How To Companion Plant In The Vegetable Garden

Now is the time to start winter sowing flowers for your kitchen garden.  So start planning your seed purchases for outdoor or indoor sowing so you can transplant them in your garden.  I use companion planting in my kitchen garden.  Companion planting is the pairing of flowers and vegetables.  It’s a must in my garden, so I wanted to share my flowers in the garden and how I pair the with vegetables.  You can also check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips.

Next, I purchase the majority of my flowers from the local garden center off the clearance rack. Flowers don’t have to go into your garden immediately, which will allow you time to find bargains on what you want to plant. Just save a spot in your garden for them and start looking for sales around Memorial Day or the clearance racks around early or mid-June. 

Here’s my list:

  • Marigolds (scented)  – The number 1 flower in my kitchen garden. I plant a combination of scented yellow and orange marigolds with my tomatoes and throughout the garden.
  • Petunias – Great with tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and beans.
  • Cosmos – Great for attracting bees, which you need for pollination. I usually find a good deal on Cosmos at my local nursery.
  • Sunflowers – These are a must in my garden. I plant them to feed the Gold Finch, but they are also great for pollination. I use them as a trellis for my cucumbers too. The cucumbers will grow up and wrap themselves around the stalk of the sunflowers.  Direct sow your cucumber seeds at the base of your sunflowers when the soil is warm enough. I winter sow my sunflowers.  You can see my post here, How To Make Bottle Greenhouses
  •  Sweet Pea – These are climbers and are great to plant with pole beans.
  • White Geraniums –  Great with tomatoes, corn, peppers and cabbage.  They keep Japanese Beetles away, so place them randomly in your garden.
  • Basil –  Although Basil is not considered a flower, it can planted with tomatoes.  I actually plant basil with my tomatoes plants as well as in my herb garden each season.  Using basil in my sauces and in my chili is a part of my recipes, so I must have plenty.  I also freeze it in ice trays. So, it’s a must in my garden.  I can never have enough.

Likewise,  I also do companion planting with my vegetables, especially tomatoes.  In addition, planting compatible vegetables help ward off insects that can destroy one or the other plant.  Most importantly, make the most of your space and make use of your plant’s ability to help the other grow. Here’s my list:

  • Tomatoes – Plant with basil, carrots, chives, garlic, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, or peas. Do not plant cabbage, kale, collards, cauliflower, broccoli or turnips with your tomatoes.
  • Peppers – Plant with basil, cucumbers or eggplant. (See the Do not plant list above).
  • Squash – Plant with bush beans or peas.  Do not plant with potatoes.
  • Cabbage – Plant with melons, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach, or tomatoes. Do not plant with sage or peppers.
  • Cucumbers – Plant with peppers or sunflowers. Do not plant with potatoes.
  • Bush Beans – Plant with or near cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, potatoes, or strawberries.  Do not plant with garlic, onions or any vegetables in that family.
  • Garlic – Plant with cabbage or tomatoes.  Do not plant with peas or beans.
Last, you can plant your companion plants together or in the same vicinity.  As a result, consider the pairs when you’re planning your garden layout.  Also, if you have questions about this list or other gardening questions please send an email to The Mailbox using rhonda@mother2motherblog.com.

You may also like: Winter Sowing