One of the ways an expert gardener gets the most out of their garden each year is to know about companion planting. Companion planting consists of placing complementary plants next to each other when planting the plants. Individual plants grow better when they are planted next to each other, just like some plants slow down their neighbor plant’s growth.
If you’ve always wanted to plant an herb garden but feel like you don’t want to set up a separate place to grow herbs, you can plant specific herbs next to typical garden plants and attain maximum production in a minimal amount of space.
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Best Herbs for Companion Planting with Vegetables
Basil and tomatoes grow well together, just like they complement each other in Italian food recipe. Nearly any tomato dish benefits from adding basil into the mix. Try adding some fresh basil in pesto, marinara sauces and in homemade salad dressings to perk up your recipes.
Also, basil repels flies and mosquitoes, which makes planting the herb perfect for repelling summertime pests. If you’re in Florida, this herb is extremely beneficial for repelling pests, helping your vegetables grow as well as using in recipes.
Chives grow well next to carrots. These grass-like plants taste either like a mild onion or onion and garlic combination. Chefs use chives in vegetable dishes, dressings, egg dishes, dips and more.
Dill and Cabbage
Dill is most famous for giving pickles their signature flavor. While dill enhances the growth of cabbage, it slows the growth of carrots. Dill typically flavors green beans, potatoes, cheese, seafood, and cabbage dishes. The seeds and chopped stems are added to dishes to dispense the unique green flavor.
Marjoram in the Garden
Marjoram is a great companion plant to nearly all vegetables and remains a welcome addition to any food garden. Good cooks add the warm spice to almost any kind in meat, dairy products, fish or vegetable dishes. Marjoram’s oils dissipate quickly, so don’t add the herb to a dish until the end of cooking it.
Cabbages and tomatoes benefit from being neighbors with varieties of mint. Cabbages especially benefit, as mint deters the white cabbage moth from disturbing the vegetable. Middle Eastern dishes, roast lamb or fish, frequently call for the addition of mint in their recipes.
Oregano, like marjoram, remains an excellent companion plant to vegetables in general. If you cook with tomatoes, add some oregano to give the dish an Italian flare. Some of the vegetables that grow well with this herb and taste great with it are summer squash, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and mushrooms.
Parsley Loves Asparagus
Asparagus, tomatoes and corn love when parsley is planted with the plants. Fresh parsley, when added to soups or sauces, reduces the amount of salt a person thinks they need in a dish. It has a gentle green flavor that tastes great with meat or fish, too.
Rosemary loves Beans
Rosemary added to poultry, lamb, soups, and vegetables gives the dish a warm, robust flavor. Plant rosemary next to beans, cabbage, sage, and carrots. One of the reasons the herb works well as a companion plant with cabbage, carrots, beans, and sage is that it deters bean beetles, carrot flies, and cabbage moths.
Sage enhances the growth of cabbage, carrots, and rosemary. Cucumbers do not do well when sage is planted in the vicinity. Sage is a flavorful addition to stuffing, poultry dishes, beans, peas, and cheese dishes. If you need to cut down on the salt used in your diet, try substituting sage.
Most vegetables grow well next to tarragon. This herb becomes an essential ingredient for such dishes as:
- Salad dressings
- Seafood dishes
Cabbage grows well with fewer pests if thyme is placed next to it in the garden. Thyme’s strong, natural oils enhance the flavor of casseroles, eggs, fish, green vegetables, and potatoes.
Garlic’s pungent natural oils deter Japanese beetles, which can devastate rose bushes and raspberry bushes alike. Gardeners can plant garlic bulbs right next to roses and raspberries to prevent Japanese beetle infestations.
Grow garlic to add pizzazz to tomato dishes, bread, soup and nearly every type of meat or vegetables to enhance the flavor of the food.
When summer savory is planted next to onions or beans, the plants grow stronger, and the flavor of these companion plants is improved. Summer savory adds a lovely flavor to egg, fish, chicken and green bean dishes.
Borage Loves Squash
Borage is both an attractive plant and a deterrent for plants affected by tomato worms. Plant this herb next to tomatoes, strawberries, and squash to get its bug deterring benefits.