A Little Bit About Companion Herbs

Companion planting serves as a huge benefit to any vegetable garden. It involves finding plants that are compatible and grow well together. Herbs, for example, are a great compliment to many plants in a veggie garden for several reasons, one of which being  their strong fragrance. This attribute not only drives away unwanted pests, but attracts beneficial ones. Planting herbs nearby can even increase the flavor and enhance the quality of other vegetables and herbs in the area. Herbs will grow in full sun or part sun, and many are hardy enough to come back each year. They are also a great choice for containers, and a great addition to any recipe.

Good Companion Herbs

Basil is a good neighbor to tomatoes, peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. It’s said to improve the flavor of tomatoes, and chances are you will harvest basil and tomatoes together, so why not plant them close together? Basil should be planted after the last frost and will not survive winter.

Borage is a self-seeding annual that attracts a lot of bees and other beneficial insects. It deters tomato hornworm and cabbage worm, and its fuzzy leaves and flowers are edible. Plant near tomatoes, strawberries, squash and just about anything else. Borage is a self-seeding annual.

Catnip or catmint is a good neighbor for beets, pumpkins and squash. It’s very attractive to bees and at the same time repels ants, aphids, flea beetle and Japanese beetle. There are a few university studies that claim Catnip is as effective as DEET at repelling mosquitoes, making it a popular container plant for patios. Catnip is a mint and is winter hardy for Colorado.

Chamomile is considered a garden tonic, and it improves just about every plant in the garden. Hover flies and wasps love it, and it accumulates calcium, potassium and sulfur in the soil. If you harvest the flowers for tea, be sure to leave enough so that it self-seeds for the next year.

Chives: Rose gardeners plant chives at the base of roses to repel aphids, and they are a good neighbor to tomatoes, carrots, and apple trees. When established, it’s said to prevent black spot on roses and scab on apple trees. Avoid planting too close to beans and peas. Chives are perennial and will form big, beautiful clumps that come back each year.

Dill is good with lettuce, cabbage and onions, but keep it away from carrots and tomatoes. It will deter aphids and spider mites, and also attract beneficial hoverflies and native bees. Dill is an annual and should be planted each year.

Mint gets a bad rap for its ability to spread and invade other plants, but it’s great for attracting bees and repelling flea beetles, aphids and mosquitoes. Plant it in a container so it doesn’t spread and take over, or cut it and use as a mulch between plants. Mint is hardy and will come back each year.

Rosemary likes cabbage, hot peppers, beans and broccoli. It’s thought to repel bean beetles and cabbage worms. Rosemary is not hardy. Grow it in a container you can bring indoors for the winter, or start with a new plant each season.

These are just a few of many companion planting ideas! For a complete list and a lot more information, we like this page from Mother Earth News.