The Best of Friends: A Brief Guide to Companion Planting Part - 1

Companion planting is based on centuries of creative experimentation and observation but in the uncontrolled world of the home garden, some skeptics will argue that the basic wisdoms of companion planting are folktales not facts since they have yet to be tested in a controlled laboratory setting.

It is difficult to win an argument with such skeptics, but it is equally difficult to convince organic gardeners that the methods they have been using successfully for centuries don't work. Even if companion planting does not live up to its claims, all you've really done is rearrange your garden since many of the companion plants are useful in their own right.

Why not make up your own mind. Plant one group of vegetables using companion plants, and a similar group without using companion planting in a different part of your garden (at least twelve feet away from the first). Treat each garden identically throughout the growing season. Which garden produced the best vegetables? Which garden had the least number of pests?

Part 2 of this series will cover the use of repellant plants to control insect damage.

BEANS - Friends: potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, marigolds

Foes; onions, garlic, leeks, shallots beets -

BEETS - Friends: onions, cabbage, chard, broccoli, cauliflower

Foes: field mustard

CARROTS - Friends: lettuce, chives, onions, peas, radishes, cabbage, leeks, worm wood, sage, rosemary Foes: dill

CUCUMBERS - Friends: cabbage, sunflowers, beans, radishes

Foes: potatoes

PEAS - Friends; radishes, carrots, com, cucumbers, beans

Foes: garlic, onions leeks, shallots

PEPPERS - Friends: tomatoes, eggplant, onions, carrots, basil

Foes: kohlrabi, fennel

SAGE - Friends: cabbage family, carrots, tomatoes

Foes: cucumbers

TOMATOES - Friends: asparagus, parsley, cabbage, onions, mustard, carrots, basil, sage, rosemary

Foes: potatoes, kohlrabi, fennel, walnuts

June, 1991