Companion Planting Guide: What Vegetables Grow Well Together?

Companion Planting Guide: What Vegetables Grow Well Together?

Jun 4th 2024

The secret to a prospering vegetable garden isn't just having the most efficient gardening supplies and watering system. It's about understanding the natural relationships between plants and using them to create a balanced, productive, and harmonious garden. This is where companion gardening comes in; an age-old practice gardeners use to improve plant health and boost yields without relying on artificial chemicals.

Companion planting is based on the science of mutual benefit, where different plants and vegetables are placed together to support each other. For example, taller plants can be placed next to shorter ones in summer for shade and protection. Similarly, you can grow a nectar-rich flower around vegetable crops to attract insects for pollination. But the question remains: what vegetables grow well together? Well, read on for a detailed guide to companion planting!

1. Tomatoes and Basil

If you're thinking about what vegetables grow well together, there's no better couple than tomatoes and basil. The basil plant has a strong flavor profile that repels many pests that attack the tomato crop, such as whiteflies, aphids, and tomato hornworms. Thanks to its small, light-colored flowers full of nectar and pollen, basil attracts pollinators like bees, facilitating tomato reproduction. This leads to fuller, more bountiful tomato yields.

Besides, many gardeners believe that the aroma of basil improves the tomatoes' flavor profile, making them more delicious. Since tomatoes are tall, vining plants and basil crops are usually shorter; this combination efficiently utilizes your garden space.

Here's how you can get the most out of your tomato and basil mix:

  • Plant basil in raised beds around 12 inches beside the base of your tomato plants
  • Mulch around the plants to retain moisture and keep the roots cool
  • Ensure your basil and tomato plants receive full sun each day
  • Prune the tomato plants regularly to improve air circulation

2. Carrots and Onions

Another excellent companion planting mix is carrots and onions, both of which naturally repel each other's pests in the garden. This reduces the need for artificial bug repellants and weed killers, promoting fuller yields and healthy vegetables. Basically, carrots give off a unique scent that attracts carrot flies, whose larvae can damage the roots of your vegetables.

On the other hand, onions have a strong smell that confuses and deters carrot flies, protecting their companion carrots from pests. Similarly, the smell of carrots reduces onion flies that may attack onion plants.

Besides, carrots have deep, thin roots that grow straight into the soil, while onions have shallow roots. Thus, the two plants don't compete for nutrients and grow efficiently even when placed in the same garden bed.

3. Cucumber and Radishes

Regarding what vegetables grow well together, radishes make excellent companions to cucumbers, thanks to their pest-repelling properties. Radishes help keep cucumber beetles at bay — pests that often attack cucumber vines, feeding on their seedlings and flowers. In addition, radish plants break up the soil as they grow, which makes it easier for cucumber roots to spread and access nutrients.

Since they break down compacted soil, radish crops improve drainage and aeration. This helps benefit their neighboring cucumber plants, which necessitate well-drained soil for healthy growth. Radish plants grow quickly and form a dense canopy covering the soil, shading out weed seeds and stopping their seeds from germinating. This means fewer weeding requirements for gardeners like you and more nutrients available to the cucumbers.

4. Beans, Corn and Squash

In native America, planting the three sisters together is the epitome of agricultural traditions, which, when combined, provide more protein and energy than any local crop. Based on a combination of beans, corn, and squash, the three sisters are plants that complement each other's growth like a family, hence the name.

1. Corn

Corn is the tall, sturdy backbone of the three sister's trio. When you plant corn, it grows straight up, creating a natural trellis structure for the beans to climb. Apart from saving space, this vertical growth pattern keeps the beans off the ground, reducing the risk of rot and pests.

2. Beans

Beans are legumes, meaning they're pro at fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil. Since nitrogen is crucial for plant growth, planting beans with crops helps you naturally enrich the soil without opting for synthetic fertilizer.

3. Squash

Squash plants have large, broad leaves that cover the ground. This ground cover works as a living mulch for the trio, retaining soil moisture and reducing surface evaporation. Besides, the dense foliage keeps weeds at bay, which reduces competition and the need for weeding. The squash's prickly vines deter corn and bean pests.

5. Spinach and Strawberries

If you're thinking about growing a vegetable garden, spinach and strawberries are a great pair to go with. Spinach grows low to the ground as a leafy green, forming a dense canopy or ground cover. This helps shade the soil and reduces the possibility of weed growth, which can attract pests.

Plus, spinach produces saponins, a toxic plant-based chemical that repels garden pests, saving your strawberries from insect invasions. You can also add sage to the mix, which masks the sweet smell of strawberries and, in turn, makes it difficult for pests to find them. As the spinach plant grows and decomposes, it also adds nutrients to the soil, providing a healthy base for the strawberry plant to grow.

Tip: To protect your spinach crop from insects and wind, consider adding a row cover to keep young plantings safe.

6. Cabbage and Dill

Still thinking about what vegetables grow well together. Well, cabbage and dill are a perfect example of companion planting, both of which are easygoing vegetables that support each other. Dill has a bold aroma that repels the common cabbage moth and other pests such as aphids, spider mites, and cabbage worms. The grassy scent of dill plants confuses these pests, making it harder for them to spot the cabbage crops.

Dill attracts many beneficial insects, including hoverflies, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps. These insects are natural predators of cabbage pests and protect their neighboring crops from damage or invasions. Also, the large leaves of cabbage help provide shade to dill, which prefers cooler growing conditions and moist soil.

7. Beets and Garlic

Garlic and beets grow well together, thanks to their pest control and soil fertilizing abilities. The garlic plant gives off a strong and pungent smell and naturally repels insects that feed on beets, like beetles, aphids, and some caterpillars. It also keeps moles and gophers away, protecting the beet plant from fungal infections.

To grow garlic and beets together, follow these steps:

  • Plant garlic in the fall and beets in the early spring
  • Sow garlic cloves about 4-6 inches apart in rows
  • Enrich your soil with compost for well-drained, fertile soil


Understanding which vegetables grow well together is the key to a healthy, productive garden. Regarding the benefit of companion planting, gardeners can experience improved soil health and crop quality in their gardens. Companion planting also helps control pests and boost the well-being of your favorite vegetables. So, pairing plants that support each other, you can build a resilient and nutrient-rich garden in no time.

Consider DripWorks for all your gardening needs. From row covers to landscape fabric and drip irrigation sprinklers, DripWorks has everything you need for a successful companion-planting garden.