//Permaculture – Companion Planting

Permaculture – Companion Planting

Companion planting is the placement of various crops in close physical proximity to on another so as to symbiotically compliment the progress of each other.

One traditional practice was planting of corn and pole beans together. The cornstalk would serve as a trellis for the beans to climb. The inclusion of squash with these two plants completes the Three Sisters technique, pioneered by Native American peoples.

Companion planting was widely touted in the 1970s as part of the organic gardening movement. It was encouraged not for pragmatic reasons like trellising, but rather with the idea that different species of plant may thrive more when close together. It is also a technique frequently used in permaculture, together with mulching, polyculture, and crop rotation.

The combinations of plants also make for a more varied, attractive vegetable garden. Many of the modern principles of companion planting were present many centuries ago in the cottage garden.

Companion plants can benefit each other in a number of different ways, including:

  • Flavor enhancement — some plants, especially herbs, seem to subtly change the flavor of other plants around them. Such as Basil is known to enhance the flavor of tomatoes.
  • Hedged investment — multiple plants in the same space increase the odds of some yield being given, even if one category encounters catastrophic issues
  • Level interaction — plants which grow on different levels in the same space, perhaps providing ground cover or working as a trellis for another plant
  • Nitrogen fixation — plants which fix nitrogen in the ground, making it available to other plants
  • Pest suppression — plants which repel insects, plants, or other pests like nematodes or fungi, through chemical means
  • Positive hosting — attracts or is inhabited by insects or other organisms which benefit plants, as with ladybugs or some “good nematodes”
  • Protective shelter — one plant type of plant may serve as a wind break, or shade from noonday sun, for another
  • Trap Cropping — plants which attract pests away from others
Plant Good Neighbors Bad Neighbors Miscellaneous Notes
Asparagus Tomatoes, parsley, basil A substance called asparagin in asparagus repels certain tomato pests. * Alliums Stunt Growth
Broad Beans Broccoli. Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage,
Cauliflower, Corn, Lettuce, Lovage
Marjoram, Potatoes,Spinach
Summer Savory – Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor. Discourages cabbage moths.
* Alliums Stunt Growth in some varieties
Bush Beans Sunflowers (beans like partial shade; sunflowers attract birds and bees), cucumbers , potatoes, corn, celery, Plant Summer savory with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor. Discourages cabbage moths. Onions Sunflowers attract birds keep this in mind if you have a crop such as berries that birds savor. Sunflowers also attract Aphids
Beets Onions, kohlrabi Tomatoes Beets are good for adding minerals to the soil. The leaves are composed of 25% magnesium. Pole beans are said to stunt growth of beets
Brassicas (Cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli) Potatoes, celery, dill, chamomile, sage, thyme, mint, pennyroyal, rosemary, lavender, beets, onions Chamomile – Improves flavor of cabbages and onions. Rue, Strawberry Aromatic plants deter cabbage worms Interplant Thyme w. Brassicas as it repels cabbage wormClover interplantd with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native cabbage aphid and cabbageworm populations by interfering with the colonization of the pests and increasing the number of predator ground beetles

