Companion planting in the vegetable patch

Raised beds with companion planting

Just like humans, vegetables also have friends and foes. Some families stimulate or protect each other. Other families tire each other out and make each other vulnerable. Companion planting is the art of pairing them well!

Positioning vegetables in the garden should not be random. There is a set of rules to follow so that vegetables that might disturb each other are not planted close together.

As an added benefit, some vegetables do better when they are planted together.

Major vegetable families

In a vegetable patch, there are several different families of vegetables. The main ones are:

Certain families are good neighbors to each other, while in other cases they can’t bear each other’s presence.

Plant families that get along wellApiaceae, Brassicacaea and the legume family.

Plant families that don’t get along wellLiliaceae, nightshade family (the Solanaceae group) and the legume family.

These three families really are angry at each other, even though we don’t quite know why. It may be due to volatile compounds (called phytoncides) that they spread to protect themselves from parasites and communicate with each other. Since inter-plant language study is barely beginning, these are only still hypothesis…

For instance, when some cabbages are attacked by Pieris brassicae, nearby plants start boosting their immune system just in case!

Here are the right pairings for companion planting for vegetables

To place your green guests well around the vegetable bed, here are a few plans to tuck them in:

Garlicred beet, carrot, strawberry plant, lettuce, tomato

Asparagus – cucumber/pickle, bean, parsley, leek, tomato

Eggplant – bean

Red beet – garlic, spinach, beanlettuce

Carrot – garlic, dill, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, onion, leek, pea, tomato

Celery – garlic, cabbage, beanonion, leek, tomato

Cabbage – carrot, celery, cucumber/pickle, bean, pea, savory, tomato

Cucumber – basil, cabbage, beanlettuce, French marigold, onion, pea

Pickle – basil, cabbage, beanlettuce, French marigold, onion, pea

Spinach – red beet, carrot, cabbage, strawberry, bean, turnip, leek, radish, tomato

Fennel – celery, turnip, leek

Beans – eggplant, red beet, carrot, celery, cabbage, cucumber/pickle, spinach, strawberry plant, lettuce, carrot, potato

Lettuce – red beet, carrot, chervil, cabbage, cucumber/pickle, strawberry plant, bean, radish

Cantaloupe – nasturtium, bean, lettuce, pea

Turnips – spinach, fennel, pea

Companion plants growing thick and lushOnion – red beet, carrot, cucumbers/pickle, strawberry plant, lettuce, tomato

Leek – asparagus, carrot, celery, spinach, strawberry plant, lettuce, tomato

Peas – carrot, celery, cabbage, cucumber/pickle, turnip, potato, radish

Radish – carrot, spinach, lettuce, bean, peastomato

Tomato – garlic, asparagus, carrot, celery, onion, parsley, leek

Pierrick the Gardener

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: Brian Boucheron
CC BY-NC 2.0: JR P