Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves
etc. that can
alternately repel (anti-feedants) and/or attract insects depending
on your needs. In some
situations they can also help enhance the growth rate and flavor of
other varieties.
Experience shows us that using companion planting through out the
landscape is an
important part of integrated pest management. In essence companion
planting helps bring a
balanced eco-system to your landscape, allowing nature to do its'
job. Nature integrates a diversity of plants,
insects, animals, and other
organisms into every ecosystem so there is no waste. The death of
organism can create food for another, meaning symbiotic
relationships all
around. We consider companion planting  to be a holistic concept due
the many intricate levels in which it works with the ecology.

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
with coriander.


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
well with
peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Basil can be helpful in
thrips. It is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. Do not plant near
rue or

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
    house anywhere
    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
if you
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
beds to
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

) 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
other pests.
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
Chamomile with
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
produces an
oil that may protect root vegetables like carrots from some pests.
drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato plants can stunt the
growth of
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
very safe.

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
the garden.

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
and tomatoes.
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
bad ones)
It's flowers along with those of C. cineraruaefolium have been used
as botanical
pesticides for centuries. (i.e. pyrethrum) White flowering
chrysanthemums repel Japanese
beetles. To the right is a picture of the painted daisy from which
is extracted.

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
will it
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
where the
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
like the
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
helps by
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
member of
the nightshade family and does well with peppers. Avoid planting
fennel near

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
mention that
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
systemic in
action as it is taken up the plants through their pores and when
garlic tea
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
observed that
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
as a
6-8% concentration! It is safe for use on orchids too.

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:
Horseradish: Disease

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.
Blooms over
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
grow with
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.

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MARIGOLDS: (Calendula): Given a lot of credit as a pest deterrent. Keeps soil free of bad nematodes; supposed to discourage many insects. Plant freely throughout the garden. The marigolds you choose must be a scented variety for them to work. One down side is that marigolds do attract spider mites and slugs.


French Marigold (T. patula) has roots that exude a substance which spreads in their immediate vicinity killing nematodes. For nematode control you want to plant dense areas of them. There have been some studies done that proved this nematode killing effect lasted for several years after the plants were These marigolds also help to deter whiteflies when planted around tomatoes and can be used in greenhouses for the same purpose. Whiteflies hate the smell of marigolds. Do not plant French marigolds next to bean plants.

Mexican marigold (T. minuta) is the most powerful of the insect repelling marigolds and may also overwhelm weed roots such as bind weed! It is said to repel the Mexican bean beetle and wild bunnies! Be careful it can have an herbicidal effect on some plants like beans and cabbage.

MARJORAM: As a companion plant it improves the flavor of vegetables and herbs. Sweet marjoram is the most commonly grown type.

MELONS: Companions: Corn, pumpkin, radish and squash. Other suggested helpers for melons are as follows: Marigold deters beetles, nasturtium deters bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.

MINT: Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, aphids and improves the health of cabbage and tomatoes. Use cuttings as a mulch around members of the brassica family. Mint flowers attract hoverflies and predatory wasps. Earthworms are quite attracted to mint plantings. Be careful where you plant it as mint is an incredibly invasive perennial. We have found that placing peppermint cuttings (fresh or dried) where mice are a problem is very effective in driving them off!

MOLE PLANTS: (castor bean plant) Deter moles and mice if planted here and there throughout the garden. Drop a seed of this in mole runs to drive them away. This is a poisonous plant. See Moles: Critter Trouble

MORNING GLORIES: They attract hoverflies. Plus if you want a fast growing annual vine to cover something up morning glory is an excellent choice.

NASTURTIUMS: Nasturtium is an excellent companion for many plants. It is a companion to radishes, cabbage family plants (cabbage, collards, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli and mustards), deterring aphids, squash bugs, and striped pumpkin beetles, and improving growth and flavor. Plant as a barrier around tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, and under fruit trees. Deters wooly aphids, whiteflies, cucumber beetles and other pests of the cucurbit family. Great trap crop for aphids (in particular the black aphids) which it does attract, especially the yellow flowering varieties. It likes poor soil with low moisture and no fertilizer. Keeping that in mind there is no reason not to set potted nasturtiums among your garden beds. It has been the practice of some fruit growers that planting nasturtiums every year in the root zone of fruit trees allow the trees to take up the pungent odor of the plants and repel bugs. Studies say it is among the best at attracting predatory insects. It has no taste effect on the fruit. A nice variety to grow is Alaska which has attractive green and white variegated leaves. The leaves, flowers and seeds of nasturtiums are all edible and wonderful in salads!
Try our recipe for: Nasturtium Salad

NETTLES, STINGING: The flowers attract bees. Sprays made from these are rich in silica and calcium. Invigorating for plants and improves their disease resistance. Leaving the mixture to rot, it then makes an excellent liquid feed. Comfrey improves the liquid feed even more. Hairs on the nettles' leaves contain formic acid which "stings" you.

