Vegetable Pairs to Avoid: Backyard Vegetable Gardening

Some vegetables don't do well when grown next to others and can actually inhibit growth. Learn which combinations to avoid when planning your backyard vegetable garden.


A harvest of freshly-picked vegetables ready to be prepared for dinner is a well-earned reward for urban farmers everywhere.  It doesn’t matter whether you have a large or small vegetable garden – the rewards are the same.  However, you may be surprised to find that certain vegetables don’t like being planted next to others.  In fact, some vegetable pairings actually can inhibit the growth of the other.

Earlier this week, we talked about beneficial vegetable pairs that help each other in the garden by improving flavor, repelling bad bugs, attracting pollinators and providing shelter.

Today, we will learn more about what vegetables should NOT be planted next to each other.


Corn doesn’t like tomatoes and the feeling is mutual.  They both attract the tomato fruit worm/corn worm. In addition to corn, tomatoes also don’t like being planted next to potatoes.


Potatoes don’t like cucumbers.  It is reported that when these two are planted together that the potatoes are more susceptible to phytophthora blight.  Avoid planting squash and tomatoes near potatoes as well.  Aromatic herbs should also be kept away from cucumbers.


Radishes may be one of the easiest vegetables to grow, but they don’t like being planted near broccoli.  Or any member of the cole family such as cabbage, cauliflower, collards or kale for that matter.  Plants in the cole family can attract cabbage maggots, which can be lethal for radishes.  In fact, radishes dislike plant in the cole family so much, that it is recommended to not plant them in the same soil that cole has been grown in for at least 3 years.


Swiss chard is easy to grow and tastes delicious in salads – even my kids eat it.  But, its growth is hindered by pole beans – so keep them apart.

Backyard vegetable gardening is fun and can be incredibly rewarding.  By avoiding these plant pairings, you will make it easier for your vegetables to grow and increase your harvest of fresh vegetables.

As I mentioned before, there are vegetable pairs that actually help each other in the garden.  Check out my previous post about beneficial vegetable pairs.

For more information on companion planting and about what NOT to plant next to each other, I encourage you to read the book “Carrots Love Tomatoes” by Louise Riotte.

  1. Carolyn Williams says

    I plan on planting tomatoes and cucumbers , greenbeans and potatoes and nanna peppers and bell peppers and pumpkins and squash and succine how should I lay out my garden and how far apart should all go apart . It’s gonna be a small garden with short rolls about eight feet long each roll. I got lots of land I just want a small garden.

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