companion planting herbs
Organic Gardening Pest Control

Hack: How to Keep Pests out of the Garden Naturally with Herb Companion Planting

Herb companion planting is a practice steeped in tradition and backed by science, aiming to maximize the health and productivity of a garden. Gardeners plant certain herbs alongside vegetables and other plants to harness a variety of benefits.  These benefits often include – natural pest control, improved growth, and enhanced flavor of garden produce. This method leverages the natural properties of herbs, using their essential oils and aromas to deter pests while attracting beneficial wildlife.

My favorite combination is to plant my tomato plants with basil!

A well-designed herb garden considers the specific companionship needs of each plant. The use of a companion planting chart can guide gardeners in creating a harmonious garden ecosystem. My favorite tool to use is an app that tells you each plant’s friends and foes. I’ll dive into the app later on in this post.

Companion planting is crucial not just for managing pests and diseases, but also for optimizing the use of space, light, and nutrients. As a result, it often leads to a more abundant harvest and healthier plants, making it an essential technique for both novice and experienced gardeners alike.

Herbs are also a GREAT addition to the garden because they’re SO easy to grow. Plus who doesn’t like offsetting buying expensive herbs from the store?

Key Takeaways

  • Herb companion planting enhances garden health and yield.
  • Strategic herb pairings can deter pests and attract beneficial wildlife.
  • A companion planting chart is a key tool in garden design.

Before we get started, let’s talk about herb plant families.

This post is all about herb companion planting.

Table of Contents

What is the Difference Between a Vegetable and an Herb?

Plant Families: An Intro to the Plant Families

There are a total of 8 main herb families. The 8 families are:

  1. The Mint family (Lamiaceae)
  2. The Rose family (Rosaceae)
  3. The Onion family (Alliaceae)
  4. The Sunflower family (Asteraceae)
  5. The Mustard family (Brassicaeae or Cruciferae)
  6. The Marshmallow family (Malvaceae)
  7. The Bean family (Fabaceae)
  8. The Carrot family (Apiaceae)

Now let’s review which herbs are under each family. We’ll only be reviewing the families that actually have herbs in them.  Some of the above families do not have edible plants. 

Of course, this isn’t something that I memorize but it certainly helps to have a better understanding of what can be planted together. It’ll also help understand how they grow. For example, mint and thyme can be very invasive if they are left to grow freely. While that may seem like a good thing, they can actually smother out other plants.

The Mint Family Plants

You’ll probably be surprised with the herbs in this family. The mint family includes the following herbs:

  • Anise hyssop
  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Summer and winter savory

Most of the listed herbs come from a Mediterranean climate and hence they like drier conditions. They don’t like wet conditions, so for those that don’t have a drier climate, it can be a challenge to grow them. They have shallow root systems so they’re great for growing in containers as they don’t need room to expand like other plants. Some of these plants may be best in containers since they can be quite invasive. For example, one year I planted parsley and thyme together. This was not a good idea. Although they both took off in their container together, the thyme soon took over. This is also another reason why companion planting is important.

The Onion Family

The plants in this family contain sulfur-containing compounds and often have a bulb at the base of the plant. The following plants are included:

  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Scallion
  • Shallot

As with many of the herbs, the onion family has members with a profound effect on our health. They have a unique ability to help prevent blood clots, have anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties, and have the ability to help with anti-aging.

The Sunflower, Daisy, or Aster Family

This family includes so many plants and has a couple of different names! Of course, one of the obvious members of this family is the sunflower. Some of the other members that are herbs are:

  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Chicory
  • Marigold
  • Safflower

It is one of the largest angiosperm families with over 23,600 species of herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees that exist throughout the world.

The Mustard Family

The most common herbs that are found in gardens in the Mustard family are arugula, or rocket, horseradish, and radish. These plants contain glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that have a pungent aroma and spicy or bitter taste. 