OKRA: (Hibiscus esculentus ) Plant lettuce around your okra plants and they will shade the lettuce in the summer giving you some more growing time. Okra also does well with peppers and eggplants as it helps protect these brittle stemmed plants from high winds. It also gets along with basil, cucumbers, melons, and black eyed peas. For planting with the peas plant your Okra first. When the okra is up and established plant the peas around the edges of the okra planting. You may find that the peas are far less bothered by aphids when near okra.

ONIONS: Planting chamomile and summer savory with onions improves their flavor. Other companions are carrot, leek, beets, kohlrabi, strawberries, brassicas, dill, lettuce and tomatoes. Intercropping onions and leeks with your carrots confuses the carrot and onion flies! Onions planted with strawberries help the berries fight disease. Keep onions away from peas and asparagus.

OPAL BASIL: An annual herb that is pretty, tasty and said to repel hornworms! Like the other basils it also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Keep away from rue and sage.

OREGANO: Can be used with most crops but especially good for cabbage. Plant near broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to repel cabbage butterfly and near cucumbers to repel cucumber beetle. Also benefits grapes.

PARSLEY: Allies: Asparagus, carrot, chives, onions, roses and tomato. Sprinkle the leaves on tomatoes, and asparagus. Use as a tea to ward off asparagus beetles. Attracts hoverflies. Let some go to seed to attract the tiny parasitic wasps and hoverflies. Parsley increases the fragrance of roses when planted around their base. Rose problems? See: Rose Rx for answers. Mint and parsley are enemies. Keep them well away from one another.

PEAS: Peas fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant next to corn. Companions for peas are bush beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Celery, Chicory, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Parsley, Early Potato, Radish, Spinach, Strawberry, Sweet pepper and Turnips. Do not plant peas with onions.

PEPPERMINT: Repels white cabbage moths, aphids and flea beetles. It is the menthol content in mints that acts as an insect repellant. Bees and other good guys love it.

PEPPERS, BELL (Sweet Peppers): Plant peppers near tomatoes, parsley, basil, geraniums, marjoram, lovage, petunia and carrots. Onions make an excellent companion plant for peppers. They do quite well with okra as it shelters them and protects the brittle stems from wind. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. They should also not be grown near apricot trees because a fungus that the pepper is prone to can cause a lot of harm to the apricot tree. Peppers can double as ornamentals, so tuck some into flowerbeds and borders. Harvesting tip: The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers can be harvested at any stage of growth, but their flavor doesn't fully develop until maturity.

PEPPERS, HOT: Chili peppers have root exudates that prevent root rot and other Fusarium diseases. Plant anywhere you have these problems. While you should always plant chili peppers close together, providing shelter from the sun with other plants will help keep them from drying out and provide more humidity. Tomato plants, green peppers, and okra are good protection for them. Teas made from hot peppers can be useful as insect sprays. Hot peppers like to be grouped with cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, tomato, okra, Swiss chard and squash. Herbs to plant near them include: basils, oregano, parsley and rosemary. Never put them next to any beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or fennel.

PENNYROYAL: Repels fleas. The leaves when crushed and rubbed onto your skin will repel chiggers, flies, gnats, mosquitoes and ticks. Warning: Pennyroyal is highly toxic to cats. It should not be planted where cats might ingest it and never rubbed onto their skin.

PETUNIAS: They repel the asparagus beetle, leafhoppers, certain aphids, tomato worms, Mexican bean beetles and general garden pests. A good companion to tomatoes, but plant everywhere. The leaves can be used in a tea to make a potent bug spray.

POACHED EGG PLANT: Grow poached egg plant with tomatoes, they will attract hover flies and hover flies eat aphids.

