Kasey is a vegetable lover who uses companion planting to expand her garden's seasonal yield.
Herb Companion Planting
Companion planting is a planting method that allows you to get the best results with less effort. Native Americans would plant corn with beans up the stalk and squash in the ground. This method of gardening is called “the three sisters planting method,” and it would mean more food could be grown in a smaller area of land.
There are many ways a gardener can benefit from companion planting. Some plants help to balance out the soil pH, and other plants repel certain insects. No matter the reason, those who set their garden up with this method will have a great gardening experience.
Herbs are known for their beauty, medicinal and culinary capabilities. These plants can also be ideal for organic pest control in the garden. This means you get to reap the most reward in both the garden and the kitchen.
Best Herb and Vegetable Companions
- Basil and Tomatoes
- Carrots and Chives
- Dill and Cabbage
- Oregano and Everything
- Parsley and Asparagus
Basil and Tomatoes
If you have ever cooked before, you know how delicious tomato and basil are together. This combination goes beautifully with soups, pesto, salads, pastas and many other dishes. There is no food that tastes as wonderful as homegrown food.
It could be the effort gardening takes or the love each plant receives that makes the taste more deliciously potent. No matter what it is, homegrown groceries are the best kind of groceries.
Basil and tomatoes are more than just a perfect pair in the kitchen; they complement each other in the garden as well. When basil is planted with tomatoes, the basil repels bugs like mosquitoes and flies. Besides being beneficial to the garden, basil will help improve the flavor of tomatoes and the growth of the tomatoes.
Carrots and Chives
The cool thing about veggies and herbs is that they can be incorporated into so many dishes. There are endless possibilities of flavors when you have an assorted herb and vegetable garden. With chives, there is plenty of opportunity for garden and kitchen use.
Chives are related to the onion. They can be used in casserole dishes, rice, eggs, cheese dishes, sauces and dips. Carrots are a wonderful addition to salads, soups and stews, and they are even scrumptious when they are steamed or baked.
Chives will repel carrot flies from your garden. An alternative to repelling these pests is to plant rosemary and sage near the carrots as well.
Dill and Cabbage
While some plants benefit from being next to each other, some plants can be bad for each other. It is best to keep dill away from carrots and near cabbage. It is also important to understand that protective plants need to be mature before they can effectively keep pests away.
It is also good to understand that some plants can weaken the protective abilities of other plants. It is most important to understand what plants can and should be planted near each other and which plants should be farther away.
Dill is one of my favorite flavors. It can be used to dress up potato salad or any other dish that needs perking up. Of course, if you are growing dill, you should consider making homemade pickles.
Dill has a variety of benefits for many different vegetables. Dill attracts some beneficial bugs to your garden; this includes honeybees, hoverflies, wasps and swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.
Oregano and All the Vegetables
The beautiful thing about oregano is its versatility, in the garden and in the kitchen. Oregano is zesty with Italian origins. It pairs perfectly with tomato dishes, summer squash and potatoes. Oregano is also great for lamb or other game marinades.
If oregano can spread among other crops, it will increase humidity. Interplanting can help gardeners in a drought situation. Interplanted oregano will act as a living mulch, expelling moisture onto surrounding fauna.
Oregano provides general pest suppression, repelling bugs like squash beetles, cucumber beetles, and cabbage butterflies. Oregano at the base of grape vines will also help repel many of the pests that feast on grape plants.
Parsley and Asparagus
Parsley, like many other herbs, has incredible benefits to our health and our bodies. Parsley tea has incredible healing properties. Parsley carries nutritional benefits like high levels of beta carotene, folate and vitamin B12. Since parsley also helps with the absorption of iron, it is beneficial to those with anemia.
Parsley is helpful in the kitchen, too. The fresh herb can be added to soups, salads, and sauces. Parsley can be fried for the perfect side dish, or it can be used as a pretty garnish. No matter how it is used, its tastes and benefits are abundant.
Parsley and basil can both be planted under the asparagus to increase plant vigor. Some plants do not do well when planted near each other. Asparagus does not thrive best when planted near onions, garlic or potatoes. The onions and the garlic will inhibit the growth of the asparagus and could inhibit the growth of peas as well.
Companion Planting and Beyond
There are many other ways you can companion plant in your garden. Some plants help deter bad insects, while other plants attract beneficial insects. There are companion plants that promote germination and growth, and there are plants you need to avoid planting near each other, because they will stunt or inhibit growth.
Other Plants Good for Companion Planting
- Tarragon is beneficial to most vegetables. It can also be used in the kitchen for meat dishes, sauces and marinades.
- Anise is beneficial when planted with coriander; it promotes germination and growth. Anise can be used in the kitchen with cookies, cakes, fillings, breads, cottage cheese, shellfish and spaghetti dishes.
- Garlic is great for some plants; like roses and raspberries. The garlic will deter Japanese beetles. It can be bad to plant near some vegetables, so it is always a good idea to do adequate research. Garlic can be added to a variety of dishes in the kitchen: pastas, salads, soups, pesto, dips, marinades, or with meats like poultry, beef, fish or vegetables.
- Lovage is a plant that can be placed here and there. This plant will help improve the health and the flavor of other plants. The seeds can be used on breads and biscuits. The herb goes great with potatoes, and it is popular in soups, stews, and salad dressings.
The best thing about companion planting is being able to let your garden love itself. We can give our growing plants love, but when they give each other love, it shows in the way the plant looks, tastes and smells.
There are plants to avoid putting near each other, and there are plants you want all over your garden. Doing research and planning before putting in the hard yard work is what I recommend. I am sure there are many other gardeners who would say the same.
It is better to set your garden up correctly and the way you want it—much better than it is to rush into having a big garden. The best gardens take time and mistakes. There will be plants that die and plants that you are able to nurse back to health. We do our best, grow our garden and hope these basil plants sweeten our tomatoes.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.