The Herbs of Carrot Family

The Carrot family consists mostly of flowering plants. Not all of the plants are edible and can be poisonous. This family is commonly known for celery, carrots, and parsley. However it also contains the following herbs:

  • Caraway
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Fennel

Now that we have a basic understanding of the herbs and their associated families, let’s move onto learning more about companion planting. 

Principles of Companion Planting

Companion planting is grounded in pairing plants that offer mutual benefits when grown in proximity. These principles are informed by years of agricultural practices and scientific research. The practice is seen throughout history, and one of the most well known companion planting set ups is known as the “3 Sisters”. North American Indians historically planted beans, squash, and corn together. 

“Beans are legumes that fix nitrogen and continually supply this nutrient to the soil.  Corn provides stalks for the beans to climb.  Squash provides a living mulch with its broad leaves shading the soil, reducing evaporation and decreasing weed competition.” 

Kosto, A. (2019, June 14). Broadwater County Blog. Montana State University: Mountains and Minds.

There are 5 basic principles that you need to know to make this successful.

  1. Know which plants can be planted together. In order for companion planting to work, plants need to be planted with their “friend” crops. These are crops that they are compatible with and have mutually beneficial attributes. They deter pests and diseases by being planted together.
  2. Know which plants don’t go together. Planting together plants that are not friends can be detrimental to your crops. Instead of deterring pests, they can attract them. Plants can not only share pests, but they can also share diseases. They may have differing light and watering requirements as well.
  3. Companion planting relies on polycultures, meaning multiple plants planted together that live in harmony. Therefore, don’t plant monocultures. Monocultures rely on the planting of only one crop. These make it easier for pests and plants to destroy your garden. There should always be lots of variety. 
  4. It increases biodiversity in the garden and manifests a balanced ecosystem.
  5. It promotes interplanting or intercropping. By implementing companion planting, it forces gardeners to interplant. Interplanting is crucial for the max benefit of companion planting. As noted above, avoid monocultures.

Benefits of Companion Planting

We’ve briefly touched upon the benefits of companion planting, but let’s dive in further. It provides a range of advantages for a garden’s ecosystem:

  • Pest Control: Certain plants can repel unwanted insects or attract beneficial insects that act as natural pest control.
  • Pollination: Companion plants can attract pollinators, which are vital for fruit and seed production.
  • Soil Health: Some plants fix nutrients back into the soil, which can be utilized by neighboring plants, improving overall soil fertility.

By leveraging the strengths of various plants, gardeners can create a thriving garden ecosystem that supports healthy plant growth and productivity.

Understanding Plant Interactions

Plant interactions play a crucial role in the garden. They can have significant impacts on growth, health, and yield. There are two types of interactions that we encounter in our garden — synergistic and antagonistic — that dictate the compatibility between different herbs.

Synergistic Plant Relationships

Synergistic relationships occur when herbs are planted together, resulting in mutual benefits. Basil, for example, enhances the growth and flavor of tomatoes and can deter pests. Such beneficial associations often lead to healthy growth and better yields. Planting chives near roses can help deter aphids, a common pest. Additionally, shade-loving herbs like parsley benefit from being planted beside taller plants that provide necessary shade, which mimics their natural understory habitats.

Moisture-loving herbs like mint should be planted together or in proximity to ensure consistent soil conditions, which in turn fosters a thriving garden. Conversely, plants with aggressive growth patterns, like mint, should be planted with caution, as they can inhibit the growth of less dominant herbs.

Antagonistic Combinations to Avoid

Antagonistic relationships between plants can hinder growth, attract pests, or lead to an imbalance in nutrients. For instance, avoid planting garlic or onions near beans because compounds released by alliums can inhibit the growth of the legumes. Strong-herb companions like sage and rosemary should be kept apart from moisture-loving herbs, as their preferred dry soil conditions conflict with the needs of those moisture seekers.

Understanding and avoiding incompatible pairings helps prevent competition for nutrients and ward off harmful pests. Some plants can also cast too much shade on others, reducing their sunlight exposure and affecting growth. You must therefore be aware of the growth habits and needs of their herbs to ensure compatible plantings and avoid any aggressive neighbors that might impede growth.

