Good and Bad Neighbours in the Garden - Dengarden - Home and Garden
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Good and Bad Neighbours in the Garden

I love gardening and have years of experience dealing with pests and helping my plants thrive.

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The Companion Planting Philosophy

Do you ever question our place on this Earth? Many of us believe we are the supreme beings full of knowledge and caretakers of the planet. It only takes an act of nature like a flash flood, extended drought, earthquake, or snowstorm to prove otherwise. We are really just tiny specks in a long chain of inhabitants.

In mankind's continued quest to prevent famine and disease of the past much valuable knowledge has been lost and the balance of nature virtually ignored. High-yield food production has been achieved through monoculture but the degenerative effects on the land are only now becoming apparent.

Through our ignorance and separation from nature, we exterminate pests by the thousands by the use of herbicides and pesticides, and discourage self-seeding crops through the development of genetic modification only to discover they are being replaced by more resistant insects and diseases.

Restoring Balance

Companion planting provides the means to overcome these problems by restoring the balance of nature to the environment. Many people just see plants as either decorative, edible, or weeds and nothing else.

Do you see a dandelion growing in your perfectly manicured lawn as a weed spoiling the perfection of your garden, or a wild salad herb packed with nutrients and providing a home and food for earthworms?

Everything is connected in harmony and balance. There is a purpose in, and lesson to be learned from everything. If you can understand this concept, and see the dandelion as a wild herb and not a weed, then you have grasped the philosophy and will probably succeed at companion gardening.

Always remember, companion planting requires balance, not domination. We need to learn respect for plants and in turn, they will work for us. So-called "primitive" cultures have always communicated with nature; they learned to read her signs and incorporate those into their rituals and everyday lives. We need to recover this ability.

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The Role of Companion Planting

  • Increase the productivity of edible plants
  • Increase nutrients and essential oils
  • Reduce destructive pests and diseases
  • Attract beneficial insects by providing suitable habitats
  • Nurse damaged plants back to health
  • Improve both plant and garden health
  • Condition the soil
  • Make the garden more attractive to earthworms
  • Over time the garden becomes self-governing
  • Be a small step towards improving the world environment
  • Create a unique natural beauty through harmony and balance
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What You Need To Know

There are a few things you need to know about your garden before designing its layout and selecting plants:

Favourite Plants and Suitability to Local Climate

Just because you like the taste of a certain fruit or vegetable doesn't make it suitable to grow in your climate. If it isn't it will suffer stress and struggle to survive. If you choose the right plants for your climate it will save you both unnecessary expenditure and labour.

Suitable Indigenous Edible Plants

Some native plants and wild herbs are useful planted among non-native fruit trees (especially stone fruit) as they attract birds which prefer to dine on native plants.

Maturing Times and Growth Rates of Plants

Placement of plants is easier if you are aware of the growth patterns of different species. This is particularly helpful to devise a crop rotation plan which is advisable to avoid disease build-up in the soil.

Knowledge of Local Weeds

Learn about the weeds in your region so that you are aware of what is considered noxious and may require eradication. You also need to know which weeds attract harmful insects and which appeal to friendly predators.

Seasonal Cycle of Pests

Each season attracts a different variety of pests and you need to be able to identify these by sight and behaviour. By expecting certain pests you can be prepared for them. Certain crops attract specific pests and reply suitable insect-repellent companions planted nearby.

Seasonal Plant Diseases

Get to know what diseases may affect your particular crops. that way you will know how to treat them should they strike.

Climate

Seasons don't always correspond to dates on the calendar. Expected temperatures may come early or late in your area. In my area, for instance, average spring temperatures may start three or four weeks before the official start date of spring. You should learn the length of your local growing period, and when frost, snow, or heavy rain is likely to occur.

Soil Testing

Plants will struggle or flourish depending on whether the soil condition meets their particular needs. Your soil type should determine what you plant, so you need to have it tested.

Feral Animals

Depending on your location you will have your own unique feral animals to deal with. Many of these enjoy a smorgasbord of your precious crops they think are planted especially for them. In my area, the animals that are attracted to fruit and vegetable are wallabies, kangaroos, possums, fruit bats, and birds like parrots. If this is the case you may have to consider fencing your crops and/or cover them with bird netting etc.

