I want to grow vegetables in my container garden and need to know which ones. This post contains my research on what vegetables can be planted together in a container and benefit from companion planting.
Tomatoes and basil
The best plant you can grow next to tomatoes is basil because it repels harmful insects and improves fruit yield.
You can also grow other vegetables like carrots, parsley, spinach, lettuce, and onions that grow well with tomatoes.
Plants like cabbage, beet, peas, dill, and rosemary are not good choices to grow near tomatoes. You should also not grow corn near tomatoes as it attracts the corn earworm.
And if you grow potatoes near the tomatoes, they can suffer from the blight that affects these plants.
Potatoes and garlic
You can plant garlic next to potatoes and they grow well with each other. The garlic can protect the potatoes from pests like blight.
Some other plants that do well with potatoes are beans, celery, onions, and peas.
You should not plant potatoes along with carrots, asparagus, turnip, or onions because they can stunt their growth.
Cucumbers and beans
Beans are a good plant to grow together with cucumbers because they fix nitrogen in the soil that is beneficial to the cucumber plant.
Celery, corn, lettuce, and dill are also good companion plants to grow near the cucumbers.
You don’t want to grow herbs like sage near cucumbers because they will stunt their growth.
Carrots and tomatoes
Carrots provide the tomatoes with aeration of the soil. This allows good moisture and nutrient circulation in the soil.
Some other plants that protect carrots from pests are leeks, rosemary, sage, and chives.
You want to avoid growing plants like cilantro and dill near carrots because they stunt their growth.
Cauliflower and beans
You can grow beans near cauliflower because they attract beneficial insects and prevent pests from reaching the plant.
You can also grow celery, onions, beets, spinach, and cucumbers as companion plants with cauliflower.
I would not recommend growing peas with cauliflower because they can stunt the plant’s growth.
Peppers and basil
The best plants to grow near peppers are herbs like basil. They help protect the pepper plant from pests like spider mites and aphids.
You can also grow plants like tomatoes, onions, and spinach near the pepper plants.
I would not suggest growing beans near the pepper plant because the vines can overwhelm the plant.
Basil and chili
Basil is a good companion to chili plants because they help improve their growth and flavor. It can also discourage some harmful insects from reaching your plants.
You can also grow basil together with tomatoes, parsley, oregano, and rosemary. But it’s not good to grow basil with sage.
Basil requires the soil to contain a good amount of moisture to grow well. But sage prefers a condition with dry soil to taste best.
Dill and tomatoes
You can plant tomatoes next to dill because they are suited to grow together. Dill improves the flavor of the tomatoes and improves the growth of the plant.
Some other plants that go well with dill include asparagus, corn, lettuce, onions, broccoli, and cucumber.
It’s not a good idea to plant carrots near dill because the plants are related and can cross-pollinate.
Zucchini and corn
Zucchini grows well with corn because the vines can grow well among the stalks. It also grows well with plants like radishes, beans, peas, and dill.
You want to avoid growing zucchini with potatoes because they can be affected by the same pests such as blight.
Broccoli and onions
You can plant onions next to broccoli to improve their growth and bring out the best flavor.
You can also grow celery, garlic, shallots, leeks, and potatoes along with broccoli to get the same benefits.
You don’t want to plant tomatoes, eggplant, peppers near broccoli because they can suffer from the same pest and disease problems.
Mint and oregano
Some other plants that grow well with mint include tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, and beans.
It’s not suitable to grow mint near parsley because mint grows aggressively and the parsley plant will not get the required nutrients and moisture.
Oregano and peppers
Oregano is a good plant to grow together with peppers. They can attract flower flies that get rid of aphids attacking your pepper plants.
You can also plant oregano with asparagus, corn, cucumbers, squash, cabbage, and pumpkins. Most plants will do fine growing together with oregano and don’t seem to have issues.
Strawberries and borage
Borage is a good plant to grow next to strawberries because it can attract pollinators to your container garden. And it does not harm the strawberries’ growth either nor is it affected by them.
