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Companion Gardening: Strategically Planning your Garden for Greatest Effect

Companion Gardening

Age old garden wisdom, over the expanse of time, has shown us that crops and other vegetation thrive when paired with particular plants but struggle greatly when paired with others. Black walnut trees are a great example of this. If you plant tomato plants near your black walnut tree, you will see your plants first begin to yellow, then wilt, and finally die before producing a single fruit. This is due to the substance called juglone that is released by the roots of the black walnut tree that damages the tomato plant.

While some plants are harmful to their neighbors, others when planted together actually help each other. Blueberries and thimbleberries, for example, love to be near pine trees because of the acidic soil pines create. Garlic not only has the neat quality of helping herbs produce their essential oils, it also deters garden pests much like the Japanese beetle. Insect repellent is the other benefit to companion gardening. Many plants such as garlic, mint, basil, and onion repel insects naturally. Marigolds are the queen of insect repellant and so planting it liberally throughout your garden would be highly beneficial. With a little strategic planning, you can decrease damage from insects while simultaneously creating a synergistic cooperative growth within your bountiful vegetable garden.

Use this chart to help you in planning your garden this spring and to choose how to group your plants for best results.


Does Well with

Does Poorly with


Sunflower, Tarragon



Basil, Parsley, Tomato

Chive, Garlic, Leek, Onion, fennel


Pepper, Tomato (Improves flavor), Marigold


Berries (applies to strawberries,  bush berries, grapes)

Bush Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Spinach


Bush Beans

Sunflower as bees like partial shade and bees, Beets, Cabbage family, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Marigold, Pea, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Strawberry, Savory, Tansy, Marigold

Basil, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Onion

Pole Beans

Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Marigold, Pea, Radish, Rosemary, Savory, Tansy

Basil, Beets, Cabbage, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Onion, Sunflower


Bush Beans, Cabbage family, Lettuce, Onion family, Radish, Sage

Mustard, Pole Beans

Cabbage Family (includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale)

Basil, Bush Beans, Beets, Carrot, Celery, Chamomile, Chard, Cucumber, Dill, Garlic, Hyssop, Lettuce, Marigold, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion family, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Thyme, Tomato, Wormwood

Bush and Pole Beans, Grapes, Rue, Strawberry


Beans, Cabbage family, Chives, Leeks, Lettuce, Onion family, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Tomato

Caraway, Celery, Dill


Bush Beans, Cabbage family, Nasturtium, Onion family, Spinach, Tomato

Carrot, Parsley, Parsnip


Beans, Cabbage family, Cucumber, Dill, Melon family, Parsley, Peas, Pumpkin, Squash, Sunflower



Beans, Cabbage family, Carrot, Corn, Lettuce, Marigold, Nasturtium, Onion family, Peas, Radish, Savory, Sunflower, Tomato

Strong Herbs, Potato


Beans, Garlic, Marigold, Pea, Pepper, Potato, Spinach, Tarragon, Thyme




Most plants dislike it


Rose and raspberries (deters Japanese beetle); helps herbs with their production of essential oils plant liberally throughout garden to deter pests.



Onions, celery and carrots






Beans, Carrots, Collards, Cucumbers, Onion family, Radish, Strawberries

Broccoli, Fava Bean, Grains


Corn, Nasturtium, Radish



The Cabbage family and Tomatoes, deters the cabbage moth.


Onion (includes Chives, Garlic, Leek)

Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage family, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery, Chamomile, Collard, Cucumber, Dill, Kale, Lettuce, Pepper, Potato, Radish, Rose, Savory, Squash, Strawberry, Tomato

Asparagus, Beans, Gladiolus, Peas


Tomato and asparagus




Delphinium, Larkspur


Beans, Carrots, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Radish, Spinach, Tomato, Turnip, and squash when peas follow it up the trellis. Peas add nitrogen to soil

Onion family, Gladiolus, Potato


Bean, Carrot, Marigold, Marjoram, Onion family, Tansy, Tomato


Potato (sweet Potato friends and enemies unknown)

Beans, Cabbage family, Corn, Collard, Coriander, Eggplant, Horseradish, Lettuce, Marigold, Onion family, Parsnip, Pea, Petunia

Fennel, Kohlrabi, Melon family, Parsnip, Rutabaga, Squash family, Sunflower, Tomato, Turnip


Beans, Cabbage family, Carrot, Chervil, Collard, Cucumber, Grapes, Lettuce, Melon family, Nasturtium, Onion family, Pea, Squash



Onion family, Pea



Cabbage family, Celery, Corn, Eggplant, Pea, Strawberry


Squash and Pumpkin

Corn, Eggplant, Marigold, Nasturtium, Onion family, Radish



Asparagus, Basil, Bush Bean, Cabbage family, Carrots, Celery, Marigold, Mint, Onion family, Parsley, Pepper

Corn, Dill, Fennel, Pole Bean, Potato


Onion family, Pea




thank you


I was looking into this last year but never tried it.  That's a great chart on what plants help each other out.

Babe in the Woods's picture

Let us know if you do some strategic companion planting

RobBob's picture

Not many black walnut trees around here ;)»

Thanks for the companion planting chart..
Have a great one :)»

Babe in the Woods's picture

You do some Amazing projects.  Very inspirational!

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