Plant and Seed Supplies

You will need to locate a reputable nursery that stocks a large variety of plants suitable for your area. Also, an organic seed supplier is essential. Fortunately, there are also numerous suppliers that you can order from online and by mail-order.

Now that you have done your homework and compiled this necessary information, you are ready to start designing your 'organic' companion-planted garden.

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The Four Roles of Companion Plants

You need to understand the role of companion plants to utilize them to the best advantage in your garden. Plants bring ecological balance to the garden in four ways:

  1. Camouflage: these companion plants mask the scent of the plant that needs to be protected from insect pests. They usually have an overpowering scent that confuses the insect and makes it seek food elsewhere. Eg. Tansy and certain geraniums can mask the odour of tomatoes and kiwi fruit.
  2. Nurturing: these are the doctors and nurses of the plant world. They draw up nutrients from the soil to improve plant health. They also help other plants recover from the effects of insect attack and disease, and to become more resistant.
  3. Sacrificial: this type of companion acts as a decoy, attracting pests to itself, in order to protect neighbouring plants. These sacrificial companions need to be planted some distance from the plants they are protecting so the infestation doesn't spread to them. I usually plant a patch of yellow nasturtiums in a far corner of the garden so they attract aphids away from the vegetables and give them more chance to thrive.
  4. Stimulation: stimulating companions boost each other's flavours, vitamin and mineral content, essential oils or productivity. When these companions are planted together the gardener can actually see and taste the benefits. Strawberries or lettuce planted in conjunction with borage will thrive and be bursting with flavour.
Yellow flowering nasturtiums

Yellow flowering nasturtiums

List of Companions

Camouflage

Catnip, chamomile, eau-de-cologne mint, feverfew, geraniums, lemon balm, onions, garlic, pennyroyal, peppermint, soapworts, spearmint, tansy.

Nurturing

Lovage, marjoram, oregano, sow thistle, stinging nettle, valerian, yarrow.

Sacrificial

Horehound, yellow flowering nasturtiums, older vegetables left to seed.

Stimulation

Borage, chervil, coriander, elm tree, foxglove, garlic, horehound, lovage, morning glory, mulberry, peppermint, rosemary, salad burnet, Santolina, stinging nettle, tansy, valerian, wallflower, yarrow.

Stimulating plantStimulated plantBenefit

Borage

Strawberries

Juice, flavour, production

Chervil

Radish

Makes it hotter

Coriander

Anise

Seed germination

Elm tree

Grapes

Production and health

Foxglove

Apple trees, most plants

Production and health

Garlic

Roses

Perfume

Horehound

Tomatoes

Flavour

Lovage

Most neighbouring plants

Health

Morning glory

Melons

Fruit production

Mulberry

Grapes

Fruit production

Peppermint

Chamomile

Oil

Rosemary

Sage

Flavour

Tansy

Orange tree

Flavour and fruit

Wallflower

Lavender

Flower production

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Helpful Links

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Common Plants and Best Companions

The companion plants listed here have proved successful for me or other organic gardeners I Have spoken to. I have just tried to include common plants where possible. You may find that some cannot be grown in your area due to climate or local authority regulation. For this reason I have included a selection of companions to choose from.

Acerola or Barbados Cherry: tansy, catmint, pineapple sage, lavender, comfrey.

Almond: stinging nettle, catnip, garlic, sage, and escallonia.

Aloe Vera: borage, scented geraniums, the onion family, sow thistle, balm of Gilead, elderberry.

Apple: wallflowers, apple mint, chives, nasturtiums, foxgloves, marjoram, ajuga.

Apricot: clover, tansy, scented geraniums, horseradish, catnip, alfalfa, basil, yarrow, chives, garlic.

Artichoke, Globe: hollyhock, sweet cicely, violets.

Asparagus: basil, capsicum (pepper), lettuce, parsley, tomatoes.

Banana: pawpaw, strawberries, nasturtiums.

Beans, Broad: potatoes, corn, marjoram.

Beans, Runner: carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, radish, corn, chicory.