Some other plants that grow well together with strawberries include bush beans, caraway, lupin,
You should not plant strawberries next to cabbage, cauliflower, or broccoli because these plants will not grow well.
Lettuce and mint
You can plant mint near lettuce because it will protect the plant from aphids and slugs that want to eat the leaves.
You can also grow plants like beans, broccoli, cabbage, peas, radishes, and carrots near the lettuce plant.
You should not grow parsley or bushy plants near lettuce as they tend to crowd the plant and not allow nutrients, moisture, and sunlight to reach the plant.
Parsley and asparagus
It’s great to grow parsley with asparagus because they encourage each other to grow better. Parsley also repels the asparagus beetle that can damage your asparagus plants.
You can easily grow tomatoes, carrots, chives, peppers, onions, and peas together with parsley.
You should not grow lettuce close to parsley because it will go to seed too early in the growing season.
Lavender and cabbage
Lavender is good to grow with cabbage because the fragrance repels moths and slugs.
You can also grow the plant together with broccoli, cauliflower, basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme.
Lavender should not be planted with vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers that would need a lot of moisture. This is because it needs dry conditions to grow well.
Green beans and corn
Green beans grow well together with corn because they can use it as a trellis. The green beans fix nitrogen in the soil that is beneficial to the corn plant.
Some other beneficial companion plants for green beans include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, radishes.
You don’t want to grow beets or onions near the green beans because they will stunt the growth.
Onions and carrots
Onions grow well with carrots because they protect them from pests like the carrot fly or aphids.
You can also plant them together with lettuce, beets, cabbage, tomatoes, and rosemary.
You want to keep the onions away from plants like beans, peas, and asparagus as they will stunt the growth of these plants.
Radishes and cucumbers
Radishes grow well along with cucumbers and protect them from the cucumber beetles.
You can also grow them with carrots as the radishes grow faster. Once you harvest the radishes, it will loosen the soil which is beneficial for the carrots to grow.
You can also grow plants like beets, kale, onions, spinach, and lettuce along with radishes
It’s not good to grow plants like hyssop along with radishes because they will stunt the radishes’ growth.
Corn and beans
Corn grows well with beans because they fix nitrogen in the soil that is beneficial for the cornstalks. The cornstalks provide the beans with a natural trellis on which they can grow.
Corn also grows well with plants like peas, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, and melons.
You don’t want to grow corn near tomatoes because they both can be attacked by corn earworms.
Beets and lettuce
You can grow beets together with lettuce as they will grow faster and protect the beet plants from weeds. Their roots are shallow and they will not compete with the beets for nutrients and moisture.
You can grow some other plants like broccoli, bush beans, cabbage, cauliflower, and chard without any problems.
You don’t want to grow mint near the beets because it’s an aggressive plant that will compete for nutrients and resources.
Eggplant and bush beans
You can grow eggplant together with bush beans as they provide nitrogen fixation in the soil as well as protect the eggplants from the Colorado potato beetle.
You can also combine the eggplant with peas, tarragon, thyme, tomatoes, potatoes, and spinach.
You don’t want to grow peppers near the eggplants because they are susceptible to the same pests and diseases.
Garlic and broccoli
You can plant garlic with broccoli because it will deter pests like aphids, spider mites, Japanese beetles, and snails.
You can also grow garlic together with tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, and spinach.
You don’t want to grow garlic near plants like asparagus, peas, parsley, and sage because it will stunt their growth.
Kale and beans
The best plant to grow together with kale is beans because it’s a nitrogen fixer and kale needs a good supply of nitrogen.
Kale in a container grows well with plants like beets, celery, cucumbers, spinach, chard, and onions.
You don’t want to plant kale with plants like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli because they suffer from the same pests and diseases as kale does.
Onions and beets
It’s good to plant onions with beets as the onions will provide protection from pests like aphids, slugs, and snails.
You can grow onions with plants like carrots, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, and rosemary.
You don’t want to plant onions near plants like beans, peas, sage, and asparagus because they affect the flavor and growth of the plants.