Designing Your Garden

With the above in mind, how do we start setting up our garden?

Designing your garden will take a little bit more time until you get the hang of which crops can be planted together. It requires careful consideration of the herbs’ compatibility and individual growing conditions to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.

Choosing the Right Herbs

Selecting the right herbs involves considering both their culinary uses and their growing conditions. Mediterranean herbs like rosemary and thyme prefer full sun and well-drained soil, creating a vibrant flavor and aroma profile in dishes. On the other hand, herbs such as basil and parsley will require more moisture and could be grouped together.

You may want to ask yourself, “what types of herbs do you enjoy?” “What herbs do you commonly use in the kitchen?” Do you usually cook with basil or parsley? 

The best rule of thumb is to plant what you eat!

Companion Plants for Herbs

Now we’ll dive into the most popular herb companions! I’ve chosen a pretty wide variety of vegetables and herbs to focus on in this section. 

A good resource to also reference is companion planting in your herb garden for specifics on which herbs pair well together. 

In the world of gardening, knowing which herbs grow well together ensures a prosperous and healthy garden. This section explores the synergistic relationships between specific herbs and their favored plant companions.

We’ll review the following list of plants and their companions:

  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Beet
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Cucumbers
  • Dill
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lettuce
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Mustard greens
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Radish
  • Raspberry
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Tomatoes

Asparagus Companion Plants

asparagus companion planting

Asparagus are one of those crops that takes quite a bit of time to become established. Once it’s established though, you’ll never have to replant it. Asparagus has the following friends in the garden:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • tarragon

Basil Companion Plants

companion planting basil

Basil, with its distinct aroma and taste, benefits greatly from being planted alongside tomatoes and peppers. It may help repel pests such as whiteflies and improve the flavor of their companion plants. A combination that often comes up in guides on companion planting suggests that basil thrives well alongside cilantro, garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley. Other plants it can be planted with are: asparagus, carrots, eggplant, lettuce, parsnips, peppers, and potatoes, radish.

It attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. It repels asparagus beetles, carrot fly, tomato hornworm, mosquitoes, flies, and white flies.

Beans Companion Plants

beans companion plants

Beans are one of the easiest crops to grow and they tend to be high yielding. They can either be grown as a bush variety or a pole variety. Depending on which variety you grow, you’ll have to take into account spacing. Their companion herbs are:

  • Arugula
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon

Beet Companion Plants

companion planting with beets

Beets are plants that thrive in cooler climates and can thrive with either full or partial sun. They only need about 6 hours of sunlight. These root vegetables can be planted in either the spring or fall. There aren’t too many common herbs that they get along with. This is something to really keep in mind when you’re planting. Their herb friends are marjoram, oregano, and tarragon.

Broccoli Companion Plants

broccoli companion planting

Broccoli is another cool weather crop and they can tolerate a hard freeze. They really don’t like the heat! The good thing about cooler weather crops, especially those that can tolerate hard freezes, is that there are less pests during the cooler months. Broccoli can be plague with pests in the warmer months. Cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, and cutworms are notorious for broccoli crop assaults.

The broccoli companion plants are dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

Companion Plants for Brussel Sprouts

companion plants for brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts are yet another cool weather crop, and they are affected by the same offenders as broccoli. But add in aphids to that list! Their herb companion plants are dill, mint, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

Although garlic is technically a vegetable, it is usually used in the same way as an herb or spice. For that reason, I’m identifying it as an “herb companion” in spite of it being a vegetable.

Companion Plants for Cabbage

cabbage companion planting

Cabbage, another cool crop, and another favorite in the garden. Who doesn’t like to see a nice head of lettuce growing in their garden? Plus the amount of veg you get after all of that waiting is totally worth it. Cabbage is affected by aphids, cutworms, cabbage loopers and worms, pill bugs, slugs and snails, harlequin bugs, and stink bugs. For this reason, cabbage can be a hassle to grow just because of how many pests can plague them.