POTATO: Companions for potatoes are bush bean, members of the cabbage family, carrot, celery, corn, dead nettle, flax, horseradish, marigold, peas, petunia, onion and Tagetes marigold. Protect them from scab by putting comfrey leaves in with your potato sets at planting time. Horseradish, planted at the corners of the potato patch, provides general protection. Don't plant these around potatoes: asparagus, cucumber, kohlrabi, parsnip, pumpkin, rutabaga, squash family, sunflower, turnip and fennel. Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart as they both can get early and late blight contaminating each other.

PUMPKINS: Pumpkin pals are corn, melon and squash. Marigold deters beetles. Nasturtium deters bugs, beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.

PURSLANE: This edible weed makes good ground cover in the corn patch. Use the stems, leaves and seeds in stir-frys. Pickle the green seed pod for caper substitutes. If purslane is growing in your garden it means you have healthy, fertile soil!

RADISH: One of the workhorses for the garden. Companions for radishes are: radish, beet, bush beans, pole beans, carrots, chervil, cucumber, lettuce, melons, nasturtium, parsnip, peas, spinach and members of the squash family. Why plant radishes with your squash plants? Radishes may protect them from squash borers. Anything that will help keep them away is worth a try. Radishes are a deterrent against cucumber beetles and rust flies. Chervil and nasturtium improve radish growth and flavor. Planting them around corn and letting them go to seed will also help fight corn borers. Chinese Daikon and Snow Belle radishes are favorites of flea beetles. Plant these at 6 to 12 inch intervals amongst broccoli. In one trial, this measurably reduced damage to broccoli. Radishes will lure leafminers away from spinach. The damage the leafminers do to radish leaves does not stop the radish roots from growing, a win-win situation. Keep radishes away from hyssop plants, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and turnips. For some good eating try our delicious Radish varieties.

RHUBARB: A good companion to all brassicas. Try planting cabbage and broccoli plants your rhubarb patch watch them thrive. Rhubarb protects beans against black fly. Some other interesting companions for rhubarb are the beautiful columbine flowers, garlic, onion and roses! It helps deter red spider mites from the columbines. A spray made from boiled rhubarb leaves, which contain the poison oxalic acid may be used to prevent blackspot on roses and as an aphicide.

ROSEMARY: Companion plant to cabbage, beans, carrots and sage. Deters cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies. Use cuttings to place by the crowns of carrots for carrot flies. Zones 6 and colder can overwinter rosemary as houseplants or take cuttings.

RUE: Deters aphids, fish moths, flea beetle, onion maggot, slugs, snails, flies and Japanese beetles in roses and raspberries. Companions for rue are roses, fruits (in particular figs), raspberries and lavender. To make it even more effective with Japanese beetles: crush a few leaves to release the smell. Has helped repel cats for us. You should not plant rue near cucumbers, cabbage, basil or sage. A pretty perennial with bluish-gray leaves. May be grown indoors in a sunny window. Rue may cause skin irritation in some individuals. Remedy: See cats and dogs: Rue spray.

RYE: An excellent use of plant allelopathy is the use of mow-killed grain rye as a mulch. The allelochemicals that leach from the rye residue prevent weed germination but do not harm transplanted tomatoes, broccoli, or many other vegetables.

SAGE: Use as a companion plant with broccoli, cauliflower, rosemary, cabbage, and carrots to deter cabbage moths, beetles, black flea beetles and carrot flies. Do not plant near cucumbers, onions or rue. Sage repels cabbage moths and black flea beetles. Allowing sage to flower will also attract many beneficial insects and the flowers are pretty. There are some very striking varieties of sage with variegated foliage that can be used for their ornamental as well as practical qualities. More on sage.

SPINACH: Plant with peas and beans as they provide natural shade for the spinach. Gets along with cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, onion, peas, strawberries.

SOUTHERNWOOD: Plant with cabbage, and here and there in the garden. Wonderful lemony scent when crushed or brushed in passing. Roots easily from cuttings. Does not like fertilizer! It is a perennial that can get quite bushy. We have started to cut it back every spring and it comes back in not time. A delightful plant that is virtually pest free.

SOYBEANS: They add nitrogen to the soil making them a good companion to corn. They repel chinch bugs and Japanese beetles. Why not try soybeans, they are good for you. They are many tasty ways to prepare them.

