth. The root also contains Myristricin, which is toxic to fruit flies, house flies, red spider mite, pea aphids.

Pumpkin and other Squash

Curcurbita spp

corn, beans

Buckwheat, catnip, tansy, radishes

Spiders, Ground Beetles

Radishes can be used as a trap crop against flea beetles, Curcurbita can be used in the three sisters technique

Radish

Rafanus Sativus

squash, eggplant, cucumber,[2] lettuce

flea beetles, cucumber beetles

Radishes can be used as a trap crop against flea beetles

Spinach

Spinacia oleracea

Peas, Beans

The peas and beans provide natural shade for the spinach

Tomatoes

Solanum lycopersicum

roses, peppers, asparagus

basil,[3] oregano, parsley, carrots, marigold, Alliums, celery, Geraniums, Petunias, Nasturtium, Borage, any type of onion or chives

Tomato Hornworm

asparagus beetle

Black walnut, corn, fennel, peas, dill, potatoes, beetroot, brassicas (kohlrabi, cabbage, etc.), rosemary

Dill attracts tomato hornworm.

Growing basil 10 inches apart from tomatoes can increase the yield of tomatoes by about 20%.[3]

Herbs:

Common nameScientific nameHelpsHelped byAttractsRepelsAvoidComments      

Basil

Ocimum basilicum

tomato,[3] peppers, oregano, asparagus, petunias

chamomile, anise

butterflies

asparagus beetle, mosquitoes, thrips and flies

common rue

is said to make tomatoes taste better, chamomile and anise are supposed to increase the essential oils in many herbs like basil

Borage

Borago officinalis

Almost everything, especially strawberry, cucurbits (cucumber, gourds), tomatoes and cabbage

Predatory insects, honeybees

many pests

Predict a square meter for its adult size. Borage is the magic bullet of companion plants

Caraway

Carum carvi

Strawberries

Parasitic wasps, parasitic flies

Chamomile

Matricaria recutita

Basil, Wheat, Onion, Cabbage, Cucumber

Hoverflies, wasps

Growing near herbs will increase their oil production.

 

Chervil

Anthriscus cerefolium

Radish, lettuce, broccoli

aphids

radish

loves shade, fortunately it grows well with shade-tolerant food plants; will make radishes grown near it taste spicier

Cilantro / Coriander

Coriandrum sativum

spinach

beans, peas

tachinid fly

aphids, spider mites, white flies and potato beetle

Chives

Allium schoenoprasum

Apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage, mustard, etc.), many others

carrots

cabbage worms, carrot fly, aphids

beans, peas

Same companion traits as all alliums (onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, etc.)said to prevent apple scab after 3 years planting at base of apple trees

Common nameScientific nameHelpsHelped byAttractsRepelsAvoidComments

Dill

Anethum graveolens

Cabbages, Corn, Lettuce, Onions, Cucumbers

Tiger Swallowtail butterflies/ caterpillars, Hoverflies, Wasps, Tomato Hornworm, honeybees, Ichneumonid Wasps

Aphids, spider mites, squash bugs, cabbage looper

carrots, tomatoes

one of the few plants said to grow with fennel

Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare

Dill

Dill

ladybugs, syrphid fly, tachinid fly

aphids

Almost everything

Fennel is allelopathic to most garden plants, inhibiting growth, causing to bolt, or actually killing many plants

Garlic

Allium sativum

Apple trees, Pear trees, Roses, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Celery

Aphids, cabbage looper, ants, rabbits, cabbage maggot, vampires

Beans, cabbages, peas

Deters rabbits, same companion traits as all alliums (onions, chives, shallots, leeks, etc.)

Hemp

Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa

Brassica (cabbage, brussels sprouts, other kales)

Repels many types of beetles which attack cabbages.

Hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis

Cabbage, grapes

honeybees, butterflies

Cabbage moth larvae, Cabbage Butterflies

Stimulates growth of grapes.

Lovage

Levisticum officinale

Almost all plants

beans

Ichneumonid Wasps, ground beetles (good)

rhubarb

Is thought to improve the health of almost all plants, like borage and geraniums, is considered a "magic bullet" of companion planting

Oregano

Origanum vulgare

Tomatoes, peppers, many other plants

basil

aphids

provides ground cover and much-needed humidity for pepper plants if allowed to spread among them

Parsley

Petroselinum Crispum

Asparagus, corn/maize, tomatoes

Swallowtail Butterflies, wasps, flies

Alliums, lettuce

Sacrificially attracts insects that predate upon tomatoes

Common nameScientific nameHelpsHelped byAttractsRepels
AvoidComments

Peppermint

Mentha piperita

Brassica (cabbage, kholrabi, broccoli, and the other kales)

cabbage fly, ants, cabbage looper

Repels cabbage flies, has same general companion properties as other mints

Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

sage, cabbage, beans, carrots, thyme

bean beetle

basil

Deters cabbage flies, repels many bean parasites

Sage

Salvia officinalis

rosemary, cabbage, beans, carrots

honeybees, cabbage butterfly

cabbage flies, carrot fly, black flea beetle, cabbage looper, cabbage maggot

Deters cabbage flies, repels many bean parasites

Southern- wood

Artemisia abrotanum

Fruit trees

Controls cabbage moths and malaria mosquitoes.

