Companion Planting Top 10 Plants
If you are an organic gardener, like me, you know how hard it can be to keep the pests away. Companion planting is another wonderful tool that we have at our disposal; and not enough of us are using it! So I have compiled a list of my 10 favorite companions that repel the bad, attract the good AND some even improve the flavor of your favorite veggies. So start using these right away! You’ll be amazed at how helpful this small change can be to your garden. Your veggies will be stronger and happier…which means better yields for you! And make sure you check out my article on Crop Rotation for a stronger garden!
Basil – An amazing herb that tomatoes adore. Not only does basil help to repel bugs like mosquitoes, beetles and flies; it is known to improve the tomato’s growth and flavor. Later horn worm…hello yummy!!!
Marigolds – They aren’t just pretty little flower. Marigolds are power companion planting tools! The common marigold is a powerful deterrent to several different beetles, nematodes and even rabbits (sorry Peter!). They can virtually be used all over the garden but do especially well with bush beans, potatoes, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, squash, eggplant, kale and tomatoes. Make sure you get the French or common Marigold for the best success! *See more on marigolds HERE!
Garlic – Garlic is not only better when you grow it yourself, it is a butt kicking companion plant! Garlic helps to keep Japanese beetles, aphids, weevils, spider mites, moths and onion flies away. Great when planted with tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots and all fruit trees.
Borage – Borage might not be familiar to you. But this little blue flower may become your next best friend! Borage is an edible flower that attract pollinators and other beneficial bugs. It is also a lovely companion that will deter tomato worms and cabbage moths. It also improve the flavor of your squash.
Sunflowers – I love sunflowers so I was super excited when I found out how beneficial they are in companion planting! These lovely beauties can be used to give your vine crops and greens a little shade. They also repel whiteflies and aphids. I have also been told they will deter the armyworm when planted with corn; I haven’t tried that myself because I don’t grow corn.
Radish – some of your vegetables new best bud. The radish is an awesome companion for carrots, cucumbers, squash, spinach, bush beans, beets, peas, pumpkins, lettuce and Brussels sprouts. Helps to keep away aphids, squash bugs, whiteflies, cucumber beetles, and striped pumpkin beetles.
Chive – Not just a pretty face! The chive is a flavor and growth booster for carrots and tomatoes. Helps carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli and mustard. Repels the rust carrot fly, aphids and Japanese beetles. BUT this plant can take up to 3 years to take full effect so it may not help to plant this one in a small garden that needs help ASAP.
Nasturtium – Another gorgeous flower for companion planting…oh and it is edible! These lovely ladies will deter stripped pumpkin beetles and other cabbage family pests. They are also companions for Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, kale, pumpkins, radish, squash, tomato, and potato. Nasturtium is also known to repel aphids, whiteflies and cucumber beetles.
Onions – Onions aren’t just for the kitchen. They are a bug kicking companion plant too! Great with veggies like lettuce, carrots and all members of the cabbage family. They repel aphids and deter other pests by masking the the delectable vegetable scents. Way to go onion – that’s some serious companion planting!
Mint – We can’t talk companion planting without mentioning marvelous mint! Mint is delightful smelling companion to tomatoes and cabbage; improving both flavor and health of the plants. Mint also does well with broccoli and cauliflower. Repels ants, aphids, flea beetles, and white cabbage butterflies. BUT be careful – mint can spread rapidly! Try planting it in a pot to contain it.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list for companion planting; but a really good start. Check out these resources for my in-depth information.
The Complete Guide to Companion Planting: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Garden Successful
Companion Planting: The Lazy Gardener’s Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening
Companion Gardening for Beginners