Companion Planting Guide: Sow Easy
Here's a list of the 10 most popular vegetables to grow along with their friends (and enemies).
Companion planting is a great way to maximize the efficiency of your garden. For almost every vegetable you grow, there is likely to be a beneficial companion plant that will help increase soil nutrients, chase away pests, and help you get the most out of your garden. Here are the 10 most popular vegetables grown in the United States and their friends (and foes) in the garden.
Companion Planting For These Top 10 Veggies
Friends: Basil and tomatoes were made to go together, not only in sauces but in the garden, too. This herb helps tomatoes produce greater yields and it repels both flies and mosquitoes. Marigolds are another good companion, repelling nematodes and other garden pests. Other friends to tomatoes include asparagus, carrots, celery, the onion family, lettuce, parsley, and spinach.
Foes: Cabbage, beets, peas, fennel, dill, and rosemary. Corn and tomatoes both suffer from the corn earworm, and tomatoes and potatoes are affected by the same blight, so keep these plants separate to prevent the spread of pests or disease.
Friends: Basil is a good friend to peppers, helping repel aphids, spider mites, mosquitoes, and flies. It’s also thought that basil improves the pepper’s flavor. Other good companions include onions, spinach, and tomatoes.
Foes: Beans so the vines don’t spread among the pepper plants.
3. Green Beans
Friends: Corn and beans grow well together because beans will grow up the cornstalks, which means you won’t have to build them a trellis. Beans also fix nitrogen in the soil, which is good for the corn. Marigolds, nasturtiums, rosemary, and summer savory repel bean beetles, and summer savory improves growth rate and flavor. Other companions include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other members of the cabbage family along with cucumbers, peas, potatoes, and radishes.
Foes: Beets or anything from the onion family. Onions, in particular, impede the growth of bean plants.
Friends: Plant marigolds and nasturtiums among your cucumbers to repel aphids and beetles,. Beans, celery, corn, lettuce, dill, peas, and radishes are also good companion plants.
Foes: Aromatic herbs such as sage which will stunt the growth of cucumbers.
Friends: Carrots should be planted near onions because onions will repel the carrot fly. Onions will also chase away the aphids, so plant them near aphid-prone (but onion-friendly) veggies. Other good friends of onions include beets, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, parsnips (which also suffer from carrot fly), tomatoes, and spices like marjoram, savory, and rosemary.
Foes: Asparagus, beans, and peas.
Friends: Plant mint among your lettuce to keep away the slugs that feed on lettuce leaves, or plant chives and garlic to repel aphids. Beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, corn, peas, radishes, and marigolds also work as good companion plants. Marigolds attract aphid-eating ladybugs.
Foes: Parsley, because it tends to grow into a small yet bushy plant and can crowd your lettuce.
7. Summer Squash/Zucchini
Friends: Corn and squash make good companion plants since the cornstalks give squash vines a place to grow. Squash also does well planted alongside beans, peas, radishes, dill, and marigolds.
Foes: Potatoes, as both plants are prone to blight.
Friends: Carrots are heat sensitive, which is why they go well with tomato plants that can provide them a bit of shade. Tomatoes are also known to produce solanine, which is a natural insecticide that targets pests affecting carrot plants. Tomatoes benefit from carrots, too. Carrots aerate the soil around the roots of the tomato plants, allowing more air and water to reach the roots. Leeks and carrots are also good companion plants since leeks repel carrot flies and carrots repel leek moths and onion flies. Rosemary, sage, and chive also help repel carrot flies.
Foes: Coriander and dill, as they both produce compounds that can harm carrot plants, and parsnips suffer from the same diseases and pests as carrots, so keep them apart to minimize a potential infestation.
Friends: Radishes can be planted among cucumbers to attract cucumber beetles away from the cukes. They also do well among carrots because they are harvested before the carrots and they loosen the soil as the carrots start to take off. Onions, beets, cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach, and squash are also good friends for radishes.
10. Sweet Corn
Friends: Corn loves veggies that fix nitrogen in the soil—like green beans. Cornstalks also make a great trellis for vining or trailing plants including beans, cucumbers, peas, pumpkins, and melons. Zucchini is a good companion plant when planted among corn.
Foes: Tomatoes, as they and corn are attacked by corn earworms. Plant these two far apart to minimize the spread of these pests.
Follow these companion planting guidelines to boost yields, minimize pest or disease problems and make garden management easier!
Be sure to check our Planting Guides for the top 10 veggies here and don’t forget to check our Gardening by the Moon Calendar to see the best times to plant.
Amber Kanuckel is a freelance writer from rural Ohio who loves all things outdoors. She specializes in home, garden, environmental, and green living topics.
