Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves
By using companion planting, many gardeners find that they can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many
varieties of herbs,
flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. Be open to
experimenting and find
what works for you. Some possibilities would be using certain plants
as a border, backdrop
or interplanting in your flower or vegetable beds where you have
specific needs. Use
plants that are native to your area so the insects you want to
attract already know what
to look for! Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most
popular with beneficial
Companion planting can combine beauty and purpose to give you an enjoyable, healthy environment. Have fun, let your imagination soar.
There are many ways
you can find to incorporate these useful plants in your garden,
orchard, flower beds etc.
Following is a our plant guide (with some tips) to help you "work in harmony with nature." Yes- we do practice companion planting at
Golden Harvest Organics LLC. We always have.
Note: This guide is not intended to solve garden problems as the
suggestions may work
differently in various situations or perhaps not at all. Don't let
that discourage you from giving
the ideas a try! What works for some may not work for others and
vice versa. Experimenting
is the only way we can gain new insight for our own individual
Perennial that roots deeply. Fixes the soil with nitrogen,
accumulates iron, magnesium,
phosphorous and potassium. Withstands droughts with it's long
taproot and can improve just
about any soil! Alfalfa has the ability to break up hard clay soil
and can even send its'
roots through rocks! Now that is a tenacious plant! Alfalfa is
practically pest and
disease free. It needs only natural rainfall to survive.
AMARANTH: A tropical annual that needs hot
conditions to flourish.
Good with sweet corn, it's leaves provide shade giving the corm a
rich, moist root run.
Host to predatory ground beetles. Eat the young leaves in salads.
ANISE: Licorice flavored herb, good host for
predatory wasps which
prey on aphids and it is also said to repel aphids. Deters pests
from brassicas by
camouflaging their odor. Improves the vigor of any plants growing
near it. Used in
ointments to protect against bug stings and bites. Good to plant
ASPARAGUS: Friends: Aster family flowers, dill ,coriander, tomatoes, parsley, basil, comfrey
marigolds. Avoid: Onions, garlic and potatoes.
Plant with tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does
peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Basil can be helpful in
thrips. It is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Do not plant near
BAY LEAF: A fresh leaf bay leaf in each storage
container of beans
or grains will deter weevils and moths. Sprinkle dried leaves with
other deterrent herbs
in garden as natural insecticide dust. A good combo: Bay leaves,
cayenne pepper, tansy and
For ladybug invasions try spreading bay leaves around in your
they are getting in and congregating. They should leave.
BEANS: All bean enrich the soil with nitrogen
fixed form the air.
In general they are good company for carrots, celery, chards, corn,
eggplant, peas, potatoes, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and
Beans are great for
heavy nitrogen users like corn and grain plants because beans fix
from the air into the soil so the nitrogen used up by the corn and
are replaced at the end of the season when the bean plants die back.
French Haricot beans, sweet corn and
melons are a good combo. Summer savory deters bean beetles and
growth and flavor. Keep beans away from the alliums.
BEE BALM (Oswego, Monarda): Plant with tomatoes to improve growth
and flavor. Great for attracting beneficials and bees of course.
Pretty perennial that
tends to get powdery mildew.
BEET: Good for adding minerals to the soil.
The leaves are composed
of 25% magnesium making them a valuable addition to the compost pile
don't care to eat them. Beets are also beneficial to beans with the
exception of runner beans.
Runner or pole beans and beets stunt each other's growth. Companions
beets are lettuce, onions and brassicas. Beets and kohlrabi grow
together. Beets are helped by
garlic and mints. Garlic improves growth and flavor. Rather
than planting invasive mints around beets use your mint clippings as
BORAGE: Companion plant for tomatoes, squash,
strawberries and most plants.
Deters tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. One of the best bee and
wasp attracting plants.
Adds trace minerals to the soil and a good addition the compost
The leaves contain vitamin C and are rich in calcium, potassium and
salts. Borage may
benefit any plant it is growing next to via increasing resistance to
pests and disease.