Beetroot: gets along with almost everything, particularly onions, lettuce, spinach and silverbeet.

Broccoli: onions, leeks, celery, rosemary, dill, sage, chamomile, peppermint.

Cabbage: pennyroyal, onion, thyme, sage, tomatoes, rue.

Carrot: leeks, sage, lettuce, chives, peas, rosemary, salsify.

Cauliflower: thistle, peppermint, onions, leeks, kale, sage, valerian, lovage.

Celery: bush beans, tomatoes, leeks, marjoram, thyme.

Cucumber: beans, peas, corn, radish, lettuce, scented geraniums.

Kale: potatoes, corn.

Kiwi Fruit: marjoram, catnip, lemon balm, currants, scented geraniums.

Lettuce: strawberries, beetroot, radish, corn.

Melon: corn, sunflowers

Onion: cabbage, carrots.

Passionfruit: marjoram, lemon balm, lemon grass, scented geraniums.

Peas: radish, cucumber, carrots, corn, beans, turnips.

Pepper, Chilli: lettuce, squash, cucumber.

Pepper, Sweet: basil, tomatoes, rhubarb, eggplant, lettuce, asparagus, parsley, okra.

Potato: sunflower, cucumber, peas, beans.

Radish: chervil, nasturtium, lettuce, peas.

Raspberry: tansy, rue.

Rose: garlic, santolina, chives.

Strawberry: borage, lettuce, bush beans, spinach, silver beet.

Tomato: peppers, asparagus, basil.

Turnip: peas, beans, chives.

Watermelon: citrus trees, corn, pumpkin.

Zucchini/Courgette: lettuce, peppermint, peppers, corn, silver beet, spinach, squash, tomatoes, parsley.

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A Keeper of the Earth

If you take the time to do research and get to know your garden, companion planting will work well for you and your garden will respond. Believe in what you are doing and put your heart and soul into it.

Once your garden is established, place a comfortable garden seat in a cosy corner with a tranquil view of your garden and sit and ponder your creation. Take a deep breath and breath in its peace and tranquillity. Be proud that you are fulfilling your role as one of the keepers of this Earth.

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References:

  • Companion Gardening in Australia by Judith Collins.
  • Yates Garden Guide 42nd edition.
  • Fruit and Vegetable Gardening in Australia: The Royal Horticultural Society.
  • The Garden Expert by Dr. D. G. Hessayon.

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.

Questions & Answers

Question: Can I grow Bougainvillea and Lemongrass close to each other?

Answer: Yes, lemongrass is a good companion for most other plants. I see no reason it and Bougainvillea can’t be grown close to each other.

Question: How far away should a non companion be planted?

Answer: There is no specific distance, but not in the immediate vicinity. It is better to have other plants (suitable companions) between the two non-companion plants. If it is a plant that is totally detrimental to the health of the other it should be in a separate garden.

Question: Can I grow aloe vera next to a lemon tree in tropical weather?

Answer: No, not really. Aloe Vera isn't really suited to be planted or grown near citrus trees because they require a lot of water and Aloe Vera detests wet conditions. It is best grown to accompany herbs and vegetables, especially the onion family, borage, and elderberry.

Question: Can I grow beetroot along with papaya plants?

Answer: Beetroot is easy to get along with so it can be planted with almost anything. Papaya generally likes to be planted near strawberries, bananas, marjoram or nasturtiums.

Question: Can I plant banana and dwarf butterfly bush? I am from South East of USA.

Answer: I can’t find anything that says you can’t plant these two together, but also nothing that says they are beneficial to each other. Generally good companions for bananas are pawpaw(papaya) trees, and a ground cover of strawberries or nasturtiums.

Question: Hello from Greece! Which plant could I add next to aloe vera culture, perhaps later in autumn? Could I add peas or beans next to my aloe vera?

Answer: Aloe vera enjoys the company of borage, scented geraniums, the onion family, sow thistle, elderberry, and balm of Gilead. It goes well with most herbs and vegetables because it doesn't like excessively wet conditions.

Question: Can I grow rose bushes and lemongrass together?

Answer: I can’t find any info to say you shouldn’t grow roses and lemongrass together, however the best companions for roses are garlic and comfrey. They improve the fragrance and health of the rose bush.

