Companion Planting | West Coast Seeds

These companion planting guidelines are just suggestions to keep in mind. Every garden is unique and many factors must be considered during the planning stage. These factors include sun exposure, climate, ecology, pollinators, insect population, soil structure and chemistry, and water supply.

west coast seeds has done extensive research on these complementary planting guidelines and has defined the best possible results and reasons for each of our recommendations.

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Download our guide to companion plants brochure for more information, planting tips, and a helpful chart outlining companion and rival plants in the garden.

Benefits of companion planting include:

minimize risk: complementary planting increases the chances of higher yields, even if a crop fails or is affected by natural adversities such as weather, pests or diseases.

Crop Protection: Companion planting can offer a more delicate plant shelter from weather, such as wind or sun, by growing alongside another plant that can shelter and protect while having a natural defense against the harshest conditions.

trap crop: complementary planting is the best organic pest control system. Some plants help repel unwanted pests, while others can be used to keep pests out of the garden. this is known as a trap crop.

Positive Hosting: Planting near plants that produce a surplus of nectar and pollen can increase the population of beneficial insects that will control harmful pests.

here are some basic guidelines for successful companion planting:

agastache – very attractive to bees. plant a row away from the garden to attract cabbage moths away from brassica crops. do not plant near radishes.

alyssum: highly attractive to pollinators and useful as a mulch to keep weeds down between rows. alyssum provides shelter for ground beetles and spiders. see also complementary planting with umbelliferae.

amaranth: plant with corn to shade the soil and retain water. attracts predatory ground beetles.

ammi: This beautiful flower attracts lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps. plant ammi as a general pest control plant in your garden. see also companion planting with umbelliferae.

asparagus: plants with asters, basil, coriander, dill, coriander, marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano, parsley, peppers, sage and thyme. asparagus repels nematodes that attack tomatoes, and tomatoes repel asparagus beetles.

basil: will improve the vigor and flavor of tomatoes planted side by side. also good with asparagus, oregano and bell peppers. basil helps repel aphids, asparagus beetles, mites, flies, mosquitoes, and tomato hornworms.

fava beans – excellent for fixing nitrogen in the soil. avoid planting near onions.

bush & pole beans: all beans fix nitrogen in the soil. plant with brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radishes and strawberries. avoid planting near chives, garlic, leeks and onions. pole beans and beets stunt each other’s growth.

Soybeans – good for fixing nitrogen and acting as a mulch against weeds. grow with corn soybeans repel Japanese beetles and bedbugs.

Beets: Beet leaves and trimmings are great for compost, returning captured manganese and iron to the soil through the composting process. plant with bush beans, brassicas, corn, garlic, rutabaga, leeks, lettuce and mint. add chopped mint leaves as mulch for the beets. avoid planting beets near polo beans.

borage: an excellent companion plant in general. Borage deters tomato hornworm and cabbage moth caterpillars, and is especially good for planting near tomatoes and strawberries. Borage is very attractive to pollinators, so plant it around pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers to improve pollination. it is also excellent for soil and compost. borage is deer proof.

brassicas (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, rutabaga, turnip greens): all benefit from chamomile, dill, mint, rosemary and sage. avoid planting near eggplants, peppers, potatoes, or tomatoes. These four plants belong to the nightshade family and all prefer fairly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, while brassicas prefer more neutral soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0.

buckwheat: fixes calcium in the soil and is an exceptionally good green manure plant. Buckwheat absorbs nutrients that are not available to other plants, and can then be composted or grown, releasing those nutrients in accessible forms. Buckwheat flowers are attractive to pollinators as well as beneficial predatory insects: hoverflies, pirate bugs, tachinid flies, and ladybird beetles. provides shelter for ground beetles.

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Calendula: Repels a number of unwanted soil nematodes and asparagus beetles, but may attract slugs. plant calendula with tomatoes and asparagus. Calendula attracts a wide range of pollinators because it provides nectar throughout the growing season.

carrots: plant with beans, brassicas, spring onions, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, broad beans, radishes, rosemary, sage, and tomatoes. avoid planting with dill, parsnips, and potatoes. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to leave some space between the tubers so they don’t compete for available phosphorus. carrots planted near tomatoes may have stunted roots, but will taste exceptional. chives also benefit carrots.

