Companion planting. Some things just go together. For instance, eggs and bacon, Batman and Robin, peanut butter and jelly, and rock and roll! You get the point! Some plants pair nicely with other plants like our edibles. Gardener’s label this as companion planting! We'll discuss our dynamic duos in our culinary list and tell you how to pair them together and what the benefits are!
Cool and Warm Season Edibles & Moisture Needs
First, let's talk about cool and warm-season edibles. Some like it hot, and some like it cold! Some edibles like the cooler season of the year in early spring or fall when the temperatures are lower, while others thrive in the hottest of summer months. To make cool-season edibles last longer in the garden and not bolt, plant where they're in the shade from the afternoon sun when it can be the harshest heat.
Cool-season edibles include Spinach, Scallion Tokyo Long, Cilantro Coriander, Italian Parsley, Kale Storm Mix, City Garden Mix, and Lettuce Tricolor Romaine Mix. These cool-season edibles all like well-draining consistent moisture at the roots to grow and thrive.
Warm-season edibles include our Basil Genovese Jumbo, Lavender Provence, Mint the Best, Italian Oregano, Tuscan Blue Rosemary, French Thyme, Pepper Tabasco, Pepper Yum Yum Mix, and Tomato Marriage Heirloom Genuine.
Of the warm season edibles, Basil, Mint, Pepper Tabasco, Pepper Yum, Yum Mix all like well-draining consistent moisture at the roots to grow and thrive. Also, tomatoes love high moisture to produce abundant fruit and avoid diseases. Although, mint will grow to China, making it a thug in the garden and not a suitable companion plant. However, keeping it in a garden container and sitting on a hard surface will give your edibles the guardian beneficials to help repel the bad guys!
Some like it moist, and some like it dry! Therefore, don't plant them in the same container together, so one isn't drowning while the other is thriving!
Benefits of Companion Planting
Why use Companion Plants?
- Made in the Shade: Some plants can create shade cover for other plants and help them survive longer. For instance, as tomatoes grow (warm season), they can shade cool-season plants like Italian Parsley and Cilantro and extend their longevity..
- Weed Busters: Creeping edibles like oregano and thyme can become a ground cover in the garden and shade weed seeds, so they don't sprout, keeping the garden more weed-free!
- Tasty Combos: Just like salt and pepper marry with each other, so do some herbs. Add basil around tomatoes to enhance the tomato's flavor and growth! Chives improve the taste and development of carrots too!
- Organic Insect Repellant: The odor and chemistry of the leaves of a plant can deter insects from coming around. This phenomenon is true with Rosemary. She's a stalwart companion plant in the garden around carrots, beans, and cabbage to repel carrot flies, silverfish, and bean beetles. She also will repel mosquitos! Yay!
- Attract the Good Guys: Did you know that herbs can bring in the infantry to fight the bad guys? Parsley flowers will attract insects that prey on worms that damage brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale). Parsley will also draw in hoverflies that eat aphids! One more reason to plant herbs!
- Improve Your Soil: Add Clover as a ground cover since it's in the legume family and is a nitrogen-fixing plant used in crop rotation.
Below is an easy chart on what companion plants to plant nearby your edibles, what the edible plants repel, what beneficials each plant attracts, what plants not to plant near, and their moisture needs. The good companion plants help thwart the 'bad guy' bugs and attract the beneficials that eat the 'bad guys!' These companion plants cut down on insecticidal use and are one more defense zone to keep your edibles healthy and growing!