Comments

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on June 10, 2019:

Thank you Jodah, will try Feverfew.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 09, 2019:

Hi Anita, I just saw you commented on this two years ago and for some reason never saw your comment. I am so sorry, but I did this time. Lavender's essential oil repels borers in citrus and other fruit trees so this may have been beneficial to your apple trees. Feverfew planted under apple trees also promotes growth.

Anita Hasch on June 09, 2019:

Such an interesting article. I plant wild lavender near my small apple trees to protect them against the wind. Wild lavender grows amazingly fast.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 09, 2019:

Thank you Randy. I am glad you found this helpful and appreciate you sharing it with your wife and mother. Cheers.

Randy Horizon from Philadelphia on June 09, 2019:

Jodah, This article is very well written and researched. Love your garden photos and informative companion plants list and their interaction with each other. I will share this with my wife and my mother, as they are the gardeners in my family. Thanks for this wonderful Hub.

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on February 21, 2017:

Love this article on companion planting. I planted a apple tree from a pip. It is about 2 meters high now. When it was much smaller, I planted wild lavender close by to protect the plant from the wind. I don't know if this is true, but it seems to protect the young apple tree from insects, as the other two apple trees that I planted, have not done well at all. They did not have lavender growing close by. Then again it could be that they had no protection from the wind. The wild lavender grows quite high.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 01, 2014:

Thanks for eading this parrster and your kind comment. I hope it proves helpful for your wife. I don't know if you have seen my other hub, "The Good the Bad and the Bugly'...it is the companion article to this one. Thanks again for the vote up.

Richard Parr from Australia on May 01, 2014:

Truly excellent and informative hub Jodah. I will forward this to my wife as she's the gardener in the family, your comprehensive companion planting lists will help no end. Voted up and useful.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 14, 2014:

Thank you very much for reading ologsinquito, and for your generous comment.

ologsinquito from USA on March 14, 2014:

This is an excellent, meticulously researched article. Voted up and shared.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 12, 2014:

Thanks for reading Millionaire Tips, I hope this hub proves helpful. Try to spend a little time putting companions together. I guarantee it will be worth it.

Eddy, thank you so much for visiting another of my hubs. Always good to get your comments.

Joelle, thanks for your kind words. You can still do companion planting in pots if you have room for a few. Just place plants that like each other close together.

Genna, I am still learning all the time. We are like thinking that all things exist in a relationship in nature. Thanks for bookmarking this.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 12, 2014:

@ Eddy, thanks for reading my friend and for the vote up.

@ Millionaire Tips, great to see a new face. I'm glad to receive your comment, and good luck with your companion planting this year. You can do it!

@ Joelle, it's a shame you can't have a garden. But you can do the same in pots. Just place good companions close to each other. Thanks for your comment.

@ Genna, we have the same mind in regard to all things existing in relationship. I am still learning every day. Thanks for reading and bookmarking.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 12, 2014:

“..restoring the balance of nature to the environment.” I agree with this concept; it supports part of my philosophy in that all things exist in relationship. And, of course, I love nature. I have book marked this informative hub, John. No matter how much we know about gardening, there is always more to learn! Thank you.

Dianna Mendez on March 12, 2014:

This is well done and so very useful. I only wish I could have a garden in my yard. Thank you for the information.

Shasta Matova from USA on March 12, 2014:

This is a useful list of companion plants. I am usually very busy during spring planting, so I usually throw some plants in the ground and call it done, but I do need to think of what I should be planting, and choose come companions for my plants.

Eiddwen from Wales on March 12, 2014:

A brilliant read Jodah and as always voted up.

Eddy.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 11, 2014:

Haha Tillsontitan, maybe a little of all those...my grandkids may say I'm very old, but you are tactful for guessing otherwise...lol. I haven't got to the stage when I can remember all the companion combinations yet. I need to keep the list handy to refer to. Thanks for your generous comments, vote up and share. Feel free to print out and hang in the shed.

Mary Craig from New York on March 11, 2014:

Ok Jodah, you are either very old, a gardening expert or you put a lot of time into researching and writing an excellent hub. I would guess all but very old ;). So much helpful information this needs to be printed out and hung in the garden shed!