SQUASH: Companions: Corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, melon and pumpkin. Helpers: Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavor. Marigolds deters beetle. Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection.

STRAWBERRY: Friends are beans, borage, lettuce, onions, spinach and thyme. Foes: Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kohlrabi. Allies: Borage strengthens resistance to insects and disease. Thyme, as a border, deters worms.

SUMMER SAVORY: Plant with beans and onions to improve growth and flavor. Discourages cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles and black aphids. Honey bees love it.

SUNFLOWERS: Planting sunflowers with corn is said by some to increase the yield. Aphids a problem? Definitely plant a few sunflowers here and there in the garden. Step back and watch the ants herd the aphids onto them. We have been doing this for years and it is remarkable. The sunflowers are so tough that the aphids cause very little damage and you will have nice seed heads for the birds to enjoy. Sunflowers also attract hummingbirds which eat whiteflies. Talk about a symbiotic relationship!

SWEET ALYSSUM: Direct seed or set out starts of sweet alyssum near plants that have been attacked by aphids in the past. Alyssum flowers attract hoverflies whose larva devour aphids. Another plus is their blooms draw bees to pollinate early blooming fruit trees. They will reseed freely and make a beautiful groundcover every year.

TANSY: Plant with fruit trees, roses and raspberries keeping in mind that it can be invasive and is not the most attractive of plants. Tansy which is often recommended as an ant repellant may only work on sugar type ants. These are the ones that you see on peonies and marching into the kitchen. At least for us placing tansy clippings by the greenhouse door has kept them out. Deters flying insects, Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs, ants and mice! Tie up and hang a bunch of tansy leaves indoors as a fly repellent. Use clippings as a mulch as needed. Don't be afraid to cut the plant up as tansy will bounce back from any abuse heaped on it! It is also a helpful addition to the compost pile with its' high potassium content.


Tansy Warning: You do not want to plant Tansy anywhere that livestock can feed on it as it is toxic to many animals. Do not let it go to seed either as it may germinate in livestock fields.

TARRAGON: Plant throughout the garden, not many pests like this one. Recommended to enhance growth and flavor of vegetables.

THYME: Deters cabbage worms. Wooly thyme makes a wonderful groundcover. You may want to use the upright form of thyme in the garden rather than the groundcover types. Thyme is easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. Older woody plants should be divided in spring.

TOMATOES: Tomato allies are many: asparagus, basil, bean, carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, marigold, pot marigold and sow thistle. One drawback with tomatoes and carrots: tomato plants can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavor. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes, improves growth and flavor. Bee balm, chives and mint improve health and flavor. Borage deters tomato worm, improves growth and flavor. Dill, until mature, improves growth and health, mature dill retards tomato growth. Enemies: corn and tomato are attacked by the same worm. Kohlrabi stunts tomato growth. Keep potatoes and tomatoes apart as they both can get early and late blight contaminating each other. Keep cabbage and cauliflower away from them. Don't plant them under walnut trees as they will get walnut wilt: a disease of tomatoes growing underneath walnut trees.

WHITE GERANIUMS: These members of the pelargonum family draw Japanese beetles to feast on the foliage which in turn kills them.

WORMWOOD: Keeps animals out of the garden when planted as a border. An excellent deterrent to most insects. Don’t plant wormwood with peas or beans. A tea made from wormwood will repel cabbage moths, slugs, snails, black flea beetles and fleas effectively. The two best varieties for making insect spray are Silver King and Powis Castle. Adversely Powis castle attracts ladybugs which in turn breed directly on the plant. Silver Mound is great as a border plant and the most toxic wormwood. Note: As wormwood actually produces a botanical poison do not use it directly on food crops.
See More on wormwood. for more details.
For insect spray: See wormwood spray

YARROW: Yarrow has insect repelling qualities and is an excellent natural fertilizer. A handful of yarrow leaves added to the compost pile really speeds things up. Try it! It also attracts predatory wasps and ladybugs to name just two. It may increase the essential oil content of herbs when planted among them. Yarrow has so many wonderful properties to it and is an ingredient in our own Golden Harvest Fertilizer.

ZINNIA: Pretty zinnias attract hummingbirds which eat whiteflies. Alternately the pastel varieties of zinnias can be used as a trap crop for Japanese beetles. All zinnias attract bees and other insect pollinators.

This is very helpful, thank you!!

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