Garden Plants That Work Best Next to Each Other

You wouldn't know that cucumbers do better when you plant then near beans unless you look it up. But you can determine if some plants will be compatible with each other by examining their growth patterns and their needs for sunlight and water. Companion planting can also help to deter destructive insects and attract beneficial ones. It creates a well-balanced ecosystem in your garden, which allows Mother Nature to do her job better.

Companion Vegetables

Beans are companions with carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, spinach and beets. Carrots do well and encourage the growth of onions, lettuce, radishes and peas, but they don't care for dill. Corn will grow taller and produce larger ears if you grow it along with beans, melons, peas, cucumbers and all types of squash. Don't grow corn near celery and tomatoes. Eggplant favors spinach and beans as its neighbors, but doesn't care for fennel. Tomatoes thrive when you grow them near basil and mint, asparagus, beans, cucumbers, asparagus, onions and lettuce. Avoid planting tomatoes near corn, dill cabbage and potatoes. Turnips and peas are compatible plants, but plant your turnips far from your mustard.

Companion Herbs

Basil is a companion to tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, petunias, nasturtiums, marigolds and oregano. Keep basil far away from rue and sage. All types of chamomile are good neighbors for any plant. Comfrey and avocado trees are companions; this herb also does well and benefits most fruit trees. Chives are compatible with a long list of other plants because they help to repel destructive insects. Carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, sunflowers and chrysanthemums all like chives, but don't plant chives near peas and beans. Dill is a good choice for a row next to your cabbage, onions, lettuce, cucumbers and corn, but don't plant it around tomatoes or carrots. Rosemary is a companion for beans, cabbage, sage and carrots. Sage does well near cabbage, carrots and rosemary, but don't plant it next to onions, rue and cucumbers.

Companion Flowers

Roses are good friends with chives, garlic and garlic chives. The strong smelling chives and garlic help to deter insect pests that like to nibble on roses. Nasturtiums and cucumbers make good companions. Not only is the nasturtium edible, it helps to keep away cucumber beetles and it attracts beneficial insects. Tall flowers like nicotiana and cleome provide a beneficial shade environment for lettuce, which will bolt to seed if it receives too much warm sun. Love-in-a-mist is a good companion plant for strawberries. Zinnias and cauliflower are companions. Sweet alyssum and potatoes work well together; broccoli also benefits from this fragrant flower.

Companion Trees

Apple trees can benefit from having chives in their neighborhood. Most fruit trees do well when you grow garlic nearby because it can help to deter insects. Fruit trees also are companions with nasturtiums and the herb tansy. Fig trees like to grow next to the herb rue. Pine trees are companions with rhododendrons and azaleas.

Keywords: companion plants, herbs flowers, trees vegetables

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.