Peas and celery
It’s good to grow peas with celery because they help them grow better providing nitrogen fixation in the soil.
Peas grow well near plants including peppers, spinach, potatoes, strawberries, and turnips.
You don’t want to grow peas near plants like onions and garlic because they affect their growth and flavor.
Swiss chard and thyme
You want to grow thyme near Swiss chard because it repels insects like cabbage moths and improves the flavor.
You can also grow Swiss chard with plants like tomatoes, cabbage, beans, radish, lettuce, and celery.
You don’t want to grow Swiss chard near potatoes, corn, cucumbers, or melons because they will compete for nutrients in the soil.
Turnips and peas
Turnips grow well together with peas because they fix nitrogen in the soil that turnips require.
Turnips also grow well with tomatoes, cabbage, celery, Brussels sprouts, beans, and onions.
You don’t want to plant root vegetables or potatoes near turnips because they compete for the nutrients in the soil reducing crop yield.
Mustard greens and mint
It’s good to grow mustard greens along with mint as they will repel the beetles that want to feed on the mustard greens.
You can grow mustard greens with plants like fennel, dill, corn, peas, carrots, lettuce, onions, and cucumber.
You don’t want to plant your mustard greens near plants like beans or strawberries because they are also prone to mold and mildew.
What is companion planting?
Companion planting is a method of growing plants together that complement each other. They provide protection from pests and diseases, improve the growth of the companion plant, and may even improve the flavor.
The companion plants may deter pests from reaching the other plant. Or they may attract beneficial insects. They may provide aeration or nitrogen-fixation for the other plant. Or they may provide shade or a natural trellis for growing.
What are the benefits of companion planting?
Companion plants provide natural support
One companion plant can act as a natural trellis that provides support to another. Corn and beans are an example of such a relationship.
The cornstalks provide the beans with a natural trellis they can grow on. And the beans provide the corn with nitrogen fixation in the soil that is beneficial for their growth.
Protect plants from pests and diseases
Companion plants can protect each other from the pests and diseases that would affect the individual plants. An example is when you grow radishes near cucumber they protect the plants from cucumber beetles.
Some plants will attract beneficial insects that discourage pests from reaching the companion plants.
Improve the soil nutrients
Companion plants can bring better aeration in the soil and improve the nutrients for the plants they grow with.
When you grow carrots with lettuce, the lettuce plants provide shade to the carrots. And the carrots will bring up the nutrients deep into the soil that will benefit the lettuce plants.
Increase the plant yield
Companion plants can be used to complement each other in the garden. You can grow tall plants that protect the smaller ones from harsh sunlight and wind.
You can grow plants that fix nitrogen in the soil for the other plants that need it. And you can have plants that grow faster than the others which provide them shade as well as aeration of the soil after harvest.
How close do companion plants need to be?
You know which plants you want to grow as companions supporting each other. But you should ensure that the container is large enough so you give enough growing space for all the plants in it.
You can find information about how much space each of the plants needs by checking the seed packet or searching on Google.
A thumb rule you can follow is to take an average of the space requirements for all the plants. So if you have two companion plants where one needs a space of 12 inches while the other needs space for 6 inches, you can space them an average 12+6=18/2=9 inches apart.
You also want to make sure that the plants are not covering each other with shade due to their height. If that’s the case, you need to place the containers in the right position so the smaller and taller plants can get the required sunlight.
How to water companion plants?
When growing a variety of plants together as part of companion planting, you need to water them correctly. The plants will have different roots growth where they could be deep-rooted, medium-rooted, or shallow-rooted.
You want to ensure that plants with similar root depth are grown together as part of companion planting.
Plants like tomatoes are deep-rooted and would do well with another plant like asparagus that is deep-rooted as well. You can water the container soil less often but with deep watering to reach root depth.
Plants like beans are medium or shallow-rooted which makes them grow better with a plant such as chard that is shallow-rooted as well. You can water the container soil often because it’s just the top few inches of soil that need moisture.