Which Plants & Vegetables Grow Well Together

Mixing and matching your plants can help you to get the most from your garden. Not only will it create a beautiful range of colours and textures, but the additional benefits from growing vegetables will result in a higher yield overall if you do it right.

There is a lot of information regarding which plants go well with which others but here are some simple tips you can follow.

Rule Of (GREEN) Thumb

Growing multiple plants in the same patch can have a number of benefits, which are not limited to the aesthetics of having a multicoloured paradise in your garden. The different plants can help each other grow, which means your garden can be even more spectacular. If you are planting vegetables, it is of paramount importance to get the balance right as this can make or break your crop. Some of the benefits of growing different varieties of plants and vegetables together include:

  • Beneficial Insects
  • Some plants are better known to attract pollinating insects than others. As an example, bees are more attracted to plants with certain colours such as purple, yellow and white in addition to certain types of flowers. This, in turn, will help the plants in the surrounding areas with their pollination, meaning they grow better.

  • Soil Improvement
  • Some plants can actually aid the growth of other plants around them because they improve the soil conditions as they grow. For example, some members of the legume family (peas and beans etc) will increase the quality of the soil as they take in the nitrogen from the atmosphere and deposit it in the soil as the plant grows. This, then, helps the surrounding plants grow even stronger.

  • Intercropping
  • This is more of a space saving tip. Different plants grow at different rates so this is a helpful way of making the most of the space available. Crops like lettuce or radishes grow much faster than other vegetables like parsnips, so by growing both in one space it allows you to maximise the output from your soil. This also helps prevent weeds from stealing nutrients from your vegetables.

  • Create a Decoy
  • While some plant combinations are designed to attract pollinating insects, you also may want your plants to have the opposite effect. Some herb plants have such pungent odours that it actually protects against would-be predators from coming near your crops. The herb odours mask the scent from the plants that the insects might find too tasty to resist.

  • One Team, One Dream
  • Sometimes the very characteristics of a plant can mean it would be the perfect companion for the rest of your crops. Larger plants can protect the smaller ones from wind or too much sun so if a plant can be vulnerable it would be wise to plant another plant that can help. A lot of vegetables prefer to grow in the shade, therefore planting taller plants nearby that require the sun is a win win.

Plants That Should Go Together

There is no shortage of information on recommended companion plants, so for specific information on certain plants you will easily be able to find what you are looking for. If this is your first foray into companion planting here are some examples you should definitely consider next time you plan your garden.

  • Tomatoes & Cabbage
  • The tomatoes are thought to repel certain types of moth larvae, which can ravage through your cabbage leaves.

  • Cabbage & Dill
  • Dill is an excellent companion for the cabbage family plants. The dill attracts the beneficial insects that control the pests that might threaten your crops. The cabbages will also support the dill as it grows as well.

  • Corn & Beans
  • The bean vines will use the corn stalks as a makeshift trellis and grow on the corn plant. The beans will also attract the ideal insects that keep pests off your corn plants like worms and beetles.

  • Lettuce & Tall Flowers
  • Lettuce ideally likes growing in shade so a tall flower like cleome or spider flowers grow tall enough to cover the lettuce.

  • Garlic & Roses
  • This is quite a classic combination as garlic is very good at repelling pests. Their small white or purple flowers that bloom towards the end of spring will also look great alongside the roses.

Plants That Definitely Should Not Go Together

Unfortunately not all plants go together, so it is very important to be aware of the growing characteristics of each plant and how it grows.

  • Asparagus & Garlic
  • This should be avoided at all costs because they will all compete for the same nutrients in the ground. You should ideally avoid any plants in the onion family alongside asparagus.

  • Corn & Tomatoes
  • Corn and tomatoes don’t mix as they are both seen to be heavy feeders. This should therefore be avoided unless the soil in your garden is very rich in nutrients. There are common pests for both of these plants that can be attracted so it makes more sense to keep them apart.

  • Potatoes & Tomatoes
  • Potatoes are fairly compatible with a lot of plants, however tomatoes are not one of them. As they are in the same family of vegetables, they are bombarded by similar pests, which won’t end well for either plant.

  • Spinach and Potatoes
  • Despite their relative size, the potato plants have their roots fairly close to the topsoil so competition for water and nutrients is high. The top growth of potatoes can also block out the sun from the spinach plant.

  • Strawberries & Cabbage
  • Strawberries ideally like plants that keep the pests away. This is why onions, thyme or sage should be chosen rather than cabbage. The cabbage family is often quite vulnerable to pests so this is to be avoided.

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