Plant Chamomile with cabbage and onions. Improves growth and flavor

Carrots Peas, lettuce, chives, onions, leeks, rosemary, sage, tomatoes, Bush beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, peppers, red radishes. Pole beans, strawberries, Dill * Dill stunts growth Sage can be planted with cabbage, carrots, strawberries and tomatoes
to enhance their growth.
Celery Leeks,Tomatoes, bush beans, cauliflower, cabbage Parsnip, Potatoes, Wheat
Corn Potatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, Planting sunflowers with corn is said by some to increase the yield Sweet corn in a heavy feeder that takes nitrogen and other nutrients from the soil. Plant some climbing beans at the base of each corn stalk. The stalk will support the beans, while the climbing beans’ roots will fix nitrogen from the air into the soil where its needed most.
Cucumbers Sunflowers, Beans, Corn, English Pea, Sunflowers, Radish ,Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Corn, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Radish, Marigold, Nasturtium, Savory Potato, Any Aromatic Herbs
Eggplant Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Spinach Fennel
Gooseberry Tansy, Tomatoes
Horseradish Potatoes (deters potato beetles); around plum trees to discourage curculios Plant in potato patch to keep away potato bugs.
Leek Onions, celery, carrots
Lettuce Carrots and radishes (lettuce, carrots, and radishes make a good salad also) , strawberries, cucumbers Parsley
Onion Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce, Pepper, Squash, Strawberries, Tomato Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Peas. Do not plant onions or other members of the Amaryllidaceae family in the same soil for more than one season.. Rotate the crops to various sections of your garden space from season to season. Plant Chamomile with cabbage and onions. Improves growth and flavor
Peas Squash (when squash follows peas up trellis) Garlic, Gladiolis, Onions, Shallots * Alliums Stunt Growth
Potato *Horseradish, beans, corn, cabbage, marigold, limas, Apple, Celery, Cherry, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Raspberry
Rosemary, Sunflower, Tomato
*Horseradish deters potato bugs
Pepper [Hot] Lovage, Marjoram, Parsnip, cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, tomato, okra, Swiss chard and squash. Herbs to plant near them include: basils, oregano, parsley and rosemary Chili peppers have root exudates that prevent root rot and other Fusarium diseases. Plant anywhere you have these problems. Teas made from hot peppers can be useful as insect sprays.
Pepper [Sweet] tomatoes, parsley, onions,basil, and carrots. fennel ,kohlrabi., apricot and related fruit trees
Pumpkin Corn Potato
Radish Peas, nasturtium, lettuce, cucumbers; a general aid in repelling insects Hyssop Planting an early row of radishes may lure flea beetles away from susceptible plants
Raspberry Marigold, Rue, Tansy Potatoes Should not follow: eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, or peppers and other raspberry varieties in the crop rotation. These crops are susceptible to verticillium wilt, to which most raspberries are susceptible
Shallots Lovage, Marjoram Beans, peas
Soybeans Grows with anything, helps everything
Spinach Strawberries
Squash Nasturtium, corn
Strawberries Bush beans, spinach, borage, lettuce Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage
Cauliflower, Gladiolis
Do not plant strawberries where tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplant have been grown in the past four years, because these crops carry the root rot fungus Verticillium which also attacks strawberries Sage can be planted with cabbage, carrots, strawberries and tomatoes
to enhance their growth.
Tomato Chives, onion, parsley, asparagus, marigold, nasturtium, carrot, limas Plant tomatoes away from corn, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, fennell and kohlrabi as they have too many pests in common. Don’t plant tomatoes near nut trees the roots of many of these trees secrete a phytotoxin that is toxic to tomatoes ..Walnuts for instance, will kill almost anything within reach of their roots. Sage can be planted with cabbage, carrots, strawberries and tomatoes
to enhance their growth.
Turnip Peas Mustard
Herbs/Spice Plants/Misc. See also Herbal Control of Insects
Anise Coriander Wormwood
Basil Tomatoes ,Apricot, Asparagus, Cucumber, Fennel
Rue Basil is said to repel tomato worm , flies and mosquitoes and to enhance the flavor of tomatoes as well as other plants.
Borage Tomatoes ,squash, strawberries Borage attracts bees, deters tomato worm
Catnip Plant in borders; protects against flea beetles
Celeriac (Celery root) Beans, Pole Beans, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Lovage
Marjoram, Pea, Tomato
Chamomile Cabbage, onions
Chervil Radishes (improves growth and flavor)
Chives Carrots; Improves growth and flavor of carrots and tomatoes . Plant chives around base of fruit trees to discourage insects from climbing trunk
Dill Cabbage (improves growth and health), carrots
Fennel Most plants are supposed to dislike it.
Flax Carrots, potatoes
Garlic Roses ,Raspberries (deters Japanese beetle) Plant garlic around everything but beans.
Accumulates sulfur: a naturally occurring fungicide which will help in the garden with disease prevention. Garlic discourages Aphids, Flea beetle, Japanese beetle, and spider mites as well as vampires and members of the opposite sex.
Hyssop Cabbage, Grape Vine, Roses
Cucumber, radish
Lovage Plant here and there in garden.
Marjoram Plant here and there in garden.
Mint Cabbage family, tomatoes Chamomile Deters cabbage moth
Mole plant Deters moles and mice if planted here and there throughout garden
Nasturtium Tomatoes, radishes, cabbage, cucumbers; plant under fruit trees; deters aphids and pests of Cucumbers
Parsley Tomato, Asparagus
Peppermint Repels white cabbage moths, aphids and flea beetles. It is the menthol content in mints that acts as an insect repellant
Pigweed Brings nutrients to topsoil; beneficial growing with potatoes, onions, and corn; keep well thinned
Rosemary Carrots, beans, cabbage, sage; deters cabbage moth, bean beetles, and carrot fly
Sage Rosemary, carrots, cabbage, peas, beans; deters some insects
Southernwood Cabbage; plant here and there in garden
Summer savory Beans, onions; deters bean beetles
Tansy Plant under fruit trees; deters pests of roses and raspberries; deters flying insects, also Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs, ants * Tansy is TOXIC to pets & Livestock
Tarragon Good throughout garden
Thyme Cabbage deters cabbage worm
Valerian Good anywhere in garden
Wormwood As a border, keeps animals from garden
Yarrow Plant along borders, near paths, near aromatic herbs; enhances essential oil production of herbs Host plant for ladybugs, predatory wasps
Flowers/ Ornamentals
Foxglove Apple, Potatoes,Tomato
Marigolds Marigolds are ideal companions through out the garden, as they’re reputed to attract hoverflies, which prey on aphids, as well as reduce the number of nematodes in the soil Marigolds reduce the number of nematodes in soil ,If you are using beneficial nematodes they will be affected as well.
Petunia Protects beans; beneficial throughout garden
Rue Roses and raspberries; deters Japanese beetle; keep it away from basil
Roses Marigolds Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Nasturtiums, Parsley, Rue, Sage, Tansy, Thyme
Sunflower Cucumbers * Sunflower attracts aphids and other harmful insects, so although it may be a good companion in some instances, it is best kept at a distance from most vegetables, or used as a trap crop.
Wallflower Apple

