Garden Planning – Stage II: Companion Planting

Companion planting is a very natural concept. If you look out in the wild, you never see one form of plant by its lonesome. Daisies, black-eyed susans, clover, and buttercups amongst others interweave into these communities of flowers. Maples, ash, willow, and pine mingle through the woods, rarely sanding aloof from one another. The plants that you do see by themselves look alone, deprived, and normally have a harder go at it than those mixed into a society of flora and fauna. Companion planting takes this idea that plants should not be segregated from one another and works towards growing plants with one another in a helpful, semi-self-sustainable type of gardening.

We’ve decided to take this route with our gardening plans this year.

Many people who now have gardens from our generation don’t know about the idea of companion planting simply because they grew up off from their parents and grandparents victory-style gardens that were popular starting in WWII. These gardens were functional and yet very carefully sculpted to fit the post-card time era that they were in. Companion planting went by the wayside at this time, but is now beginning to make a resurgence, specifically for those of us that have limited land space and prefer to do things without chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

In researching how things can be doubled up for companion planting, some of our plans for where plants will go in what beds may end up changing drastically.

What we’re planting… What they can be companioned with…
Potatoes Cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrab , bush bean, carrot, celery, corn, dead nettle, flax, horseradish, marigold, peas, petunia, and onion.
Lettuce Dill, beets, broccoli, bush beans, pole beans, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish and strawberries.

* Lettuce needs to be kept away from cabbage as it will deter growth and mess with the flavor.

Peas Corn, bush beans, bole beans, carrots, celery, chicory, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, early potato, radish, spinach, strawberry, sweet pepper, tomatoes and turnips.
Beans Carrots, celery, chards, corn, eggplant, peas, potatoes, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and cucumbers.
Corn Amaranth, beans, cucumber, white geranium, lamb’s quarters, melons, morning glory, parsley, peanuts, peas, potato, pumpkin, soybeans, squash and sunflower.
Pumpkins Corn, melon, squash, marigolds, and oregano.
Tomatoes Asparagus, basil, bean, carrots, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pea, pepper, marigold, pot marigold and sow thistle.
Cucumbers Corn, peas, beets, radishes, carrots, radishes, and dill.

We’re already planning on doing a Three Sister’s Garden again this year, so the pumpkins, corn, and beans will all be together. Bush peas and sweet peppers with probably be paired up. Planting dill with the cucumbers soon to be pickles would be both ironic and functional. We’ve already decided to grow basil in with the tomatoes, and the potatoes will have a generous helping of marigolds to help keep bugs at bay. With a little extra planning, we should be able to get much more out of our gardens this year than in previous seasons.

Below are some wonderful articles and sites featuring companion planting. Even if it’s not something that you feel up to trying this planting season, it’s well worth looking into as a possibility for later on.

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