Companion Planting

Exploring which plants are beneficial to each other when planted together and which plants are best kept apart.

Members: 262
Latest Activity: Jan 31, 2019

Discussion Forum

Companion Planting in practice 4 Replies

Started by Vicki Hill. Last reply by Skye Sloper Dec 8, 2014.

Tomatoes and friends 17 Replies

Started by Rex Morris. Last reply by Rachel Rose Jul 12, 2011.

Companion plant to crop ratios / equations? Do they exist? 2 Replies

Started by Steph Clout. Last reply by Steph Clout Jun 22, 2011.

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Comment by Lynn on October 1, 2012 at 7:41pm

Hi Shar

I'm a square foot gardener. I have planted corn and beans together, along with squash/pumpkins - it's the American Indian 'Three Sisters' method. The idea is that the beans climb the corn stems, while the squash/pumpkins plants spread around and through the plants to give ground coverage - a sort of moisture protection society. In addition, the beans provide valuable nitrogen to the soil for the benefit of the corn and the squash.

As far as the distance between corn and tomatoes - I have, in the past, had about 20 feet between them - but only because I managed to have a spare plot that far away. Last season, I grew tomatoes in the same plot as the corn, and I don't know whether it was just a bad season, or what...but there were not many tomatoes and not many corn cobs either. The tomatoes I planted further away didn't overly produce either - so guessing it was more the season than anything.

Comment by Shar (SWMBO) Thomson on October 1, 2012 at 3:15pm

Hi, I'm totally new to companion planting, I've been using google to good effect but as I'm also trying a spot of squarefoot gardening at the same time (it seems to pack the most veges into the smallest space in the most logical way that I can follow) I'm wondering how far apart you need to put antagonistic plants - like corn and tomato don't like each other, but would planting them at either end of an 8ft garden stretch be far enough apart or should they be in separate plots altogether? Also, if I plant corn, how much room do I need to leave between the corn and the bean plants - can they be quite close as the beans will use the corn to climb up? Cheers!

Comment by Matt Moir on November 17, 2011 at 4:43pm

I just stumbled across this website it seems verry good

Comment by Lynn on November 12, 2011 at 4:41pm

Good companion planting for chillies (and other pepper family plants) - tomatoes, geraniums, petunias. Avoid companioning peppers with beans and brassicas

Pepper plants like humidity, and a good groundcover can help with this (like thyme or marjoram) but while they need direct sunlight, too hot and they can be harmed. Pepper plants grown together, or with tomatoes, can shelter the fruit from sunlight, and this also raises the humidity level

Comment by Lorraine Barnett on November 12, 2011 at 4:20pm

Trying to find out what to OR not plant next to Chillies.. I have the book Carrots love tomatoe but doesn't really say, unless I missed something. 

I get a little confused because we used to just plant things next to each other and were none the wiser if it grew or didn't??


Comment by Annie Thorne on September 15, 2010 at 5:11pm
Comment by Vivien Field on January 28, 2010 at 10:04pm
Phew Tim and Dave thanks for allaying my fears, although interesting debate as to whether its anaerobic bacteria or the protein content, I suspect its a little of both. You are right about the stinky smell on your hands (and gumboots) I should remember the rubber gloves when I am using it but somehow I just forget! I can tell you even scented moisturiser won't remove the smell after you wash your hands...I love the idea of planting comfrey around my fruit trees, I currently have a mix of chives, tansy and soon some lavender...but the idea of having 'instant' feed in winter appeals greatly so thanks for that advice Tim. I don't suppose it matters HOW we make our comfrey tea, the fact is this amazing plant is great for "free" compost and fertilizer and I highly recommend it!
Cheers, Viv (those tomatoes are finally starting to produce fruit darn that weather)
Comment by Tim on January 28, 2010 at 8:38am
Hi All, Couple of things with respect to the comfrey trail below. That putrid smell you're encountering is the protein in the comfrey breaking down. Comfrey boasts an average protein content of around 24% of dry matter and low average fibre content of around 10%. This means it breaks down rapidly. Back in the days it used to be called "Instant Compost" as it can used just like compost. it has a carbon to nitrogen ratio of around 10:1 much like finished compost. So you can harvest the leaves and use them in all manner of ways as compost. The dry method of applying leaves directly where it's needed is fine. But make sure you cut the leaves well about the crown set otherwise you'll find new comfrey plants popping up all over the place. And once you have a comfrey plant it's a mate for life :-). It's very hard to eradicate. For the compost tea I use a plastic rubbish tin, fill it up with leaves and then water. If you can handle the smell leave the top off the rubbish tin as horse flies love to lay their eggs in comfrey tea. And hover flies are beneficial predators, they love eating aphids. Because comfrey breaks down so rapidly you wont need to ferment your comfrey tea for long before it can be used. Two weeks should do it. I've gone for fairly simple method of just dropping a bucket into rubbish tin and then just using it. The sludge at the bottom goes onto the compost. It pays to use gloves as that putrid smell tends to linger on your hands if you don't. In summer I use two rubbish tins set up one week apart so I have comfrey tea on hand all the time. Another way to use comfrey is planted directly where it's needed. Good for Orchard situations where you have permanent crops. Plant comfrey around the drip line of your trees and the comfrey will suppress all other weeds. And then every June, in NZ, the leaves will die down and release the contents of it's mining stores right into the topsoil where your trees can pick it up. Hope that helps. Cheers tim
Comment by Lynn on January 28, 2010 at 8:37am
Brilliant info...thanks Tim
Comment by Lynn on January 24, 2010 at 10:55am
I remember when I was a kid, my father (and us kids) collecting seaweed. He would steep them in water in a 40 gallon drum for several weeks, and then use the liquid on the vegetable garden. He had the BIGGEST vegetables I have ever seen in a home garden! Sadly, I also remember the smell!!! hahaha

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