Spearmint

Mentha spicata

ants, aphids

Controls ants and aphids, has same general companion properties as other mints.

Summer Savoury

Satureja hortensis

Green beans, onions,

also delays germination of certain foul herbs

Tansy

Tanacetum vulgare

beans, cucurbits (cucumbers, squash, etc.), corn, roses

honeybees

flying insects (Ichneumonid Wasps), Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs and ants

Is reputed to generally repel insects (except for nectar-eating types). This herb should not be consumed, as it is quite toxic.

Tarragon

Artemisia dracunculus

Everything, but especially eggplant

Its scent is disliked by most pests, and this plant is also thought to have Nurse Plant properties, enhancing the growth and flavor of crops grown with it.

Thyme

Cabbage and broccoli

Deters white fly

Flowers:

Common NameScientific NameHelpsHelped byAttractsRepels
AvoidComments
                                              

Geraniums

Pelargonium spp.

Roses, corn, peppers, grapes

leafhoppers, Japanese beetles

Tomatoes, Tobacco, Eggplants and other nightshades

A trap crop, attracting pests away from roses and grape vines, distracts beet leafhoppers, carrier of the curly top virus, keep away from Solanaceous plants like eggplant, and tobacco

Lupin

Lupinus

Cucurbits, brassica, lettuce, rosemary, dill, strawberry

summer savory

Honeybees

tomatoes and other solanaceae

This wildflower is a legume, hosting bacteria that fixes nitrogen in the soil, fertilizing it for neighboring plants

Marigold

Asteraceae Calendula Tagetes

most plants, especially tomatoes and peppers, cucurbits (cucumbers, gourds, squash), brassicas (broccoli, kale, cabbage)

snails

nematodes, beet leaf hoppers, other pests

Marigolds are a wonder-drug of the companion plant world, invoking the saying "plant them everywhere in your garden". French marigolds produce a pesticidal chemical from their roots, so strong it lasts years after they are gone. Mexican marigolds do the same, but are so strong they will inhibit the growth of some more tender herbs. Certain Varieties of marigolds (Tagetes) can help manage eelworms (Root-knot nematode) when planted the year before [1].

Tagetes has also been found effective against perennial weeds such as Ranunculus ficaria (Celandine), Aegopodium podagraria (Ground elder), Glechoma hederacea (Ground ivy), Agropyron repens (Couch grass), Convolvulus arvensis (Field bindweed), Equisetum arvense (Field/Common Horsetail) and other 'starchy' weeds.[citation needed]

Petunia

Petunia x hybrida

cucurbits (squash, pumpkins, cucumbers), asparagus

leafhoppers, Japanese beetles, aphids, asparagus beetle

Is a trap crop almost identical to geraniums in function

Nasturtium

Tropaeolum majus

Many plants, especially cucurbits (melons, cucumbers, gourds), beans, tomatoes, apple trees, brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, etc.), radish

predatory insects

aphids, cabbage looper, squash bug, white fly, cucumber beetles

radish, cauliflower

Both work as trap crops for aphids, is among the best at attracting predatory insects[citation needed]

Sunflower

Helianthus annuus

corn, tomatoes

aphids

Was grown as a companion for corn(maize) before modern Europeans arrived in the Americas, supposedly increases their production, ants herd aphids onto sunflowers, keeping them off neighboring plants

Tansy

Tanacetum vulgare

cucurbits (cucumbers, squash, etc.), raspberries and relatives, roses, corn

sugar ants, Japanese beetles, cucumber beetles, squash bugs, mice

Toxic to many animals, don't plant it where livestock browse

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

many plants

predatory wasps, ladybugs, hoverflies, damselbugs

May increase the essential oil production of some herbs. Also improves soil quality, use the leaves to enrich compost, or as mulch.

Zinnia

Zinnia

beans, tomatoes, peppers

whiteflies

Attracts hummingbirds that eat whitflies, attracts pollinators

Source: Modified From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants

References & Footnotes:

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Vertical organic gardening & composting anywhere!

Garden Tower: The ultimate patio farm by Garden Tower Project.