Catnip: attracts pollinators (and cats!) and parasitic wasps. catnip repels aphids, asparagus beetles, colorado potato beetles, and bedbugs.

celery: good companion for beans, brassicas, cucumber, garlic, leek, lettuce, onion and tomatoes.

chamomile – attracts hoverflies and parasitic wasps. plant near onions to enhance their flavor.

chervil – excellent companion to brassicas, lettuce and radishes, but grows best in partial shade. chervil helps repel slugs and attracts parasitic wasps. see also companion planting with umbelliferae.

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chives – enhances the flavor of carrots and tomatoes. a companion plant for brassicas. helps repel aphids, carrot rust fly, and Japanese beetles. avoid planting near beans and peas.

Companion Planting with Chrysanthemum Seeds

Chrysanthemum: White-flowered chrysanthemums repel Japanese beetles. all chrysanthemums are attractive to tachinid flies and parasitic wasps.

Coriander: repels aphids, potato beetles and mites. see also companion planting with umbelliferae.

Clover: attracts many beneficial insects and builds soil. helps fight cabbage worms and increases the number of predatory ground beetles.

Collards: Plant near tomatoes, which repel flea beetles that so often seek out cabbages to eat.

coreopsis: this plant attracts pollinators, but also hoverflies, soldier bugs and tachinid flies.

corn: companion to beans, beets, cucumbers, dill, melons, parsley, peas, potatoes, soybeans, pumpkin and sunflower. avoid planting next to celery or tomatoes. amaranth makes an excellent inter-row mulch by outcompeting weeds and conserving soil moisture.

Cosmos: This annual provides food and habitat for parasitic wasps, tachinids, lacewings, hoverflies, pirate bugs, spiders, lady beetles, big-eyed bugs, damsel bugs, and other predatory insects. Cosmos can be direct sown from early March to late June in our region for continuous blooming throughout the summer. deadhead spent flowers to extend the flowering time of each plant.

Cucumber: Plant alongside asparagus, beans, brassicas, celery, corn, dill, kohlrabi, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, and tomatoes. avoid planting near potatoes and sage. both corn and sunflowers can act as a trellis for cucumbers with good results. the dill will help the cucumbers by attracting predatory insects, and the nasturtiums will improve the taste and growth of the cucumbers.

Dill: Dill improves the health of cabbage and other brassicas, and is a great companion to corn, cucumbers, lettuce, and onions. avoid planting near carrots and tomatoes. dill attracts ladybird beetles, parasitic wasps, hoverflies, bees and garden spiders, making it one of the most useful candidates for planting. see also companion planting with umbelliferae.

Echinacea: These perennial echinaceas attract hoverflies and parasitoid wasps, making them useful for pest control in complementary crops.

eggplant: a good partner for amaranth, beans, marigolds, peas, bell peppers, spinach and thyme. don’t plant eggplants near fennel.

fennel: not a companion to any food garden plants; fennel actually inhibits the growth of bush beans, rutabaga, tomatoes, and others. plant it, but keep it out of the garden. Fennel attracts hoverflies, ladybugs, parasitic wasps and tachinids, making it a beneficial magnet for insects. it is also an important food plant for caterpillars of the swallowtail butterfly. see also companion planting with umbelliferae.

gaillardia: This flower blooms for a very long period in summer, providing a rich source of nectar for a large number of pollinators.

garlic: Planting garlic near roses will help repel aphids. Due to its sulfur compounds, it can also help repel whiteflies, Japanese beetles, rootworms, carrot rust, and other pests. garlic, made into tea or sprayed, will act as a systemic pesticide, absorbing into plant cells. it is a good companion for beets, brassicas, celery, lettuce, potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes. avoid planting near peas or beans of any kind.

iberis: This early flowering plant provides nectar to pollinators before many others, and attracts hoverflies and ground beetles. see also companion planting with umbelliferae.