It also makes a nice mulch for most plants. Borage and strawberries
each other and strawberry farmers always set a few plants in their
enhance the fruits flavor and yield. Plant near tomatoes to improve
and disease resistance. After you have planned this annual once it
will self seed.
Borage flowers are edible.
BRASSICA: Benefit from
chamomile, peppermint, dill, sage, and rosemary. They need rich soil
with plenty of lime
to flourish. Avoid planting with mustards, nightshades (tomatoes,
BUCKWHEAT: (Member of the family
Polygonaceae) Accumulates calcium and can be grown as an
cover crop aka green manure. Buckwheat’s shallow white blossoms
beneficial insects that control or parasitize aphids, mites and
The beneficials it attracts include the following: hover flies
predatory wasps, minute pirate bugs, insidious flower bugs, tachinid
and lady beetles. Flowering may start within three weeks of planting
continue for up to 10 weeks. Buckwheat will take up phosphorus and
minor nutrients that are otherwise unavailable to plants. These
are released as the residue of the buckwheat breaks down and are
available for later crops. The fine roots makes topsoil loose and
with only minimal tillage.
CABBAGE: Celery, dill, onions and potatoes are
companion plants. Celery improves growth and health. Clover
with cabbage has been shown to reduce the native cabbage aphid and
cabbageworm populations by interfering with the colonization of the
and increasing the number of predatory ground beetles. Plant
cabbage as it Improves growth and flavor. Cabbage does not get along
with strawberries, tomatoes,
peppers, eggplants, rue, grapes and pole
Good for loosening compacted soil with it's deep roots so it's also
compatible next to shallow rooted crops. Plant it with strawberries.
can be tricky to establish. The flowers
attract a number of beneficial insects especially the tiny parasitic
wasps. Keep it away from
dill and fennel.
CARROTS: Their pals are leaf lettuce, onions
and tomatoes. Plant dill and parsnips away from carrots. Flax
oil that may protect root vegetables like carrots from some pests.
drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato plants can stunt the
your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavor.
CATNIP: Deters flea beetles, aphids, Japanese
beetles, squash bugs,
ants and weevils. We have found it repels mice quite well: mice were
wreaking havoc in our
outbuildings, we spread sprigs of mint throughout and the mice
split! Use sprigs of mint
anywhere in the house you want deter mice and ants. Smells good and
CELERY: Companions: Bean, cabbage family, leek,
onion, spinach and tomato. Flowers for celery: cosmos, daisies and
snapdragons. Foe: Corn.
CHAMOMILE, GERMAN: Annual. Improves flavor of cabbages,
and onions. Host to hoverflies and wasps. Accumulates calcium,
potassium and sulfur, later
returning them to the soil. Increases oil production from herbs.
Leave some flowers
unpicked and German chamomile will reseed itself. Roman chamomile
is a low growing
perennial that will tolerate almost any soil conditions. Both like
full sun. Growing
chamomile of any type is considered a tonic for anything you grow in
CHARDS: Companions: Bean, cabbage family and
CHERVIL: Companion to radishes, lettuce and
broccoli for improved growth and flavor.
Keeps aphids off lettuce. Said to deter slugs. Likes shade.
