The following varieties can be used as companion plants and will benefit the plants they are growing next to –
COSMOS, CHAMOMILE, BORAGE, CALENDULA, LAVENDER, FRENCH MARIGOLD, NASTURTIUM, ZINNIA, GARLIC CHIVES, SAGE, THYME, FENNEL, CHIVES, SWEETPEAS, DILL
Seeds of all of the above, apart from Mint, can be found in the lists on our website
A Few Tips Avoid monocultures where the same type of plant is grown row on row. Monoculture makes it easy for pests and diseases to find their favourite plants and spread quickly.
Nature knows best – grow a mix of plant families (polyculture) and leave no bare ground. Pests are confused by a mix of plants types
Intersperse tall and short plants of different plant varieties
Plant herbs throughout the garden and vegetable plot. Herbs usually have strongly scented leaved which help to repel unwanted insects.
Intercropping is a good idea. Fast-growing crops such as radishes and lettuces can be sown between widely spaced rows of slower-growing crops such as parsnips and Brussels sprouts.
There are many plants that can improve the growth of your vegetable garden instead of using pesticides. Growing certain plants together can encourage healthy growth, repel harmful insects, and attract beneficial insects.
BORAGE Both the leaves and flowers of Borage can be eaten and have a cucumber-like flavour. It grows well near Tomatoes, Squash and with Strawberries. The blue flowers of Borage are well known for attracting bees and other pollinators.
CALENDULA This can be sown alongside Peas, Carrots and early Lettuces. It helps to repel aphids and attracts pollinators. The petals are edible and the flowers bloom all summer. Calendula have thick roots which retain moisture in the vegetable garden.
CHAMOMILE This helps improve the growth and flavour of many plants. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties too which will help against mould, mildew and blight. It grows best with Cabbage, Onions, Beans, Cucumbers, Broccoli, Kale and Brussels sprouts.
COSMOS The bright colours of Cosmos attract bees and butterflies. They can be grown near Tomatoes and other flowering vegetables to encourage pollination. Cosmos flowers also attract aphids.
LAVENDER Lavender also attracts pollinators. Butterflies and bees love Lavender and will visit a garden often if Lavender is planted. Good near Brussels sprouts, Celery, Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower. The strong scent of Lavender repels harmful insects, and even deer and rabbits.
FRENCH MARIGOLD The bright flowers of French Marigolds are great for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. They repel insects especially those that tend to attack Tomatoes. Grow them near Tomatoes and also near Beans and Cucumbers.
NASTURTIUM These pretty flowers attract hoverflies which eat aphids. Nasturtiums can be grown near Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Beetroot, Pumpkins and Squash. They also repel blackflies and slugs. Nasturtiums can be sown early as ‘sacrificial’ plants – blackflies will land on them instead of vegetables. They can be sown later (beginning of July) for their flowers and will then avoid blackfly on themselves.
ZINNIA The cheery blooms of Zinnia attract so many pollinators especially butterflies. Best planted near Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Potatoes.
More tips – a mix of various herbs near your vegetable garden is likely to confuse pests. Plant SAGE, THYME, FENNEL, SWEETPEA, TANSY, CHIVES, GARLIC CHIVES and sow DILL. Dot lots of pots of MINT around too.
Next to CABBAGE, KALE and CAULIFLOWER, grow NASTURTIUMS and pots of MINT
Next to COURGETTE, grow CALENDULA
Next to CARROT, grow SPRING ONIONS and LEEKS, and pots of MINT
Next to FRENCH and RUNNER BEANS, grow NASTURTIUMS and SWEETPEAS
Next to ONIONS and RADISHES, grow pots of MINT
Next to SUNFLOWERS, grow CHIVES and GARLIC CHIVES
Next to TOMATOES and BASIL, grow FRENCH MARIGOLDS