How to Grow Artichoke

How to Grow Asparagus

How to Grow Blueberries

How to Grow Brussels Sprouts

How to Grow Cantaloupe

How to Grow Carrots

How to Grow Cucumbers

How to Grow Eggplant

How to Grow Onions

How to Grow Peppers

How to Grow Potatoes


How to Grow Pumpkins

How to Grow Raspberries

How to Grow Rhubarb

How to Grow Strawberries

How to Grow Tomatoes

How to Grow Watermelon

Hydroponics Gardening

Companion Gardening


Control Garden Pests

Track Soil pH

Preserve The Harvest

Contact Information

* Elements of this page were adapted from Wikipedia

Alliums =bulbous herbs of the lily family including the onion, garlic, chive, leek, and shallotphy·to·tox·ic
Pronunciation: “fI-t&-‘täk-sik
Function: adjective
poisonous to plants
Pronunciation: “a-m&-‘ri-l&s
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, genus name, probably from Latin, name of a shepherdess in Virgil’s Eclogues
: an autumn-flowering So. African bulbous herb (Amaryllis belladonna of the family Amaryllidaceae, the amaryllis family) widely grown for its deep red to whitish umbellate flowers; also : a plant of any of several related genera (as Hippeastrum or Sprekelia)

Asparagin :a nonessential amino acid C4H8N2O3 that is an amide of aspartic acid (a crystalline amino acid C4H7NO4 found especially in plants )