First things first
Before you start playing match-maker to your herbs, there are a few basics that need to be considered.
- Soil – a herb that likes sandy, dry soil shouldn't be accompanied by a herb that prefers moist, rich soil.
- Aspect – the same goes for aspect, consider whether your herb prefers shade, sun, or half-half.
- Spacing – like many plants, herbs can become greedy. It's important to allow them enough space between one another, or they'll start stealing nutrients from their neighbours.
Here are some of the most common herbs and what they like to be paired with.
Basil has the ability to repel some harmful pests, flies and mosquitoes, and improves the flavour of its neighbours. It makes a great companion to chilli, tomatoes, parsley, and oregano, but not sage!
Mint repels some of the peskiest of pests, including aphids, mosquitoes and ants, while attracting bees. It grows well with tomato and cabbage, but not parsley. Try to avoid combining mint varieties.
Chives are a favourite – they're easy to grow, repel aphids, and generally can be grown with most other plants. They do particularly well with carrots, mustard greens, tomatoes and dill.
Fairly easy to grow, oregano flourishes next to any plant that enjoys the same conditions it does (partial to full sun, watered once the soil has dried out). It can help repel nasty cabbage moths, so if you're growing cauliflower, broccoli, or cabbage, oregano is perfect.
Versatile and easy to grow, parsley is said to aid the growth of roses, tomatoes, asparagus, beans, and carrots.
One of the best ingredients for stews and casseroles, rosemary does more than taste good! It deters a multitude of pests and is relatively robust and easy to grow. Plant with other similar herbs such as sage and thyme.
Sage is a herb that thrives in full sun, which will enrich its flavours. It prefers dry soil, so keep that in mind when choosing its companion. Generally, it does well with rosemary, thyme, carrots or tomatoes.
Thyme gets a big enviro-tick for its ability to attract bees with its flowers. Enjoying a sunny environment, it does well alongside sage and rosemary.