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kohlrabi: a worthy companion for beets, brassicas, cucumbers and onions. avoid planting near bell peppers, beans, strawberries, and tomatoes.

Leeks: grows with beets, carrots, celery, onions and spinach. avoid planting near beans and peas. leeks help repel carrot rust flies.

Lettuce: Good companions for beets, brassicas, carrots, celery, chervil, cucumbers, dill, garlic, onions, radishes, spinach, squash, and strawberries.

lovage: Use to attract parasitoid wasps and ground beetles. oh, and you can cook with it too.

marigold: French marigolds (marigolds patula) produce chemicals that repel whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, root-knot nematodes, and root lesion nematodes. avoid planting them near beans. Mexican marigolds (t. minuta) have the same effect and can repel rabbits. at the same time, they attract hoverflies and parasitoid wasps.

melon – excellent companions to corn, marigolds, nasturtiums, squash, radishes, squash and sunflowers. avoid planting near potatoes. melon leaves are packed with calcium, so they’re good for the compost pile.

mint: mint attracts earthworms, hoverflies, and predatory wasps, and repels cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles. Mint is invasive, so it may be best to use cut mint as a mulch around brassicas, or restrict it to containers around the garden. avoid planting near parsley.

monarda (bergamot): This plant blooms in late summer and is very attractive to bees, parasitic wasps, parasitic flies, and hummingbirds.

Nasturtium: These plants make a good aphid trap crop and deter whiteflies, cucumber beetles, squash beetles, colorado potato beetles and Mexican bean beetles. it is a good companion for brassicas, cucumbers, melons, radishes and tomatoes. Because they grow low to the ground, nasturtiums provide good cover for ground beetles and spiders. the flowers attract a variety of pollinators and is good for bees.

Oats: Grows very fast to quickly plow and add organic matter to beds, and works well when planted with clover or vetch. an excellent source of green matter for compost.

Onions: Plant chamomile and summer savory near onions to enhance their flavor. Onions also pair well with beets, brassicas, carrots, dill, rutabaga, leeks, lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes. do not plant onions near asparagus or peas of any kind. onions help repel the carrot rust fly.

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oregano & marjoram – oregano is particularly good at repelling cabbage moths, and can be planted between rows of brassicas for this purpose. also good with asparagus and basil.

Parsley: Parsley likes asparagus, carrots, spring onions, corn, onions, and tomatoes. the leaves can be sprinkled on asparagus to repel asparagus beetles and around roses to improve their scent. let some of your parsley bloom to attract predatory flies and wasps. see also companion planting with umbelliferae. don’t plant it near mint.

peas – excellent companions for beans, carrots, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, bell peppers. potatoes, radishes, spinach, strawberries and turnips. avoid planting peas near onions.

Peppers: Pepper plants are good neighbors to asparagus, basil, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, oregano, parsley, rosemary, squash, Swiss chard, and tomatoes. never plant them next to beans, brassicas, or fennel.

phacelia: An essential item in any organic gardener’s toolkit, this multipurpose annual flower matures quickly and is surprisingly attractive to a host of pollinators and beneficial insects. in particular, it attracts bees and predatory hoverflies to improve pollination and combat insect pests. plant phacelia around any crop that shows poor pollination, particularly squash (including squash and squash), melons, and cucumbers.

About Potatoes

Potatoes: Beans, celery, corn, garlic, marigolds, onions, and peas plant well near potatoes. avoid planting potatoes near asparagus, brassicas, carrots, cucumbers, rutabagas, melons, parsnips, rutabagas, pumpkins, sunflowers, and turnips.

radish: Plant radishes near beans, beets, celeriac, chervil, cucumber, lettuce, mint, parsnips, peas, spinach, squash, and tomatoes. avoid planting near agastache or potatoes. it is said that planting 3 or 4 icicle radishes around the mound where pumpkins are planted and letting them grow and bloom will prevent most pumpkin and cucumber pests.