CHIVES: Improves growth and flavor of carrots
A friend to apples, carrots, tomatoes, brassica (broccoli, cabbage,
etc) and many others. Keeps aphids help to keep aphids away from
tomatoes, mums and sunflowers. Chives
may drive away Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly. Planted among
apple trees it helps
prevent scab and among roses it prevents black spot. You will need
as it takes about 3 years for plantings of chives to prevent the 2
A tea of chives may be used on cucumbers and gooseberries to prevent
and powdery mildews. Avoid planting near beans and peas. See chive tea on disease page.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS: C. coccineum kills root nematodes. (the
It's flowers along with those of C. cineraruaefolium have been used
pesticides for centuries. (i.e. pyrethrum) White flowering
chrysanthemums repel Japanese
beetles. To the right is a picture of the painted daisy from which
CLOVER: Long used as a green manure and plant
and is especially good to plant under grapevines. Attracts
many beneficials. Useful planted around apple trees to attract
predators of the woolly
aphid. Clover interplanted with cabbage has been shown to reduce the
cabbage aphid and cabbageworm populations by interfering with the
colonization of the pests and increasing the number of predator
COMFREY: Accumulates calcium, phosphorous and
potassium. Likes wet
spots to grow in. Comfrey is beneficial to avocado and most other
trees. Traditional medicinal plant. Good trap crop for slugs. More on
CORIANDER: Repels aphids, spider mites and potato
beetle. A tea
from this can be used as a spray for spider mites. A partner for
CORN: Amaranth, beans, cucumber, white
lamb's quarters, melons, morning glory, parsley, peanuts, peas,
pumpkin, soybeans, squash
and sunflower. A classic example is to grow climbing beans up corn
inter-planting pumpkins. The corn provides a natural trellis for the
pumpkins smother the weeds and helps corn roots retain moisture.
Corn is a
heavy feeder and the beans
fix nitrogen from air into the soil. The beans do not feed the corn
is growing but when the bean plants die back they return nitrogen to
soil that was used up by the corn. A win-win situation. Another
interesting helper for corn is
the weed Pig's Thistle which raises nutrients from the subsoil to
corn can reach them. Keep corn away from celery and tomato plants.
COSTMARY: This 2-3 foot tall perennial of the chrysanthemum family helps to repel
CUCUMBERS: Cucumbers are great to plant with corn and beans. The three plants
same conditions warmth, rich soil and plenty of moisture. Let the
grow up and over your corn plants. A great duet is to plant cukes
sunflowers. The sunflowers provide a strong support for the vines.
also do well with peas, beets, radishes and carrots. Radishes are a
deterrent against cucumber beetles. Dill planted with cucumbers
attracting beneficial predators. Nasturtium improves growth and
Keep sage, potatoes and rue away from cucumbers.
DAHLIAS: These beautiful, tuberous annuals that can have up to dinner plate
size flowers repels
DILL: Improves growth and health of cabbage. Do not plant near carrots, caraway or tomatoes. Best friend for lettuce. Attracts hoverflies
and predatory wasps. Repels aphids and spider mites to some degree.
Also may repel the
dreaded squash bug! (scatter some good size dill leaves on plants
that are suspect to
squash bugs, like squash plants.) Dill goes well with lettuce,
cabbage, sweet corn and
cucumbers. Dill does attract the tomato horn worm so it would be
useful to plant it
somewhere away from your tomato plants to keep the destructive horn
worm away from them.
Do plant dill in an appropriate spot for the swallowtail butterfly
caterpillars to feed on. Even their
caterpillars are beautiful.
EGGPLANT: Plant with amaranth, beans, peas, spinach, tarragon, thyme and marigold. Eggplant is a
the nightshade family and does well with peppers. Avoid planting
A spray (see insect treatments) made from the leaves can be
against aphids, carrot root fly, cucumber beetles and peach tree
borers. Put branches and
leaves in mole runs to banish them. Elderberry leaves added to the
pile speeds up the decomposing process.
Plant with carrots, and potatoes. Flax contains tannin and linseed
oils which may offend
the Colorado potato bug. Flax is an annual from 1-4 feet tall with
blue or white flowers
that readily self sows.
FOUR-O'CLOCKS: Draws Japanese beetles like a magnet which then dine on the foliage. The
foliage is pure poison
to them and they won't live to have dessert! It is important to
Four O'clock are also poisonous to humans and animals. Please be
careful where you plant them if
you have children and pets. They are a beautiful annual plant
growing from 2-3 feet high with a
bushy growth form.