I have planted potatoes and part of the garden row is still available, what is compatible with the potatoes????
We love this question! A few plants that work well with potatoes are: cabbage family plants, corn, leeks (as these all have shallow root systems to maximize space), cilantro, chives (attract beneficial pests) and legumes (they provide much needed nitrogen). Cucumbers, tomatoes and root vegetables are to be avoided as they will compete for space and nutrients. Best of luck!
I am Taniya, an Agroecology Master’s Program student at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden. I am looking for literature regarding carrot fly damage for one of my classroom assignments. I prefer to use the carrot companion planting image from this article. This is only for study purpose and will not be published or taken for any commercial use. I would be grateful if you could give me permission to use this image for my study assignment.
We can’t give you permission as this comes from a stock source and we don’t have permission to give you the rights to use it. Sorry about that. Good luck with your assignment.
Wish there were more planting companions listed like, Strawberries, Blue berries, okra, peas ETC. I know I planted Greek oregano under my blue berry bushes and it did well and we also did not have a ton of pest around it plus it produced better than the others. I have tried Strawberries9 we just started growing them this year) with onions as their neighbors the plants grew well but I did not see any strawberries on them this year.
Thank you! Great idea, we’ll make note of this suggestion and hopefully add more companions!
Why is okra never mentioned.
what grows well with melon and cantaloupe
Melons are one of the most compatible plants in the garden and do well when planted with peas, pole beans, bush beans, onions, leeks, chives, and garlic. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, okra, spinach, sunflowers, lettuce, and Brussels sprouts also flourish in the companionship of melons.
what grows well with strawberries ?
We are a public library with a seed library. Are we able to use the referenced companion plant illustration in our display? We are not selling anything and can reference the source.
Hey Noah, You might want to plant your Turmeric (Curcuma longa) in its own little bed so you can enjoy the beautiful flowers/inflorescence as well as the root/spice. I haven’t experienced any ‘ginger’ plants negatively affecting any other plants. Best of luck & God Bless!
What is good companion plant for turmeric ?
Hey Noah, You might want to plant your Turmeric (Curcuma longa) in its own little bed so you can enjoy the beautiful flowers/inflorescence as well as the root/spice. I haven’t experienced any ‘ginger’ plants negatively affecting any other plants. Sorry for mis-posting above. Best of luck & God Bless!
Sweet potato companion plants
What are good companion plants for garlic?
How far apart should you keep foes when companion planting
What would be good companions for potatoes?
Hi Sheran, we found some good info on potato companions here for you. Take a look here.
Is there a place where I can purchase the companion planting guide pictured above in a poster type format? I would like a printed copy to hang in my potting shed.
CJ in So Cal ????
Hi CJ, Unfortunately we don’t have the planting guide for printing. Glad you’re enjoying it and finding it useful.
Really wish you would consider it. Hint, Hint! 😉
You can save the image on a thumb drive or email it to a nearby print shop. Most of them can print in poster size and even laminate, if you like, for a reasonable cost.
If you right click on the image above and select “copy”, then paste into a Word document (or whatever equivalent you have) you can save the document and print that or save as a picture and print that.
Can I grow carrots and beets in 20 gallon round pots? What kind of soil should I use?
Also, can I grow zucchini and cantaloupe together in a raised bed?
Hi Sindy, yes, you can grow them together in a raised bed (they won’t cross pollinate). As for soil, potting soil is best used when you’re starting seed. Topsoil is best combined with outdoor soil that already exists in your garden bed. However, plants in containers do better in potting soil. This is because topsoil can sometimes be too moist for container gardens, which can cause root rot.
Terrific post, thank you
Thank you, Denise! Glad you found it helpful.
How far apart should vegetables that do not go well together be spaced. I have a 3 x 7 raised bed are opposite sides sufficient?
Hi Oklahoma, yes, opposite sides are sufficient. Many gardeners subscribe to the “double the larger plant root” spacing, about 3-4′ apart.
I will have a fenced in garden that is 12′ x 15′ behind my home. We are cutting down a tree in the Spring before transplanting and sowing outdoors. Are brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli good to grow together? Are there any companion plants for those three vegetables to repel insects and diseases?
As long as you don’t want to collect seeds from your plants, you can grow Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli together. Companion plants would be onions, carrots, and radishes.
I’m new gardening, so kindly excuse my ignorance here 🙂 … why would seeds not be collectable if these ones are planted near each other? Thanks!
Hi Ashley, I’m not quite sure what you’re asking? Did you hear this somewhere?
