When planting a vegetable garden, it is important to note which vegetables thrive in the company of others and that some vegetables may be detrimental to the growth of others. Vegetables that are complimentary are known as "companion" plants.
If you select vegetables that are complimentary, you may have a bigger harvest and, in some cases, may need less pest control. In addition, selecting complimentary plants may help to maximize garden space, as some taller vegetables may be planted with shorter ones or root vegetables, allowing you to plant closer together.
What to Plant with Corn
Corn may be planted with several vegetables, including pumpkins and pole beans. The reasons for planting these vegetable pairs are markedly different. According to HowToGardenAdvice.com, corn and pumpkins are complimentary because of size and because they keep predators at bay. Corn, which is tall and rangy, can act as a deterrent to keep pests away from low-lying pumpkin, which in turn has prickly vines that may keep predators, including raccoons, away from ripe corn ears.
Pole beans and corn have long been planted together, as the corn acts as a stake for the bean plants to wrap around. The beans process nitrogen, which feeds the corn and may help to produce a larger yield.
What to Plant with Potatoes
Another well-known planting pair is potatoes and horseradish, as horseradish helps to repel potato bugs. Potatoes, which are tubers and grow underground, will help to clean the soil in any garden and are often planted as an early crop to help prepare the ground for later plantings.
Potatoes may be planted with several taller plants, including corn and beans. Members of the cabbage family, including traditional cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli, are also compatible with potatoes. All of these plants grow above ground while potatoes grow below, so the taller plants can provide some protection for the potatoes.
What to Plant with Tomatoes
Tomatoes are one of the most popular plants used in home vegetable gardens. Though the tomato itself is technically a fruit, it is most often used in cooking as vegetable and is usually planted among other vegetables. A prolific producer, tomatoes are fairly easy to grow and will compliment many other vegetables, including asparagus, carrots, cucumbers and onions.
Cucumbers are known to repel spider mites and aphids while attracting "good" pests; onions produce sulfur, which helps repel tomato pests; and tomatoes repel asparagus beetles.