Experienced gardeners have practiced companion gardening for years. Some vegetables benefit from being planted with other plants. Whether they save garden space, help attract beneficial insects or aid in the growing process, companion plants are a smart addition to your garden plans.
Beans and Corn
Corn provides a sturdy support for bean vines. Insects that eat corn pests like leaf beetles and leaf hoppers are fond of being around bean plants.
Spinach and Radish
Leafminers are very partial to spinach if planted by itself. Plant radish with your spinach, and the leafminers will eat the radish leaves instead. This will save your spinach but won't do any damage to the radishes growing underground.
Dill and Cole Crops
Cole plants like broccoli and cabbage are good supports for spindly dill plants, and the dill will attract beneficial wasps that will eat cabbage worms and pests.
Garlic and Roses
Garlic and roses are older and better known planting pairs. The scent of garlic repels many insects that would otherwise damage rose plants and flowers. Planting garlic chives can have the same results, but with a more attractive flowering look for your rose garden.
Cabbage and Tomatoes
Diamondback moth larvae are worms that eat the leaves of the cabbage plant. Tomato plants, when grown near cabbage, will repel these worms and prevent holes in your cabbages.
Catnip and Collard Greens
If you plant catnip and collards together, flea beetles and other pests of cabbage will prefer the catnip. The catnip will suffer, but the collard greens will survive the season with much less damage.
Zinnias and Cauliflower
Zinnia flowers, even the dwarf zinnias, will attract ladybugs and other pests. These predators will then leave your cauliflower alone for you to enjoy.
Beans and Lettuce
Bean plants, with their sturdy and leafy profile, are very good at shading tender lettuce plants. Lettuce grows much better without getting too much sun, so they thrive in the shade of beans.
Peas and Watermelons
Plant watermelons near the end of pea season. In the beginning, the pea plants will shade the tender new watermelon seedlings, making sure that they don't get too much sun. After the peas are all picked and the vines pulled up, the watermelons can make use of the pea trellis, growing up the support and using it to keep the fruit off the ground.