Their herb companions are: arugula, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

Although garlic is technically a vegetable, it is usually used in the same way as an herb or spice. For that reason, I’m identifying it as an “herb companion” in spite of it being a vegetable.

Carrot Companion Plants

carrots companion plants

For root vegetables like carrots, pairing them with rosemary or sage can help repel carrot flies. These herbs are strong scented, which confuses pests and shields the roots. Chives and onions can be beneficial when planted with carrots and peppers, as they deter aphids and other insects.

Carrot’s other herb companions are: arugula, basil, cilantro, marjoram, mustard greens, oregano, sage, and tarragon.

Cauliflower Companion Plants

Cauliflower Companion Plants

Yet another cool weather crop, cauliflower doesn’t really like hot weather, just like its sister plant broccoli. In warm weather it can be very susceptible to lots of different pests. It can often be plagued by cabbage loopers and worms, cutworms, and earwigs.

To help with the health of the plant and repel these pests, plant the following herbs: arugula, dill, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, mustard greens, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme.

Celery Companion Plants

celery companion plants

Celery needs a long, cool growing season to have a successful crop, but there are some varieties that have short seasons. In spite of being a cool weather crop, it can bolt (flower) in cold weather. It also cannot tolerate hot weather. Celery needs constant watering so this is important to keep in mind when you’re planting other plants nearby. 

Its herb friends are: arugula, marjoram, oregano, and tarragon. These herbs are helpful to deter naturally carrot rust fly, earwig, leaf miners, slugs, and snails.

Chives Companion Plants

chives companion plants

This is a super easy crop to grow. What’s great about chives is that they come back over and over again each year without having to replant them. I planted my chives 3 years ago and haven’t needed to put down any seed. Chives require minimal care and basically do whatever they need to do in our raised beds.

They do well with all kinds of vegetables and herbs like: asparagus, carrots, cilantro, cucumber, marjoram, oregano, raspberries, tarragon, and tomatoes. This plant does not have too many pests in comparison to other crops. Their enemies are the onion fly maggot and spider mites.

Cilantro Companion Plants

cilantro companion plants

Cilantro is a delicious herb that packs a lot of flavor when it’s added to dishes. Contrary to what you may believe, it’s actually not a heat loving plant. It doesn’t like the heat and is another cooler weather crop that enjoys the temperatures during the spring and fall. Cilantro doesn’t require a lot of water once it becomes established and needs moist soil. It is not a water loving plant.

Its herb and vegetable friends are basil, peppers, carrots, chives, garlic, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, tarragon, and vine tomatoes.

Cucumber Companion Plants

cucumber companion plants

Cucumbers are a great crop to grow. Although they have a habit of growing all over the place if you have a vining variety, if given the right conditions they can produce a lot of fruit. They’re usually high yielding and I love to grow them to add to salads and water. Cucumbers prefer warmer weather, but I’ve found that they’re able to tolerate hot weather as long as you water them more frequently. They’re also quick to start producing fruit from the time you seed to harvest in as little as 50 to 70 days!

These plants have quite a bit of pests that you should be aware of. Their enemies in the garden are aphids, cucumber beetles, squash bugs, and vine borers.

To help deter these pests consider surrounding your cucumber plants with: arugula, beans, peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chives, dill, eggplant, garlic, mustard greens, onions, oregano, tarragon, and tomatoes.

Dill Companion Plants

dill companion plants

This herb is actually a really beautiful plant to have in the garden. It has feathery green foliage and if it’s left to bolt, it grows tiny flowers. The plant attracts all kinds of beneficial insects. There have been a couple of times when I sacrificed my plant so that black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars could feed. It likes warm weather, lots of sun and can even tolerate a light frost! It doesn’t take long to start bringing this herb from the garden to table either with a harvest time frame in about 50 to 70 days.