Hi Ashley, I understand your question about why not to collect seeds from plants grown near each other. I’ll use squash, gourds, and cucumbers as an example. Squash, gourds, and cucumber are in the same plant family: Cucurbitaceae, also called cucurbits or the gourd family. When a seed company wants to produce seed that will grow true, meaning they can be sure the plant is what they want, they keep the parent plants isolated – this way they are only getting the right kind of pollen for reproduction. On the other hand, if you have a cucumber, gourd, and squash all nearby, when a bee pollinates the cucumber, if it is near a squash or gourd, the bee could also pollinate the squash and gourd at the same time. These plants are closely enough related that they will mix. If you’re just a regular gardener planning to eat that “mixed” vegetable that’s fine – you wouldn’t see any problem in the vegetable, it would still look like the parent plant it grew on, and taste the same, it is healthy to eat it. BUT if you then took that cross pollinated vegetable with the idea of using its SEEDS to grow a NEW plant, you could grow a Frankenstein plant. The vegetable you get from the frankenstein cucurbit plant may not be edible in the worst case (toxic), or may just not taste good in another case, or could be fine – a gamble. Letting different kinds of lettuce plants cross pollinate isn’t dangerous at all, the Frankenstein lettuce will only yield seed that grows more edible lettuce of a different variety. Many crossed vegetables are perfectly safe. Curcubit family plants are different though – they are an important exception- the frankenstein seed of crossed cucurbits if grown into another plant could yield a “wild type” cucurbit vegetable – a throw-back – a gourd type vegetable – which is harmful to eat. Hope that helps!
Much thanks to you such a lot of fascinating to find out about nurseries. I’m a first time grower discovered this data accommodating.
Hello, I’m looking at planting a 10×10 garden this spring with a separate nearby section for herbs with a pathe between. How close do some of the plants that repel pests need to be to be effective?
Hi Nathan, you always want to give them the distance they need to grow healthy roots and not crowd each other out, so it’s really dependent on the vegetable, some of which spread. Like tomatoes. Just plan on having the companion plant close by. I’d grow the companions on the same side of the aisle of your garden bed. It takes a lot of planning which is why graphing things on paper is a good idea. Check out the subheading of “Good Measure” in this article.
Hi. I’m trying to do plant companion. This is what I have planted: tomatoes, peppers (hot and sweet), lettuce, spinach, cilantro,oregano, dill, eggplant, butterfly milkweed, sunflower, mint, lavender, borage, bee balm, garlic, a mix of edible flowers
Sounds like an excellent garden, Philana!
Why are cucmbers and sage not compatable
Hi Zoe, “Gardeners agree on this one: cucumber and sage do not get along. The reason seems to be that sage is pretty powerful, and its intense aroma can actually affect the flavor of your cukes!”
Can i plant carrots,lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, and squash together?
Good day, can you please post links to prove the statement that marigolds are good companion plants for Zucchini/Summer Squash. I am familiar with the data that marigolds can assist in the control of root-knot nematodes and I could find literature on the positive effects of marigolds on the growth of tomatoes. However, I fail to find scientific reports on the positive effects of marigolds on the Squash. Can you please help me by posting links proving that? Thank you for your help. Much appreciated.
Hi Reinie, In some cases, marigolds are a decoy plant which attract pests to. So they’ll stay off your plants. In the case of zucchini, the marigolds emit a scent that bugs detest, keeping them away from your zucchini. Here is a helpful link here.
Can I plant Zucchini in the same bed as tomato but distant away from them
Hi P, Yes, you can plant them together. Tomato roots go about 3 feet deep into the soil and also produce lots of feeder roots near the top of the soil. Zucchini has a tap root that needs room to grow. Your bed should have enough space for both and good drainage (they hate wet roots). A box that’s 36 inches deep and wide would work.
Is swiss chard a friend or foe to anything? I am planting a small raised bed and have peas, radish,cukes, summer squash, yellow beans,tomato chard, and marigolds all around.
Swiss chard, beets, and spinach are all members of the same family (goosefoot). So what works for one, should work for all.
What is a good companion plant for dill ? I have never had good luck with it, any advise ?
Hi Grandma B, You could use a companion planting technique if you want to help other plants, but if your dill plants are yellowing for example, it could be a lack of light, which can cause some dulling in leaves. Excess fertilizer can also cause dill to turn yellow. Dill prefers well-drained soil that is not too fertile and slightly acidic. Try testing your soil and growing it in pots.
I love this article….it has helped me a lot!
Hi Sharon, we’re glad it was helpful!
