Extension | Companion Planting (2024)

Extension | Companion Planting (1)

Like people, some plants thrive surrounded by others. Companion planting is the practice of growing several types of crops near one another to enhance crop production. In general, plants with known positive relationships should be planted within two or three rows of each other. Plants that have negative or detrimental relationships, should be planted at least two to three rows apart. Infestation of pests or disease can occur more quickly if you plant all the same crop close together. Planting fruits and vegetables with flowers, herbs, or other vegetables can provide several valuable natural resources to your garden.

Utilizing companion planting is not only beneficial for your plants, but also helps maximize your space. Using different types of plants can help deter harmful insects, provide support for crops, offer shade to smaller plants, provide weed suppression, attract beneficial insects, as well as increase your overall soil health.

One of the most popular companion plantings is “The Three Sisters Garden,” which includes corn, beans and squash. Taller plants, such as corn, can provide a natural support trellis and shelter for beans, peas and other climbing crops. In return, beans and peas provide nitrogen to the soil for the corn and squash plants. Squash and pumpkin leaves shade the smaller bean and pea plants that need sun protection and provide weed suppression.

When planning your garden, you need to consider where you plant crops that may be in competition with one another. For instance, onions and beans should not be interplanted since onion plants stunt the growth of beans.

Soil Health Benefits

Companion planting allows you to tap into the benefits of having different root systems throughout your garden. Plants with taproots, such as carrots or radishes, can help alleviate soil compaction issues. Deep rooted crops like asparagus or watermelon can pull nutrients and water from deeper in the soil profile.

Saving Space

Interplanting, the practice of planting different crops between one another, works especially well to maximize space and improve productivity in small gardens. Maturity rate, nutrient requirements and size are important factors to consider when deciding what crops to interplant.

Interplant smaller cool season plants, such as spinach, beets, or lettuce, in between larger, slow-growing vegetables such as tomatoes or peppers. Once the smaller crops mature, the larger plants canopy will offer shade.

Companion planting can also be utilized in large container gardening to maximize space and crop yield. Consider planting a pizza gardenor salad garden,which could includetomato, pepper, lettuce, oregano and/or basil plants all in the same large container.

Insect Management

The scents and bright colors of herbs and flowers repel and confuse harmful pests and can attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Trap cropping is the practice of planting something between the main crop to attract harmful insects to it instead, therefore saving your main crop. This practice, along with adding bright colors, can also be utilized to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Plant Friend or Foe?



Do NOT plant next to


Tomato, basil, parsley


Most vegetables and herbs

Onion, garlic, gladiolus

Cabbage family

(Cauliflower, kale, broccoli)

Sage, dill, beets, peppermint, rosemary, corn, onion family, chard, spinach, sunflowers, nasturtiums

Dill, fennel, strawberries, pole beans, tomatoes


Corn, sunflowers



Onion andcabbage families, tomatoes, bush beans, nasturtiums


Irish potatoes, beans, English peas, pumpkins, cucumber, squash



Beans, corn, English peas, sunflowers, radishes, cabbage family

Irish potatoes, aromatic herbs


Beans, marigolds



Carrot, radish, strawberries, cucumber, onions

Onion family

Beets, carrot, lettuce, cabbage family, tomatoes, strawberries, Summer Savory tomato, asparagus

Beans, English peas

Potato, Irish

Beans, corn, cabbage family, marigolds, horseradish, peas

Pumpkin, squash, tomatoes, cucumber, sunflowers, raspberries




Nasturtium, corn, radishes, marigolds


Bush beans, spinach, borage, lettuce (as a boarder)



Herbs, such as parsley, dill, and basil

Irish potatoes, fennel, cabbage family

Companion planting is not an exact science, and successful companion plantings can vary in different areas. However, companion planting charts can offer a good starting point. Record observations and the results of your plant combinations from year to year of successful and failed companion plantings. Sharing your results can provide education and assistance to other gardeners! You can also contact your local WVU Extension office for suggestions on other companion crops.


Hoidal, N. (2021, February 25). Companion planting and trap cropping vegetables. UMN Extension. https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden-news/companion-planting-and-trap-cropping-vegetables.

Jeavons, J. (n.d.). Companion Planting Chart. https://extension.wvu.edu/files/d/0b887573-5fcf-4d17-a47f-6de7465ad0a8/berkeley-horticulture-companion-planting-chart.pdf.

