How to Companion Plant Vegetables


When you grow vegetables in close proximity to certain other plants, they will thrive more successfully than if you plant them in tidy, sterile rows. Companion planting has a scientific basis: plants grow best when you plant them with plants having similar nutrient needs and growing conditions. Plants with opposite needs sometimes make good companions---those with a deep root system help to break up the subsoil and release nutrients for shallow-rooted plants---for example, Swiss chard and beans work together well. Plants have foes as well as friends---carrots and dill, for instance, don't perform well together.

Companion Planting Vegetables

Step 1

Plant beans near beets, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, spinach and potatoes. Avoid planting beans near onions and garlic.

Step 2

Plant cabbage family plants near beets, celery, onions, spinach and potatoes. Avoid tomatoes, beans and strawberries in the same neighborhood as your broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale.

Step 3

Grow carrots near lettuce, onions, peas and radishes. Keep dill away from their planting area.

Step 4

Grow your corn near beans, cucumbers, melons, peas, potatoes, pumpkins and other squash. Celery and tomatoes are corn's plant foes.

Step 5

Grow eggplant near your spinach and beans, which it especially favors. Don't plant fennel near your eggplant.

Step 6

Grow spinach next to peas and beans, which give spinach shade it needs. Spinach also likes cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, onions and peas. If you grow your spinach near a strawberry patch, both will prosper. Spinach has no foes.

Step 7

Plant tomatoes in the vicinity of asparagus, carrots, beans, cucumbers, lettuce, onions and several herbs, including basil, mint and borage. Don't plant your tomatoes close to cabbage, corn, dill, kohlrabi and potatoes.

Step 8

Grow turnips and peas next to each other, but keep them away from mustard.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you grow tomatoes and carrots close to one another, the tomato plants can cause the carrots' growth to be stunted; however, the carrots will still taste good.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden bed(s) with rich soil
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Young plants


  • Country Women; Jeanne Tetrault and Sherry Thomas; 1976

Who Can Help

  • Golden Harvest Organics
Keywords: vegetable gardening, companion plants, plant friends

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.