Its herb friends are: arugula, marjoram, mustard greens, oregano, and tarragon.

Eggplant Companion Plants

eggplant companion plants

Eggplant loves warmer weather and really isn’t fond of cooler or colder weather. In fact it doesn’t tolerate the cold at all. The seeds can actually germinate in temperatures between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Eggplants need to be well watered and having the garden mulched around the plants is extremely helpful to maintain moisture levels. 

Although I’ve never had any issues with eggplants in my garden, there are a number of pests to be aware of. The most common ones are: corn earworm, cutworms, flea beetles, leaffooted bug, mealybugs, potato beetles, scale, stink bugs, and tomato hornworms.

To help out these plants, plant the following herbs: basil, marjoram, mustard greens, oregano, and tarragon.

Garlic Companion Plants

garlic companion plants

Garlic loves full sun and cooler/colder weather. It thrives if it has an opportunity to go into a state of dormancy in cold weather and be in this state for up to 2 months. Garlic is usually planted in the fall in preparation to be picked in the springtime. Although it can be planted in the spring to be ready for a fall harvest. Since it grows in cool and cold weather, there aren’t too many pests that are encountered. Garlic’s most common pest is the leaf miner. If you happen to plant garlic during the spring and it grows during the warmer months, plant the following herbs with it: basil, cilantro, marjoram, oregano, and tarragon.

Kale Companion Plants

kale companion plants

This plant is very cold-hardy and resilient. It doesn’t do too well when it’s hot outside. Kale can grow all winter even though we find it readily available in salads during the summer months. It even survives a hard freeze, which makes it an excellent crop to grow for nutrition when there aren’t many leafy greens growing. During the warmer and hotter months, it can encounter so many pests like: aphids, cabbage worms, cutworms, flea beetles, grasshoppers, root maggots, slugs, and snails.

Plant it along with the following herbs to help protect it: dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

Lettuce Companion Plants 

lettuce companion plants

Dill and parsley attract beneficial insects, which can help keep leafy greens like lettuce healthy by controlling pests. Companion Planting Chart and Guide for Vegetable Gardens from The Old Farmer’s Almanac details how these herbs assist in creating a conducive environment for greens by deterring common pests.

You can also plant the following herbs: arugula, basil, dill, marjoram, oregano, and tarragon.

Mint Companion Plants

mint companion plants

A vigorous grower, mint should be planted with caution as it can easily overtake a garden space. However, mint can be beneficial when planted alongside cabbage and tomatoes, where it can assist in repelling pests like cabbage moths. To prevent it from spreading uncontrollably, it’s a common practice to plant mint in containers or confined spaces.

Mint doesn’t get along with too many herbs but it can be planted with: arugula, cilantro, marjoram, mustard greens, and tarragon.

Oregano Companion Plants

oregano companion plants

Oregano can be used for all sorts of dishes and is such an aromatic herb to have in the garden. Plus it attracts SO many honey bees with its flowers! Our oregano is filled with honey bees during the summer months. It loves the heat of the summer and comes back year after year. In spite of loving the heat, it can also survive a hard freeze. 

Although it doesn’t have too many pests (leaf miners and spider mites), plant it with the following herbs: arugula, chives, cilantro, dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

Parsley Companion Plants

parsley companion plants

Parsley likes warmer weather, although not very hot. It does well in cool weather and can even survive a hard freeze. Actually, I think it tastes better if it experiences a hard freeze. Parsley definitely tastes way better in the cooler and colder months than it does in the warmer weather. Luckily, it doesn’t have too many pests, but try to plant it alongside the following herbs: marjoram, oregano, and tarragon.

Companion Plants for Peas

companion plants for peas

Peas are a great crop to grow – they’re super easy to grow. They like the cooler months and don’t particularly care for hot weather. Once the warm weather ends and it gets too hot, they’ll quickly start to die off and become very bitter. Opt for varieties that can be eaten straight off the vine. They taste so good and so fresh!