Authors: Natasha Harris, former WVU Extension Agent, andJesica Streets, former WVU Extension Agent

Last Reviewed: March 2022

Extension | Companion Planting (2024)


Which vegetables should be planted next to each other? ›

Which Vegetables Grow Well Together?
VegetableCompanion PlantDon't Plant Together
MelonsCorn, pumpkin, radish, squashNone
OnionsBeets, carrots, Swiss chard, lettuce, peppersAll beans and peas
PeasBeans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, radish, turnipGarlic, onions
PotatoesBeans, corn, peasTomatoes
11 more rows
Jun 26, 2021

What veggies should not be planted together? ›

14 Vegetables You Should Never Plant Together—Gardening Experts Explain Why
  1. 01 of 14. Beans and Onions. ...
  2. 02 of 14. Tomatoes and Potatoes. ...
  3. 03 of 14. Corn and Tomatoes. ...
  4. 04 of 14. Tomatoes and Brassicas. ...
  5. 05 of 14. Cucumber and Squash. ...
  6. 06 of 14. Lettuce and Celery. ...
  7. 07 of 14. Fennel and Tomatoes. ...
  8. 08 of 14. Peppers and Cabbage.
Jan 16, 2024

What does companion planting look like? ›

Companion planting is when two plants are grown near each other to benefit one of those plants or both–so the benefit can be one way or mutual. This is a tried-and-tested way to reduce pests, attract pollinators, and boost growth!

What not to plant with marigolds? ›

Marigold companion planting enhances the growth of basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, kale, potatoes, squash and tomatoes. Marigold also makes a good companion plant to melons because it deters beetles. Beans and cabbage are listed as bad companion plants for marigolds.

What 3 vegetables grow well together? ›

Companion Planting Chart
Type of VegetableFriends
CabbageBeets, celery, chard, lettuce, spinach, onions
CarrotsBeans, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, tomatoes
CornClimbing beans, cucumber, marjoram, peas, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, zucchini
OnionsCabbage, carrots, chard, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes
12 more rows

What not to plant next to peppers? ›

Brassicas: Almanacs and home gardeners recommend avoiding planting brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, cauliflower) near peppers because they require different soil acidity levels and can deter pepper plant growth.

What can you not plant near zucchini? ›

Potatoes can also spread diseases such as late blight, which can also affect zucchinis. Cucumbers and pumpkins should not be planted next to zucchinis as they belong to the same family (Cucurbitaceae) and therefore attract similar pests and diseases.

Can you plant tomatoes and peppers together? ›

The reality is that because the two have similar growth requirements, they can in fact be grown quite successfully together. Diseases common to both tomato and pepper include Verticillium wilt and bacterial spot.

What is a good layout for a vegetable garden? ›

As a general rule, put tall veggies toward the back of the bed, mid-sized ones in the middle, and smaller plants in the front or as a border. Consider adding pollinator plants to attract beneficial insects that can not only help you get a better harvest, but will also prey on garden pests.

What is the rule of three companion planting? ›

The tradition of the three sisters

One of the most well-known examples of companion planting is that of the "Three Sisters" method, used widely by Native American farming societies. Corn, pole beans, and squash are together for the mutual benefit of all three.

What plants grow well together chart? ›

Vegetable Companion Planting Chart
Beets Broccoli Cabbage Carrots Lettuce Peppers Potatoes Spinach TomatoesBeans Peas Sage
Beans Broccoli Cabbage Corn Eggplant Garlic Kale Lettuce Onions Peas RadishesCucumbers Melons Squash Sunflowers Tomatoes Turnips
16 more rows

What not to plant near cucumbers? ›

Plants to Avoid Planting Near Cucumbers
  • Potatoes, as they are both susceptible to fungal disease blight.
  • Aromatic herb plants like sage and basil as these can inhibit growth of cucumbers.
  • Melons - they are both the same family so susceptible to the same pests increasing the chances of a pest wipeout. .

What animals hate marigolds? ›

Marigolds – The marigold is probably the most well-known plant for repelling insects. French marigolds repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes. Mexican marigolds are said to offend a host of destructive insects and wild rabbits as well.

What destroys marigolds? ›

Snails and slugs eat irregular holes in marigold leaves and chew new flower buds before they open. They feed at night and affect the marigold plants at all stages of development. Slug injury is sometimes difficult to diagnose because slugs hide during the day.

What are the best 3 plants to grow together? ›

The crops of corn, beans, and squash are known as the Three Sisters. For centuries these three crops have been the center of Native American agriculture and culinary traditions. It is for good reason as these three crops complement each other in the garden as well as nutritionally.

Can peppers and tomatoes be planted together? ›

The reality is that because the two have similar growth requirements, they can in fact be grown quite successfully together. Diseases common to both tomato and pepper include Verticillium wilt and bacterial spot.

Can tomatoes and cucumbers be planted together? ›

Tomatoes and cucumbers can be grown together successfully, and there are actually some benefits to planting them together. Both plants have similar growing needs when it comes to sunlight, soil conditions, and watering. And if space is at a premium, interplanting the two will allow you to get more out of your garden.

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