Rosemary: Rosemary is a good partner for beans, brassicas, and carrots. Rosemary repels the cabbage moth, the Mexican bean beetle, and the carrot rust fly.

rudbeckia: All varieties of rudbeckia are attractive to hoverflies and parasitoid wasps.

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rye: Autumn rye emits a chemical that inhibits the germination of weed seeds. this is known as allelopathy. planted twice in a row, it can choke out several species of weeds forever. produces masses of organic matter useful for tilling or adding to compost.

Salvia: Salvia repels both the cabbage moth and the carrot rust fly, making it a great companion plant in the garden. however, do not plant it near cucumbers, which are sensitive to herbs.

scabiosa – This plant is naturally attractive to hoverflies and predatory tachinids, making it very useful for pest control in organic companion planting.

spinach – a good companion for brassicas, aubergines, leeks, lettuce, peas, radishes and strawberries, in particular. don’t plant spinach near potatoes.

pumpkin – side dishes: corn, lettuce, melon, peas and radish. avoid planting near brassicas or potatoes. Borage is said to enhance the growth and flavor of the pumpkin. marigolds and nasturtium repel numerous squash pest insects.

Strawberry: These small plants respond strongly to nearby plants. combine them with beans, borage, garlic, lettuce, onion, peas, spinach and thyme. avoid brassicas, fennel, and rutabaga.

summer savory: This herb attracts bees and repels cabbage moths. planting it near beans and onions will enhance the flavor of both.

sunflower: Sunflowers planted near corn rows are said to increase yields. use sunflowers as beacons to attract pollinators to other crops, particularly pumpkins and squashes, and any other crops that require insect pollination. Sunflowers are attractive to a large number of wild and domestic bees, as well as ladybugs, which feed on aphids.

Chard: Beans, brassicas, and onions are the best accompaniments to chard.

Thyme: A beneficial plant for the garden, it is worth planting near brassicas (as it repels cabbage moths) and strawberries as it enhances the flavour.

tithonia: Plant this so-called Mexican torch to attract parasitoid wasps, parasitic flies, and army bugs to your garden. they will act as a beacon for natural pest control.

tomatoes – another sensible plant when it comes to companions, tomatoes benefit from asparagus, basil, beans, borage, carrots, celery, chives, collard greens, cucumber, garlic, lettuce, calendula, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley and peppers. avoid planting next to brassicas and dill. corn will attract tomato pests and rutabaga will stunt tomato growth. potatoes can spread blight to tomatoes, so keep them separate. don’t plant tomatoes near walnut trees.

Turnip: Turnips are easy on the go, but benefit from mint and peas.

Peas: Peas have long roots that fix nitrogen in the soil and provide masses of organic matter for tillage. don’t let the pea go to seed, it will come back with a vengeance. the seeds are toxic to chickens.

yarrow: its scent repels aphids, but attracts hoverflies, ladybugs and wasps that feed on garden larvae. Yarrow leaves and stems contain enzymes that break down quickly, so it can be added to raw compost or as a tea to speed up buildup. see also companion planting with umbelliferae.

We have been asked to clarify what we mean by “close” in terms of what makes a neighbor good or bad. this differs depending on the context. plants that are said to repel harmful insects should be planted in close proximity to the crops they are meant to protect. but plants like dill, which generally attract predatory insects, can be planted anywhere in the garden.

Meanwhile, when it comes to soil chemistry (an example would be brassicas and potatoes), the acidic soil in which potatoes thrive can cause problems for some brassicas. moist, acidic soil can harbor club root (for example), which can be a real problem for broccoli and brussels sprouts. therefore, a long row of potatoes next to a long row of broccoli is not recommended. By practicing routine crop rotation, the right soil conditions for the right crops can be maintained and soil-borne diseases can be avoided altogether.

Your feedback is very important to help us make our articles and instructions clearer. Feel free to contact us for clarification at [email protected], and we’ll do our best to dig deeper into our guides so all of our customers can benefit.

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