The Beauty of True Companionship



A Brief Introduction to Herbal Companion Planting

The Benefits

Space saving
Shelter and shade
Attracts favourable insects and pollinators to garden
Enriches the soil food web and improves the soil
Aids fighting disease
Provides additional foliage and aroma and colour beauty

Companion planting or buddy linking if you wish is an old practice amongst seasoned gardeners. The art of planting plants next to each other offers other plant perks – haha, it’s a bit like a friend with benefits!

The companion can either repel or attract insects, so it’s a real mutual friendship. There are all sorts of ‘perks’ to the practice – but not everyone agrees with this practice – rocket scientists probably don’t. Still, hey, it’s not their garden, and it’s not their plants, herbs or vegetables. Hence, as they say, each to their own, companion planting can offer diversity and colour variety.

Trial and error is your best friend when you are starting. It doesn’t always work, and some plants can stunt the growth of another plant, let alone increase its harvesting yield!

The secret to success is to ensure you have more beneficial plants that will attract more good insects than bad ones.

Beneficial Insects

Bees
Ladybugs
Lacewings
True Bugs
Butterflies
Ground Beetles
Hover Flies
Parasitic Wasps

The insects above will feed on insects we don’t want. The likes of thymes, fennels, rosemary, dill, coriander, angelica, clover, yarrow, mints, borage, catnip, marshmallow and daisies, to name a few, are great for offering shaded protection, ground cover and also ideal spots for clutches of eggs to be laid.

Now, companion planting, if you were to take into consideration vegetables, flowers, herbs, and some weeds is quite a complex game, think three chess games going on at the same time from one board, and you might start to get an idea of what we are looking at – so if this is your first time of planting this way, it might be easier to create more straightforwardly and not look at all categories together in one bed, or pot or in the ground.

Herbs are great to start with. If you only think about attracting and repelling insects, it makes it slightly more manageable than thinking higher yields and stunting growths and the such like.

Because of the beauty of so many herbs we can have in our gardens today, the wide varieties, it means that we can have plants that both repel and attract equally as much as allowing for fragrances and scents and good foliage covering.


The table below introduces a small range or popular herbs and displays the benefits to the planter.


Herb Benefits
Basil

Basil and Tomato plants are supposedly perfect for each other. Basil also prefers the company of vegetables in comparison to other herbs. But it is also advantageous as a companion with potatoes, beets, cabbages, aubergine, peppers.

If you plant marigolds and basil together or nearby to each other with a vegetable in between, the duo make a cracking pair for keeping pests away from them as well as each other.
Borage

Plant alongside tomatoes, squash and strawberries.

Can deter tomato worm
Chives

This herb does an awful amount of good for fruits, vegetables and flowers, especially roses. But if you want them to repel the notorious aphid and certain beetles, then plant them next to the likes of peas, cucumbers, lettuce and celery. 

Chives can also discourage diseases such as black spot.
Corriander
Cilantro


Great with tomotoes and spinach, basil, mint, lavender and dill. But keep away from Fennel.
Dill

Great with the likes of carrots and cabbage. This herb is also a great attractor of insects to your plants, such as ladybugs, honey bees, wasps and butterflies. But other vegetables that will benefit are lettuce, cucumbers, corn, onions, and brassicas – but keep this herb away from peppers, potatoes and lavenders.
Garlic

Garlic is superb to grow next to practically anything as the smell drives many pests away, but even deer and rabbits don’t like garlic. It’s also a great defence again mould and fungus. However, despite its vast benefits, do keep garlic away from asparagus, peas, beans, sage, and parsley.

Garlic is very much a natural repellant to many pests
Marjoram

A great companion with all vegetables.
Mint

Mint does well and serves beneficially with cabbages and tomatoes. Always keep in mind the invasive properties of this plant. 

It’s greedy for space! 

Mint is excellent for driving many pests away equally and managing to allure the good ones. It serves cabbage, kale, radish, peas, Brussel sprouts, lettuce and peppers well, and it is also great next to carrots and onions as it can see off the flies. If mint is next to tomato, it will keep the aphids away.
Nasturtium

A great companion with all vegetables and deter an assortment of pests.
Oregano

Great with beans and broccoli.
Parsley

Parsley is great as a companion alongside corn, asparagus and tomatoes.
Rosemary

Plant near cabbages, beans, carrots and sage.
Sage

This herb loves vegetables and fruits but not so many other herbs unless it is Rosemary, as those two share a mutual friendship. Sage loves strawberries, carrots, tomatoes and cabbage. 

Keep away from cucumbers.
Taragon

Loves most vegetables but especially loves aubergine.
Thyme

Great with tomotoes and can deter the cabbage worm.

I hope you enjoyed this article and l’ll see you again soon.

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Published by The Autistic Composter

Howdy Folks, Earthly Comforts is a broad niche wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, also known as ‘worm farming and photography too.

12 thoughts on “The Beauty of True Companionship

      1. Oy, what a ride. Today is the first day I didn’t break down crying hysterically from exhaustion, frustration and worry. Tomorrow was will better – huge change today from yesterday – at 75 your brain heals more slowly. His 6 to midnight aide is effing brilliant and the rehab place made me hire an overnight sitter, I’m not sure he needs it but it does make me feel better to know someone is there just for him even if they have nothing to do. I’m with him from 7am – tonite I actually went home at 8pm – had laundry to do. Good news is I’ve lost 5 pounds in the last 5 days LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey Rory! I don’t garden anymore, but I do enjoy your informative articles just the same. I’m so glad you are still able to play in the dirt. 😊 It is such good therapy, not to count knowing for sure you have the wonderful benefits of organically grown food.

    Liked by 1 person

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