To enhance your crops, plant with: arugula, marjoram, mustard greens, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

Radish Companion Plants

radish companion plants

Radishes are a cool weather crop that are quick to provide a harvest. They can even survive a hard freeze. Although they prefer full sun, they can grow well in partial shade. In hotter climates, plant them in full shade. You can start sowing radishes in late winter! They require constant moisture so be cognizant of this. When planting radish, consider having the following herbs surround it: arugula, basil, cilantro, marjoram, oregano, and tarragon.

Raspberry Companion Plants

raspberry companion plants

Who doesn’t like to pluck raspberries right off the cane and munch away on them?! Once they become established, they just keep producing every year as new canes shoot up. They need to be in full sun and enjoy summer weather, which is when the fruit is harvested. Some varieties can also produce harvests in the fall. Raspberries can survive hard freezes. 

They have a lot of pests, including birds. Birds love raspberries and blueberries. Each year I have to try to find ways to keep them away so we can at least enjoy some of the crop. Otherwise they will eat all of it. In addition to birds, they also have the following pests: fruit worms, harlequin bugs, Japanese beetles, leaf footed bugs, raspberry vine borer, sawfly, and spider mites.

Rosemary Companion Plants

companion planting rosemary

Rosemary prefers the company of plants that share similar watering needs, such as sage. I once planted rosemary in a very poor spot and it did not survive for very long. It was sickened by the amount of water from all the snow we had, and was not planted amongst friends. 

These hardy herbs can create a drought-tolerant garden bed, which simplifies maintenance. Rosemary doesn’t pair well with many other herbs, or even vegetables. But it does enhance the growth of vegetables like cabbage. Its ability to grow next to broccoli is a notable pairing mentioned in companion planting articles. Other plants it can be planted with are: arugula, bush beans, blueberries, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, oregano, mustard greens, sage, tomatoes, and turnips.

Sage Companion Planting

sage companion planting

Sage finds harmony when planted with other strong-scented herbs like rosemary but should be kept away from cucumbers. Its companionship with rosemary can potentially repel common pests from more susceptible plants in the garden.

Spinach Companion Plants

spinach companion plants

Spinach is yet another cool weather crop and really doesn’t like hot weather. It has similar growing conditions and requirements that lettuce has. Spinach needs cool soil that needs to be moist. It can grow in either full sun or partial shade, and can survive a hard freeze. Plant it with the following herbs to help protect it from pests and disease: arugula, dill, marjoram, oregano, and tarragon.

Companion Planting for Squash

companion planting for squash

Squash is another high yielding crop that’s great to grow during the summer months. It loves warm and hot weather. However, you really need to keep the pests in check. Once they really establish themselves in the garden, they’re hard to get under control and destroy crops. There are quite a few pests that affect squash: aphids, cucumber beetles, harlequin bugs, leaf footed bugs, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, squash vine borer, and thrips.

To help keep these pests in check, plant: dill, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, and tarragon.

Thyme Companion Plants

thyme companion plants

This plant grows similar to mint, which makes sense since they’re in the same family. It’s best to grow it in a container to keep it in check. Thyme is great to grow because it comes back year after year and it can tolerate cold temperatures, including a hard freeze. It doesn’t really have any pests, which is great. For it to thrive, plant it along with marjoram, mustard greens, oregano, and tarragon.

Herbs That Support Tomato Growth

Tomatoes thrive when planted alongside basil, which can improve both their growth and flavor. A How-to-Guide to Companion Planting With Herbs suggests that basil works as a repellant for the tomato hornworm. Marigolds are not herbs but are often included because they deter nematodes that could harm tomato roots.

Plant tomatoes along with: Chives, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.

What Herbs Can Be Planted Together

Managing Pests and Diseases

Effective companion planting can significantly reduce the impact of pests and diseases on herb gardens, utilizing certain herbs for their natural repellent qualities and disease-prevention properties.

