Gardening

The ultimate guide to companion planting vegetables

Do your veggies like their neighbours?
Loading the player...

A thriving vegetable garden is something dreams are made of, right? Is there anything better than saving waste and having full-time, round-the-clock access to your very own organic produce? We think not. But did you know that not all vegetables like to be planted together as companions? It’s true that, much like humans, some make better neighbours than others.

WATCH: How to create a veggie patch for kids

The method, referred to as companion planting, can be applied to herbs, veggies, fruit – even flowers and some plants do better together. If your green thumb extends beyond the garden and into your lifestyle, you’ll be pleased to know that this method is hailed as one of the most sustainable ways to garden, where each plant acts as a natural pest deterrent and nutrient provider to its buddy.

Essentially, companion planting is about pairing together veggies and herbs that enjoy the same conditions, being aspect, sun, soil, and water. That being said, there are some combos that do particularly well together!

fresh-carrots
(Image: Marnie Hawson / aremediasyndication.com.au)

Asparagus

This crunchy green is said to do well with apricot, basil, chives, marjoram, parsley and tomatoes – but not garlic and onion! Basil and parsley will help to increase its flavours, where garlic and onion will reduce growth. Be sure to keep your asparagus’ soil well fertilised.

Beans

Beans boost carrot, celery, anything in the cabbage family, Brussel sprouts, peas, cucumber, potato, parsnip, lettuce, parsley, and eggplant. Avoid planting them next to beetroot, chives, onions, or garlic. Corn and sunflowers can provide growing support for your beans!

Carrots

A veggie staple, carrots will thrive next to beans, chives, coriander, cucumber, leeks, lettuce, marjoram, onion, rosemary, sage and tomato. Keep your carrots away from dill and celery, as they release substances reducing growth. Hot tip: grow your carrots from seed in loose soil to help them grow straight.

tomato-plant
(Image: Scott Hawkins / aremediasyndication.com.au)

Cucumber

The perfect addition to your summer salad, cucumber makes a great homegrown veg option. Grow it near basil, beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, dill, lettuce, parsnip, peas, radish, tomato and celery. Avoid planting it near sage!

Lettuce

Lettuce is incredibly easy to grow, especially if you work with seedlings. It’s fairly hardy and enjoys being near beans, beetroot, capsicum, carrot, celery, chilli, cucumber, dill, marjoram, onion, peas, radish and strawberries, but not celery or parsley. If you can, aim to plant your lettuce under taller plants so it has shade in the summer.

Onion family

This includes garlic, chives, onion, leek, shallot and spring onion. This family enjoys being around beetroot, capsicum, celery, carrot, chilli, cucumber, dill, lettuce, marjoram, parsley, parsnip, silverbeet, spinach, squash, tomato and turnip. Steer clear of beans, peas, sage and strawberry!

zucchini-flower
(Image: Scott Hawkins / aremediasyndication.com.au)

Tomato

Tomatoes are fairly easy to grow – both in pots and in the ground. They enjoy the company of asparagus, basil, beans, carrot, celery, chives, garlic, marigold, mint, onion, parsley and silverbeet. Surprisingly, tomatoes don’t get a lot with a lot of veggies and herbs, including capsicum, chilli, eggplant, dill, fennel, potato, rosemary and strawberry.

Zucchini

Zucchini’s only enemy is the potato, and it enjoys being around capsicum, chilli, chives, corn, lettuce, peas, radish, spinach and tomato. It’s a fabulous ingredient to add to recipes year-round, so it’s definitely worth growing your own crop!

Related stories