Spring has finally arrived and its time to get back out into the garden and decide where you will be planting your new vegetables. You may already have started your vegetable seeds indoors and are anxiously awaiting warmer temperatures so that you can plant them outdoors.
But, before you plant your vegetable garden, you may be interested to know that some vegetables grow better when paired with certain vegetables. For example, carrots are helpful to the growth of peas because the secrete a substance into the soil that peas love. Another example of a successful vegetable pairing is planting onions with cauliflower.
This type of relationship where certain pairings of plants benefit the other is referred to as ‘companion planting’. This type of pairing of certain vegetables with select others can work in a variety of ways such as improving the flavor, attracting pollinators, repelling bad bugs and providing shelter from the elements.
*There are also some vegetable pairings that should NOT be done in the garden. Believe it or not, certain combinations of vegetables can actually inhibit growth.
One of my favorite books is called, “Carrots Love Tomatoes” by Louise Riotte, where she describes countless pairings of fruits, vegetables and herbs and how they benefit each other. This book has a prominent place on my bookshelf and if you love to grow vegetables as much as I do, I strongly suggest you get a copy for yourself.
Today, I’d like to share with you a few beneficial vegetable/fruit pairings that are described in Louise’s book and that I have had good success with in my own vegetable garden:
Carrots also make good pairings with chives, lettuce, onions, peas and tomatoes. In addition to carrots, lettuce does well when planted next to cucumbers and radishes.
Other successful pairings with broccoli include celery and potatoes.
Besides garlic, plant carrots, celery, onions and parsley with tomatoes.
In addition to spinach, plant strawberries alongside bush beans.
By repeating some of these vegetable pairings, you may notice a significant difference in the quality of your vegetables in your DIY vegetable garden this year.
Next time, we will talk about some vegetables combinations that should be avoided because of negative effects that they may have on the other.
In the meantime, for more information on companion plants in the vegetable garden, including flowers, check out the article “Companion Gardening”.