Bringing a wide variety of plants into your vegetable garden can have many benefits. Planting certain vegetables next to each other can encourage both plants to thrive. This unique process is known as companion planting.
Companion plants have many potential benefits for their partner plant counterparts. They can help each other grow by attracting pollinators or repelling pests in addition to providing beneficial nutrients, shade, or support. When you’re planning this year’s garden, make sure to check if the vegetables you want to grow have companions that will help your garden thrive.
1. Beets And Garlic
Planting beets and garlic together has many benefits. Pests such as root maggots, Japanese beetles, snails, and coddling moths that affect beets are repelled by the smell of garlic. Planting garlic near beets also improves the flavor of the beets, and the sulfur that garlic produces as it grows acts as an anti-fungal that helps prevent disease in the beets. Beets grow best in deep, well-drained soil. Clay soils will be too heavy for beets to grow properly. Beets like cool weather, but make sure not to plant them until the soil temperature is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Broccoli And Onions
By planting broccoli and onions in close proximity to each other in the garden, you can improve the flavor of your broccoli. Broccoli is one of the most nutritious of all the vegetables out there, and it grows best in cooler seasons. It will fully mature within six to eight weeks. The plant does best in full sun but will also grow well in partial shade. Broccoli needs moist, fertile, slightly acidic soil. Plant seeds half an inch deep, or put transplants slightly deeper in the soil than they were before.
3. Carrots And Leeks
Carrots are normally attacked by carrot flies, and leeks are affected by leek moths and onion flies. The carrots will deter the leeks’ pests, and the leeks will keep the carrots’ pests away. Basically, these plants are such good garden buddies because they act as repellents for each other’s pests. To grow carrots, plant the seeds outside about three to five weeks before the last frost. Plant the seeds three or four inches apart in rows that are at least 12 inches apart. Try to grow them in full sunlight. The soil should be well drained and loose, and you should water the plants at least one inch per week.
4. Cucumbers And Peas
Growing cucumbers and peas together will ultimately benefit the cucumber plant, as the peas will increase the nitrogen in the soil. The increased nitrogen will encourage the cucumber plant to grow bigger and heartier. Cucumbers are a tropical vegetable. Cucumber plants need warm soil that has an acidic pH to grow. Plant the seedlings 36 to 60 inches apart, and use a trellis to support the vines as they grow. The trellis also conveniently keeps the fruit off the ground. Try to keep the soil damp with approximately one inch of water per week. Peas are a legume that normally prefers colder weather, so in order to plant them with tropical cucumbers, you will have to support them with water and shade during summer months for a fall harvest.
5. Tomatoes And Basil
Planting tomatoes and basil in the garden together don’t just make sense because you like a good Italian sauce, but also because they grow well together. Plant tomatoes in late spring or early summer, as they thrive on warmth. Because of this, they also need full sun for about six to eight hours. In order to keep the tomato plants off the ground, use a stake, trellis, or cage. Use approximately two to four inches of mulch to retain moisture and keep weeds from growing. The tomatoes will need a lot of moisture, so try to water them at least one inch a week, though you should water them more in the summer months.