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 11, 2014:

Thanks so much Deborah. Im glad to her you are already an organic and companion gardener. Well done, and I appreciate you pinning this to your board. You may be interested to read my hubs on Permaculture and the Truth about GMO foods.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on March 11, 2014:

Great information. I have an organic vegetable garden and use companion planting as a way to deter pests. I am pinning this to my gardening board.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 11, 2014:

Thank you for reading and your kind comment Joan.it is good to see a new face reading my hubs. I appreciate your vote up and share as well. Have a good day.

Joan Veronica Robertson from Concepcion, Chile on March 11, 2014:

A Hub after my own thoughts! So happy to see this lovely, well written Hub and all the comments that accompany it! I loved it! Voted up and shared.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 09, 2014:

Thanks for your kind comment Kerlund. I am so glad that it will prove helpful in your organic gardening.

kerlund74 from Sweden on March 09, 2014:

Thank you for sharing this! I will save this to later so I can come back when planning my garden for the summer. Great information, I think it is important to have organic in my mind and this can sure help me out. Get the best of the plants and have them "help each other". Voted!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 08, 2014:

Thanks so much for reading this Tony and your great feedback, much appreciated.

Tony DeLorger from Adelaide, South Australia on March 08, 2014:

Fantastic article John, with so much invaluable info. I published a book once about different gardening practices; it was fascinating, but I just don't have the green thumbs. Excellent work mate!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 08, 2014:

Thanks Sandcastles, you do now. Good to see you.

SandCastles on March 08, 2014:

Excellent hub; I didn't know about Companion plants!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 07, 2014:

Glad this info is helpful Alicia. I hope your garden is a success using some of these tips.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 07, 2014:

This is a very useful hub, Jodah! It's a great article for this time of year. I'll think about the information that you've shared before I plant my garden this spring.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 07, 2014:

Thanks Frank, still left out stuff I wanted to include but I hope it's helpful.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on March 07, 2014:

Jodah this was such an informative packed hub.. awesome my friend

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 07, 2014:

Hi DDE, I appreciate your kind words. I'm glad this hub will be helpful when you start planning your garden in the coming weeks. Thanks for the vote up too.

Thank you Jo, for reading and your generous comment and the vote up and share too. Good luck with your garden also.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 07, 2014:

Thanks for reading Graham as well as your generous comments and vote up. Often it is only one of a couple who is the gardener and I'm sure your wife does a good job. Maybe this information will be helpful to her. I don't write for money but for my own satisfaction and hopefully the pleasure or help to others as well.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on March 07, 2014:

John, great hub! I'm thinking about overhauling my garden and this will be very helpful. You've done a wonderful job here. Up and sharing.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 07, 2014:

Wow! This is an incredible hub the photos and detailed information plants are so interesting and soon I plan my garden what better time to have read this hub. Voted up, interesting, useful and beautiful.

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on March 07, 2014:

Hi Jodah. Excellent. I have a garden but dare I say I am not a 'Gardener' My wife is however and I just enjoy her efforts. I have used A wheelchair now for eleven years, that however is not my excuse. I didn't garden in earlier years. Having said that I think your hub is first class. Packed with information and beautifully presented. It is so nice to read hubs when the writer freely give information for the benefit of others.

voted up and all.

Graham.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

My pleasure always exploring. Glad to help a fellow gardener. lots of veges can be frozen or preserved especially if your garden is producing to much for you to eat immediately. We have a dehydrator so we can dry herbs and tomatoes etc and keep them indefinitely that way. Happy gardening.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 06, 2014:

I must say that i will never dislike a dandelion in my yard or garden again. I am an avid gardener. I freeze tomatoes and green peppers every yead. ( they are soo good in soups. ) Your hub is spot on. I learned a lot about placing plants in the correct place. Thank you so much...

