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20 Plants You Should Grow Side-by-Side

A good neighbor can make all the difference in the garden. Ask any experienced gardener, and they will tell you: Certain plants like each other, and others, well, don’t. You’ll just have to try it to believe it!

Here, we focus on 20 plants that make great partners in the garden. From repelling pests to improving overall growth, keep these 20 plant combinations in mind when you go to lay out your garden this season.

1. Nasturtiums and cucumbers

As SF Gate points out, nasturtiums are known for repelling a number of insects. But they also function as a distraction to certain aphids, since these common pests actually prefer nasturtiums over other plants. As an added benefit, nasturtiums are known to improve the health and flavor of cucumbers. Their flowers are edible as well, and make a tasty addition to salads.

2. Tomatoes and asparagus

Tomatoes contain solanine, a chemical known to repel asparagus beetles. Similarly, asparagus contains a chemical that has been shown to kill nematodes, which are common pests of tomatoes. So, if you happen to grow both of these plants in your garden, make sure they are neighbors.

3. Chives and roses

Chives are a friendly companion for many plants, especially roses. Chives repel black spot and Japanese beetles, both of which commonly affect roses. Plant chives nearby, and roses will likely have better growth overall as well. Additionally, these two flowering plants complement each other beautifully in an ornamental garden.

4. Basil and peppers

Basil is a good neighbor to a number of other plants, not least of which are peppers. Plant basil near peppers, and treehugger says you’ll likely see a decrease in aphids and spider mites, not to mention an improvement in the health and growth of peppers overall. It’s certainly worth a try.

5. Spinach and peas

Both cool season crops, spinach and peas make a companionable pair. Peas, supported on a trellis, offer a little extra shade to spinach during the heat of the day. The University of Maryland Extension confirms that spinach is a heavy feeder, and peas as a legume increase nitrogen availability in the soil. So, peas help to protect and feed spinach.

6. Summer savory and green beans

If you love growing green beans, you should grow summer savory, too. Summer savory repels the Mexican bean beetle and improves the overall growth and flavor of green beans. Not only is this herb a friend to green beans in the garden, the two also make a tasteful pair in the kitchen.

7. Cabbage and sage

Caterpillars can wreak havoc on cabbage plants and white cabbage butterfly caterpillars may be the most destructive of all. Sage and other aromatic herbs are known to repel these harmful critters and are helpful companions to plants in the cabbage family.

8. Lettuce and Onions

Sow rows of lettuce between rows of onions. While onions are maturing, lettuce will help keep weeds at bay. And, as Mother Earth News observes, onions will help lettuce by keeping pesky rabbits away. It’s a win-win.

9. Carrots and radishes

Carrots and radishes complement each other well because, their timing is right! Sow radishes between carrots, and they’ll be ready to harvest in time to allow carrots to fill in. It’s an ideal space saver.

10. Broccoli and marigolds

Not only are marigolds known to repel a number of insects but, they also use minimal calcium. Broccoli, on the other hand, needs a lot of calcium. So, to save some calcium for broccoli, consider pairing these two in the garden.

Let us know what plant combinations you’ve tried in your garden. What worked and what didn’t? We’d love to hear about your experience with companion planting!

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