Companion Planting With Herbs

Overview

Plants have more in common with humans than you might think. We both have needs for food and water, and we both have our likes and dislikes about others. Companion planting is a method of growing plants that like each other in close proximity and keeping the ones they don't care for far away. Herbs make good companions for many plants because they enhance the environments where those plants grow. For example, if you grow rosemary next to your green beans, you can expect healthier plants and a larger harvest than if you didn't grow this herb nearby.

Planting Herbs With Their Companions

Step 1

Plant basil next to your tomatoes, peppers and asparagus. Tomatoes also like to be near mint, borage, oregano, petunias, marigolds and nasturtiums, which means basil is a companion to these herbs and flowers as well. On the other hand, basil is not a good companion to rue or sage.

Step 2

Grow German chamomile or Roman chamomile next to any plant---along with its tonic properties that are beneficial for humans, it also is compatible with all plants.

Step 3

Choose chives for your beds containing carrots, tomatoes, cabbage family vegetables, chrysanthemums and sunflowers. Chives will help to keep away destructive aphids, Japanese beetles and the carrot rust fly. However, chives are not compatible with beans and peas. Chives' close relatives, onions and garlic, are also not good companions for beans and peas.

Step 4

Grow comfrey in moist areas near avocado trees and most other fruit trees.

Step 5

Plant coriander (cilantro) near potatoes and anise: this herb helps to repel aphids, spider mites and the potato beetle.

Step 6

Grow your dill next to cabbage family plants and lettuce, onions, corn and cucumbers. Avoid planting dill near carrots and tomatoes---it can attract the tomato hornworm, which you don't want to encourage.

Step 7

Grow plenty of parsley around your asparagus, carrots, chives, onions, roses and tomatoes, but don't grow it near mint.

Step 8

Plant rosemary near cabbage, beans, carrots and sage because it helps to ward off cabbage moths, bean beetles and carrot flies.

Step 9

Grow any variety of sage close to your cabbage family plants, rosemary and carrots. Keep sage far away from cucumbers, onions and rue.

Step 10

Grow thyme and tarragon throughout your garden to help keep many insect pests and cabbage worms at bay. Tarragon is said to enhance the flavor of many different vegetables.

References

  • Country Women; Jeanne Tetrault and Sherry Thomas; 1976
  • Golden Harvest Organics
Keywords: herbs growing, companion plants, basil rosemary, dill tarragon

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, GardenGuides.com and eHow.com. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.