Basil and tomatoes plants grown together in a greenhouse. Organic vegetables and herbs production, home gardening

Companion Plants for Vegetable Gardening

Companion plants are enjoying a bit of a revival as gardeners seek out alternatives to treat pest infestations while inviting the wanted garden guests, beneficial to a successful growing season.  Companion plants work hard to keep your plants healthy and, in some cases, add ornamental value as well!  They come in many different forms and can be incorporated into any garden.

Have a look at a few of the many companion plants you can add to your garden this season!



Garlic Known to keep the vampires away, it can also deter pests with its pungent odor. This powerful bulb can be interplanted with several crops, such as potatoes and corn.
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A root crop that makes a great addition to any vegetable garden. They add minerals such as magnesium and enrich the soil without taking too much out of it. 
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Three Sisters

A longstanding tradition among Native American tribes, they offer an abundant crop by planting a trio of corn, beans, and squash. It's said that the three crops represented inseparable sisters who can only grow and thrive together.
Corn provides climbing support for the beans.
Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting the corn and squash.
Squash covers the ground and serves as a mulch protecting the roots of all the plants.
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Most herbs are grown for their distinct flavors and aromas which makes them a great two-for-one deal for any setting. Step up your companion plant game with Basil, Rosemary, Sage and Mint. The essential oils found in the leaves deter insects while also adding flavor to your favorite dishes and cocktails! Learn how to use your herbs


One of the more popular herbs favored for its tasty leaves, it's also found to be an effective insect deterrent. It also has been known to improve the flavor of vegetable garden go-tos including peppers and tomatoes.
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It can be used to lure pesky pests that cause damage to crops like cabbage and beans.  They can also be included with your fresh salad harvests as the blooms and leaves are both edible.


Another fragrant herb loved for its distinct flavor and smell, can attract beneficial insects to the garden. It serves as a host plant for the Black Swallowtail butterfly as well!
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Annuals and Perennials

Many annuals can be mixed in with vegetables to attract pollinators. They add a splash of color to the garden and have a distinct aroma that keeps bugs at a safe distance. Learn more about annuals and perennials


This tried-and-true plant can be used in vegetable gardens to repel troublemakers like whiteflies, aphids, and mosquitoes.
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They provide climbing support for vining and climbing crops such as cucumbers and beans. They can also offer much needed shade for crops that don’t fair well in the hot summer sun, like lettuce and other spinach.
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Bee Balm

Their colorful blooms attract beneficial bugs and repel the bad ones. As an added bonus, the foliage smells like black licorice and is a deterrent for pests like the dreaded mosquito. 
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These flowers emit a distinct scent that is uninviting to aphids, hornworms and other pests that damage your vegetable gardens.  Grow alongside your vegetables, in flowerbeds, planters and hanging baskets. Learn more about petunias
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They naturally contains a substance called Pyrethrum, a synthetic version of which is used by many manmade repellants. These insect-deterring powerhouses return every year to protect your space from crawling and flying nuisances.

Below the Surface

Some companion plants can help with improving the soil. Members of the legume family, like Peas or Beans, can fix nitrogen in the soil.  Simply let them grow and dieback, then till them under or add them to your compost pile/bin. Other plants that can help improve your soil’s health include Clover, Caraway, and Borage

As with any planting, review what you’re going to plant and plan what companion plants would best suit their needs. There are certain combinations that should be avoided to prevent unwanted crosspollination or reduced yields.  Do your research and find what will work for you! Reach out to local garden groups or extension offices for more help or visit the library, in person or online!

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