Companion planting has a history as old as agriculture itself. The early Chinese used the mosquito fern as a companion for rice crops. The Native Americans used the system called The Three Sisters, which utilized Corn, Beans, and Squash together. It has been used to assist plants in their nutrient uptake, pest control, and pollination. It is commonly used in the Square Foot Gardening and Organic Gardening methods. It can also be utilized in Raised Bed Gardening and Container Gardening techniques. Any way you raise a garden Companion Planting can be useful and beneficial.
There are different benefits to Companion Planting:
· Nitrogen fixing: Plants in the Pea family all fix nitrogen into the soil, thus making the ground more fertile for plants that need higher quantities of nitrogen to flourish, like corn.
· Flavor Enhancement: These plants enhance the flavor of the plants they are growing near. Such as planting basil near tomatoes increases the tomatoes taste.
· Trap Cropping: This happens when you plant a plant that attracts certain pests. The idea is that by attracting the pest to it, it leaves the beneficial crop alone.
· Positive Hosting: This occurs when wanted bugs are drawn into the garden by a plant to encourage more insects that will be beneficial.
· Increased Level Interaction: This is when you plant crops at different levels in the garden, such as a root crop with a plant that produces vegetables above ground level
· Pollinator and predator recruitment — The use of plants that produce copious nectar and protein-rich pollen in a vegetable garden (insectary plants) is a good way to recruit higher populations of beneficial insects that control pests. Some insects in the adult form are nectar or pollen feeders, while in the larval form they are voracious predators of pest insects.
· Positive hosting — attracts or is inhabited by beneficial insects or other organisms which benefit plants, as with ladybugs or some "good nematodes"
A short list of Companion Plants:
Order of Information: Plant; Good Companions (GC); Incompatible Companions (IC)
Asparagus – GC: Tomato, Parsley, and Basil
Beans – GC: Most herbs and veggies; IC: Onions
Cabbage – GC: Aromatic Herbs, Celery, Beets, Onion Family, Chamomile, Spinach, Chard; IC: Strawberries, Tomato, Dill
Carrots – GC: Peas, Lettuce, Onion, Sage, Tomato; IC: Dill
Celery – GC: Nasturtium, Onion, Cabbage, and Tomato
Cucumber – GC: Beans, Peas, Sunflower, and Radish; IC: Aromatic Herbs, Potato
Lettuce – GC: Carrot, Radish, Strawberry, and Cucumber
Onions – GC: Beets, Carrot, Lettuce, Cabbage; IC: Beans, Peas
Parsley – GC: Tomato, Asparagus
Peas – GC: Carrots, Radish, Turnip, Cucumber, Beans; IC: Onions, Potato
Potatoes – GC: Beans, Cabbage, Horseradish, Marigolds; IC: Sunflower, Cucumber, Tomato
Radish – GC: Peas, Nasturtium, Lettuce, Cucumber; IC: Hyssop
Spinach – GC: Strawberry, Faba Bean
Tomato – GC: Onion, Marigold, Asparagus, Carrot, Parsley, Cucumber; IC: Cabbage, fennel, Potato
Turnip – GC: Pea; IC: Potato
To check a more complete listing please visit Golden harvest at