A good neighbor can make all the difference in the garden. Ask any experienced gardener, and they will tell you: Certain plants like each other, and others, well, don't. You'll just have to try it to believe it!
Here, we focus on 20 plants that make great partners in the garden. From repelling pests to improving overall growth, keep these 20 plant combinations in mind when you go to lay out your garden this season.
1. Nasturtiums and cucumbers
Nasturtiums are known for repelling a number of insects. But they also function as a distraction to certain aphids, since these common pests actually prefer nasturtiums over other plants. As an added benefit, nasturtiums are known to improve the health and flavor of cucumbers. Their flowers are edible as well, and make a tasty addition to salads.
2. Tomatoes and asparagus
Science rules in this mutually beneficial duo. Tomatoes contain solanine, a chemical known to repel asparagus beetles. Similarly, asparagus contains a chemical that has been shown to kill nematodes, which are common pests of tomatoes. So, if you happen to grow both of these plants in your garden, make sure they are neighbors.
3. Chives and roses
Chives are a friendly companion for many plants, especially roses. Chives repel black spot and Japanese beetles, both of which commonly affect roses. Plant chives nearby, and roses will likely have better growth overall as well. Additionally, these two flowering plants complement each other beautifully in an ornamental garden.
4. Basil and peppers
Basil is a good neighbor to a number of other plants, not least of which are peppers. Plant basil near peppers, and treehugger says you'll likely see a decrease in aphids and spider mites, not to mention an improvement in the health and growth of peppers overall. It's certainly worth a try.
5. Spinach and peas
Both cool season crops, spinach and peas make a companionable pair. Peas, supported on a trellis, offer a little extra shade to spinach during the heat of the day. The University of Maryland Extension confirms that spinach is a heavy feeder, and peas as a legume increase nitrogen availability in the soil. So, peas help to protect and feed spinach.
6. Summer savory and green beans
If you love growing green beans, you should grow summer savory, too. Summer savory repels the Mexican bean beetle and improves the overall growth and flavor of green beans. Not only is this herb a friend to green beans in the garden, the two also make a tasteful pair in the kitchen.
7. Cabbage and sage
Caterpillars can wreak havoc on cabbage plants, and white cabbage butterfly caterpillars may be the most destructive of all. Sage and other aromatic herbs are known to repel these harmful critters and are helpful companions to plants in the cabbage family.
8. Lettuce and Onions
Sow rows of lettuce between rows of onions. While onions are maturing, lettuce will help keep weeds at bay. And, as Mother Earth News observes, onions will help lettuce by keeping pesky rabbits away. It's a win-win.
9. Carrots and radishes
Carrots and radishes complement each other well because their timing is right! Sow radishes between carrots, and they'll be ready to harvest in time to allow carrots to fill in. It's an ideal space saver.
10. Watermelon and marigolds
Marigolds and watermelons can be planted together to mutually benefit your garden. Marigolds act as natural repellents for pests like aphids, nematodes, and beetles, protecting the watermelon plants. They also attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps that can help control other garden pests. Additionally, some gardeners believe that the presence of marigolds near watermelon plants can enhance the fruit's flavor. However, it's important to ensure sufficient space for the sprawling watermelon vines while avoiding overcrowding the marigolds. By interplanting marigolds with watermelons, you can create a garden ecosystem that promotes healthy growth and natural pest management.