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Glad to see you Mary. Sounds like you and Rib are determined to garden with vigour this year. Good on you. The corn is a great companion for many other plants because it's height offers protection and support. I haven't heard of Burpee seeds. Maybe check them out on line to make sure they aren't GMO before planting them. Certainly do mix your flowers and vegetables. Some vegetables are attractive in their own right such as rainbow chard etc. thanks for bookmarking and sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Audrey thank you for reading. Glad you loved this article and hope it helps you with your garden this year and in the future. So happy to hear that you don't resort to pesticides too and by companion planting you will find natural pest control takes over.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Hi Phyllis, thank you for your generous comments and for bookmarking and sharing this hub. I would have liked to have made it a little more personal but it was difficult when I had to try to pack in so much information. We have to get back to doing what our ancestors knew worked.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Thanks for bookmarking this hub Shauna and for your kind comment. You are right that companion planting does also add depth, texture and beauty to the garden.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Thanks for the vote up MsDora, I hope the info proves helpful to you with your own garden.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Hey Joelle, it looks like you are well on the way to having a good "companion planted vegetable garden", you just have to get over your hatred of the poor misunderstood dandelion. Next time you pull it up, try using it in a salad that wish it won't be wasted. It shows you have healthy soil. Oh and I hope the foxy tennis balls work to stop the groundhogs. Thanks for your kind comment.

Mary McShane from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on March 06, 2014:

Hi John, This is a great article with lots of useful information. I retired a little over a year ago and while I never had much time for gardening, last summer I decided to start a small vegetable garden and a small flower garden. So far I only grow tomatoes and carrots in one and petunias and patience in the other. Rob has some corn seedlings started. We are using Burpee seeds but the truth is I can't determine where the seeds actually come from because the package just says "Produced by Burpee Seeds." Rob wants to sell all that we won't use, but I gotta tell ya, if I learn that these seeds are GM seeds, he can sell the whole dang lot of them. lol

I can't stand what Monsanto and other companies are doing to our food supply and I can't stand that we humans are feeling so helpless.

I never thought about mixing the flowers with the vegetables so when I plant next week (hoping this cold Florida winter we've had is over), I will start mixing them up a little between the plants.

Thank you for this. I need to get with it. Bookmarked and shared.

Mary

Audrey Howitt from California on March 06, 2014:

Loved, loved this! I was just thinking that it is time to clear and start planning --we don't use pesticides at all--but your article has given me some new ideas of pairings that I would like to try! Thank you!

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on March 06, 2014:

Jodah, this is an awesome and very interesting article with beautiful photos to enhance. You have done a fabulous job of providing useful information on companion gardening. You are so right that primitive cultures knew how to grow plants that are in harmony with each other and the earth. Well done ! I am bookmarking and sharing. Thank you for this wonderful hub.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 06, 2014:

Jodah, you have supplied us with some very good information. I'm bookmarking this so I can refer to it later.

Companion planting is not only a preferred form of pest control, but it adds texture, depth and beauty to the garden.

Great post!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 06, 2014:

Really, full of good information for gardeners and everyone else. The idea of companion planting makes a world of sense and "balance. . . not domination" is a great life lesson. Thank you for outlining the suitable companions. Voted Up!

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on March 06, 2014:

First of all, I have to confess John that I have a hard time with dandelions. They always come around Mother's day and just don't like them. When the dandelion season is open, I armed and dangerous... I roam around my yard and I am ready to dig them out one by one. I don't give them the chance to show me their ugly head ;-)

I like to plant different vegetables. I think I will increase slightly the area to produce more vegetable this year. Last year I had some lettuces and in the beginning it was perfect, we could take leaves each day; then we left for three weeks and I told one of my neighbour to come and enjoy the lettuce while we were away.... and when we came back we realized that a groundhog invite itself to eat the lettuce! So that was the end of it. I refuse to poison animals and it took me a while to find what was the best cure so it would stop attacking my lettuce. I bought some fox urine on tennis balls... I am ready for 2014 :-)

For a while I planted some nasturtiums near my garden. The good thing with those flowers is that they are edible and you can add them to your salad! I also plant some basil just beside my tomato plants as you mentioned.

I have some chervil... that plant is doing so well that it grows in the grass :-) I love preparing soup with chervil!