Natural Pest Control with Herbs

Companion planting with herbs offers an organic way to manage pest problems. For instance, planting chives may help repel harmful insects like aphids, which are deterred by their strong scent. In contrast, marigolds can attract ladybugs, a natural predator of aphids. Including plants like:

  • Basil: Repels flies and mosquitoes
  • Dill: Attracts wasps that prey on tomato hornworms
  • Chives: Discourage aphids and beetles

…can significantly lower the presence of unwelcome pests in the garden.

Herbs for Preventing Common Diseases

The strategic placement of herbs can also help prevent the outbreak of certain diseases by improving air circulation or reducing the moisture that is often a breeding ground for fungal pathogens. Herbs such as parsley can be planted alongside tomatoes to help protect them against tomato blight. On the other hand, strong-smelling herbs can mask the scent of a potential host, keeping diseases at bay. Consider these pairings:

  • Oregano: Protects against a range of fungal and bacterial issues
  • Thyme: Helps to deter cabbage worms

By introducing these herbs into your garden, they can serve as a preventive measure against common garden diseases.

Attracting Beneficial Wildlife

In the world of companion planting, attracting the right wildlife is crucial for a thriving garden. Beneficial insects not only aid in pollination but also keep pest populations in check.

Attract Pollinators

Basil is a hero among herbs, known for its ability to attract bees, including honeybees, and butterflies—insect pollinators that are vital for the garden’s productivity. By interplanting basil with crops, one can boost the pollination rates and ensure a healthy yield.

  • Attracts:
    • Honeybees
    • Butterflies
  • Companion Benefits:
    • Enhanced pollination
    • Improved garden yield

Predatory Insects and Natural Defenses

Herbs can also call forth predatory insects such as ladybugs, which feed on aphids and other pests. For instance, by incorporating certain herbs, gardeners can increase beneficial insect biodiversity, which acts as a natural defense system against common garden pests.

  • Attracts:
    • Ladybugs
  • Natural Defenses Against:
    • Aphids
    • Various pests

By understanding and leveraging the unique benefits that herbs offer, gardeners can encourage a more balanced and harmonious ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

In the practice of companion planting, it is crucial to understand which plants thrive together and which may hinder each other’s growth. This section addresses common inquiries about pairing herbs and other plants to maximize benefits in the garden.

What herbs grow well together in the same container?

Basil, chives, and parsley can happily share a container, benefiting from similar water and sunlight needs. They form a robust trio, often enhancing each other’s growth.

Which herbs can be planted alongside vegetables for optimal growth?

Rosemary pairs well with broccoli and cabbage, deterring pests, while basil enhances the flavor and growth of tomatoes. These herb-vegetable combinations can lead to a more fruitful garden.

Can you list flowers that make good companions for herb gardens?

Marigolds and nasturtiums are exceptional floral companions for herb gardens. They repel pests and attract beneficial pollinators, creating a healthier ecosystem for the herbs.

What are some incompatible herb pairings to avoid in companion planting?

Mint should be planted separately as it can be invasive and overwhelm other herbs. Additionally, dill and cilantro can inhibit the growth of each other and should be spaced apart.

How does planting mint affect nearby herbs and plants?

Mint can inhibit the growth of nearby plants due to its aggressive root system and should be planted in its container to prevent it from taking over the garden.

Are there any considerations for planting chives with other herbs?

Chives can improve the growth and flavor of most herbs but should be planted away from beans and peas as they can stunt the growth of legumes.

What do marjoram and thyme have in common?

Marjoram and thyme come from the same family (mint) and have common flavors. However, they’re not interchangeable.

Does rosemary spread like mint?

No, rosemary does not spread like mint. Rosemary does not have the same type of root system that mint has, which is why mint spreads. Mint spreads by rhizomes, which means by root, and has a very shallow root system. As the roots spread, new stems and leaves pop up.

Is thyme and oregano the same?

No, thyme and oregano are not the same. They have differences in appearance (leaves and stems). They also have different flavors.

This post is all about herb companion planting.

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