Plant near roses to repel aphids. It also benefits apple trees, pear
cucumbers, peas, lettuce and celery. Garlic accumulates sulfur: a
naturally occurring fungicide
which will help in the garden with disease prevention. Garlic is
action as it is taken up the plants through their pores and when
is used as a
soil drench it is also taken up by the plant roots. Has value in
offending codling moths, Japanese
beetles, root maggots, snails, and carrot root fly. Researchers have
time-released garlic capsules planted at the bases of fruit trees
actually kept deer
away. It's certainly worth a try! Concentrated garlic sprays have
been observed to repel and
kill whiteflies, aphids and fungus gnats among others with as little
6-8% concentration! It is safe for use on orchids too.
Try concentrated Garlic
Barrier Insect Repellent!
GERANIUM: -Repels cabbage worms and Japanese beetles, plant around grapes, roses,
corn, tomatoes, peppers and cabbage. Geraniums help to distract
leafhoppers, carrier of the curly top virus.
GOPHER PURGE: Deters gophers, and moles.
GRAPES: Hyssop is beneficial to grapes as are basil, beans, geraniums, oregano,
peas, or blackberries. Keep radishes and cabbage away from grapes.
clover increases the soil fertility for grapes. Chives with grapes
help repel aphids.
Plant your vines under Elm or Mulberry trees.
HEMP: Repels many types of beetles which attack brassicas.
Plant in containers in the potato patch to keep away Colorado potato
Horseradish increases the disease resistance of potatoes. There are
very effective insect sprays that can be made with the root. Use the
bottomless pot method
to keep horseradish contained. Also repels Blister beetles. We have
observed that the root
can yield anti-fungal properties when a tea is made from it. (See:
HOREHOUND: (Marrubium Vulgare) like many
varieties in the mint family, the many tiny flowers attract Braconid
Icheumonid wasps, and Tachnid and Syrid flies. The larval forms of
insects parasitize or otherwise consume many other insects pests. It
where many others fail to thrive and can survive harsh winters.
a long season, attracting beneficial insects almost as long as you
likely to need them. For best results use horehound directly as a
plant. Stimulates and aids fruiting in tomatoes and peppers.
HYSSOP: Companion plant to cabbage and grapes,
deters cabbage moths
and flea beetles. Do not plant near radishes. Hyssop may be the
number one preference
among bees and some beekeepers rub the hive with it to encourage the
bees to keep to their
home. It is not as invasive as other members of the mint family
making it safer for
KELP: When used in a powder mixture or tea as a spray, this versatile sea
herb will not only
repel insects but feed the vegetables. In particular we have
observed that kelp foliar
sprays keep aphids and Japanese beetles away when used as a spray
every 8 days before and
during infestation times. If you have access to seaweed, use it as a
mulch to keep slugs
KOHLRABI: May be planted with cucumber, onion and chives. Kohlrabi and beets are perfect to
one another! Do not plant kohlrabi with pole beans,
pepper, strawberry or tomatoes.
LAMIUM: This will repel potato bugs- a big problem for many gardeners!
LARKSPUR: An annual member of the
Delphinium family, larkspur will attract Japanese
beetles. They dine and die! Larkspur is poisonous to humans too.
LAVENDER: Repels fleas and moths. Prolific flowering lavender nourishes many nectar feeding and beneficial insects. Lavenders can protect nearby
plants from insects such as whitefly, and lavender planted under and
near fruit trees can deter codling moth. Use dried sprigs of lavender
to repel moths. Start plants in winter from cuttings, setting out in
LEEKS: Use leeks near apple trees, carrots, celery and onions which will improve their growth.
Leeks also repel carrot flies. Avoid planting near legumes.
LEMON BALM: Sprinkle throughout the garden in an herbal powder mixture to deter many
bugs. Lemon balm has
citronella compounds that make this work: crush and rub the leaves
on your skin to keep
mosquitoes away! Use to ward off squash bugs!
LETTUCE: Does well with beets, bush beans, pole beans, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish
strawberries. It grows happily in the shade under young sunflowers.
LOVAGE: Improves flavor and health of most plants. Good habitat for ground beetles. A large plant, use one planted as
a backdrop. Similar to celery in flavor.
This is very helpful, thank you!!