Great hub, John! Thank you for sharing! Gardening is for sure a place where I can still learn a lot!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Thank you for reading Bill. Your hubs have saved me having to write about organic and back yard gardening, so it's the least I can do to save you having to write about companion planting, and Jackie's planning to add to the information as well. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Amazing news Jackie that you have been writing a hub about the same subject...coincidence? Maybe it's a subject people need to know about and we've been lead to encouraged to educate. I didn't write a lot about the dandelion here, but it is a sign of a healthy soil, is nutritious as a salad vegetable and a tea can be made from the roots. Thanks for bookmarking this and I look forward to reading your hub too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Thanks for reading this tsmog (Tim)and your kind comment. I am glad you found this interesting and food for thought.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Hi Flourish, you have to hang in there and try to devote regular time to your garden. It really does get to be enjoyable. Here the red wing and king parrots are beautiful and easily become tame but they can be a problem because they enjoy eating green tomatoes before they get a chance to ripen on the plant. I hope this Spring you get your garden going.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 06, 2014:

Thanks for writing about this so I don't have to. LOL Great information and this is something we do of course...and it is useful and beneficial for gardeners. Well done John!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on March 06, 2014:

Wow, we must be on the same wavelength, John. I have had these very things on my mind and even writing about them; well....kind of. Will publish later so you will see and hopefully benefit from but all should benefit from yours and I will certainly be bookmarking it! I have always tried to defend the dandelion and with so many animals loving it that should show just how special it is! They are certainly great tossed in a salad too! ^^++LOve the pics too!

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on March 06, 2014:

A very interesting article Jodah. I discovered new knowledge of interest and prompted curiosity too. Not being a vegetable gardener or of fruit trees I think this knowledge is invaluable to the home gardener as well as the community gardener. I do have a front and back garden of natural / native California plants. The process of complimentary plants for that purpose undertakes the same thought process. Both food gardening and landscape gardening will benefit from the main theme of this article.

tim

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 06, 2014:

John, this is a great gardening hub, and I especially liked both your lead in and your mention of feral animals (parrots!?! wow!). I am not a skilled gardener, but I love the idea. Every year I start out like gangbusters with great intentions then by the first of July, I've forgotten to water.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

CMHypno, thank you for the insightful comment. One of the main problems is deforestation and removal of trees leading to erosion etc, and the water table or aquifer is in serious danger from a number of sources. We do have to learn to work with nature, not against it, as you say.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

It was my pleasure to write this Marie,thanks for the prompt. I would have liked to include the plants that dislike each other and you should never plant together, but the hub was getting too long. The best idea is if I haven't said that they go together just don't do it. Yes, we seem to naturally want to group one type of plant together like herbs, but it is much more effective to plant them in among the vegetables that benefit from them. Thanks for voting up, and good luck with your garden.

CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on March 06, 2014:

I think its good Jodah that we are at last beginning to learn to work with nature rather than against it. Natural ecosystems are so finely balanced, yet we have used the environment purely for our own ends, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Part of the reason the flooding has been so destructive in the UK this winter is that many farmers (encouraged by EU subsidies) have ripped out trees, shrubs and hedges from their land, which has effected the water table

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on March 06, 2014:

Thank you for following through, Jodah! I have not only read this, but have printed out your table for my reference. I love foxgloves and see that they are useful for most plants, according to your chart. Wonderful!

I'll be hauling manure from my neighbor's over the course of the week. According to a Florida seasonal growing calendar, it's time to plant annual flowers, beans and zinnia.

Funny, I have a lot of herbs, but I never thought of planting them BETWEEN the vegetables instead of grouping them by themselves. I guess I have some rearranging to do!

Voted Up and Useful. Many thanks!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 06, 2014:

Thanks for being the first to read and comment on this hub Faith. Another hubber suggested in a forum that I write a hub about companion planting...so this is the result. glad you found the info useful. Thanks also for the vote up and share.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on March 06, 2014:

Wow, Jodah, this is an excellent hub full of useful information for all of us gardeners! I just love gardening, and I will keep this hub handy the next time I start planting which will be soon. I know the plants needed to work well together to be in harmony with one another, but it I did not it was called companion gardening, and it makes a lot of sense.

Awesome hub. Up and more and sharing.

Have a blessed day,

Faith Reaper