Your site is very informative
Can you plant cucumbers and peas near each other?
based on the picture in this article it says yes to peas and cucumbers together
Can I plant cucumber in the same bed as tomato but distant away from them
What’s good next to eggplant?
eggplant is in the same family as tomatoes and peppers, nightshade. You may be able to plant similar items with eggplant that you would other nightshades.
Where can and what can I combine with dill. Also what goes with sage?….thanks in sdvance
Carrots grow well with sage plus chives and onions
What about okra? What are good companions vs bad for them? Thanks!
Put the seeds in refrigerator for a few days they will come up much better
This does not answer my question unfortunately. My plants are in the ground already.
Your question wasn’t answered properly I see. The best companion plants for okra would be melons, eggplants, and sweet peppers. I think there may be something else, but these are what I can think of right now. I hope I didn’t answer you too late! Good luck with your plant babies!
Fantastic all the way around!
Fantastic all the way around!!
How far away from onions or beets must I plant bush beans?
Hi Jack, we recommend far enough away that their roots are not sharing any soil.
Thank you for this great resource! I love to plant a variety of pumpkins and gourds. I always plant them on the opposite end of the garden from tomatoes. Are there companion plants or enemies I can be aware of?
thank you so much for this website my mom loved it and we planted so much i hope you put more things up
Is it recommended to companion plant when planting in containers?
Hi Misty, you certainly can! Because it most cases, certain plants repel pests, and it doesn’t matter if they’re in the soil or in pots next to each other.
As long as the container is big enough. I’ve found that if a tomato has a thyme or marjoram companion, or a few chives, they taste better and keep longer off the vine.
Basil is too hungry a hog to share a container tho imo.
I planted marigolds and nasturtiums with my squash plants last year and never saw one squash bug. Thats the first time ever I didn’t have to deal with squash bugs!
Thank you so much for this information. I have been planting wrong vegetable plants combination.
I have limited space for my raised bed and want to grow pickling cucumbers. Can I train them up a trellis?
Yes! I planted Wisconsin summer pickling cucumbers up a slanted trellis last summer and it worked wonderfully.
Can u grow any kind of peppers together?
In my experience, peppers grow well rogether, except chillies.If they are too nearby, I found that some of the peppers turned out hot.But that was in Spain.Lots of sunlight has an impact on that as well.
Thanks for your comments. We sold our house and traveled the country last summer…I miss my garden you are helping me with the withdrawal…appreciate life in the soil!!!
My son will benefit with your expertise thanks
Hi I now live in the mountains at 4900 feet, our growing season is short. I used to live in Vacaville, Ca. The best place to grow anything. I Miss my lovely garden.
Corn, beans and squash grow well together. Native Americans call these plants The Three Sisters, because each one of them contribute to the health and growth of the others. Here’s a link to an article.
Due to COVID-19 we are putting in a garden I have 105 tomato plants about 1 inch tall inside making daily 4 to 6 hour visits outside. My tilled garden is 48 feet x 80 feet. The ph is 6.0 I have raised rows about 10 inches high 48 long. I’ll have 5 feet between rows for my 4 foot tiller behind my tractor to till for fresh tilled soil to be pulled up on the long mounds With a 4 foot landscaping rake keeping a watering V in the top. I have 100 3/4/ inch bamboo poles 6 foot. Best companion plants can I use in the water V in the 3 feet between tomato plants. Never tried 100 at a time before. Right now I have 9 raised rows I figer 6 for the tomato’s. Beans and greens and peppers will be in the last 3 rows.
Hey man, i searched this stuff up for a math assignment im doing lol
I live in mid mo. I just bought several plants from a local grower! My question is the leaves on tomatoe plant and spinach plant are looking dropy, I have them inside the house till the weather warms up to transplant. What do I need to do to salavage these! I have already a garden area in back yard
You can transplant them into a larger container. From a nursery they might be root bound. Water tomatoes from the root. They don’t like wet leaves
Spinach does well in the cold, go ahead and plant outside as long as they’re hardened off. Water tomato and you can plant them early June or late may in your area and cover at night to protect from frost. I do that with milk jugs and the bottom cut off. It’s not the prettiest yet it works! This chart is handy and is also in amazon.
Is it ok to plant cabbage next to green peppers, spinach, beets or green (bush) beans?
Is potatoes ok next to asparagus?
Hi Kris, Avoid planting potatoes near asparagus, Brassicas, carrots, cucumber, kohlrabi, melons, parsnips, rutabaga, squash, sunflower, and turnips. Plant asparagus with asters, basil, cilantro, dill, cilantro, marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano, parsley, peppers, sage, and thyme.
I have raised beds that butt up to each other. They are divided by a 2″ x10″x4′ board. Is that far enough?