Ideas For A Thriving Backyard


With their aromatic leaves, small dimension, and low upkeep wants, culinary herbs are a number of the finest companion vegetation for flowers and greens. Not solely do herb companion vegetation repel backyard pests and increase the expansion of neighboring veggies, however companion planting with herbs can be useful for suppressing weeds and attracting useful bugs. Plus, herbs are straightforward to slide into container gardens – a particular boon for city gardeners and anybody in search of methods to develop extra edible crops in a small house!

Learn to use herb companion planting to your benefit in a container or vegetable backyard, and uncover some wonderful companion plant pairings within the suggestions beneath.

Companion Crops For Herbs

Herbs are growing outdoors in a garden, they are in growing pots, in the background is a boulder and desert plants.
Parsley vegetation & lemon thyme (a creeper) make nice companions.

What Is Companion Planting?

Natural gardeners have been utilizing companion planting for generations for pure pest management and different perks. The idea behind companion planting is easy: some backyard vegetation naturally complement one another’s development, and planting these companions collectively makes gardens develop higher.

Many flower and vegetable vegetation can be utilized as plant companions, however herbs are particularly good candidates for companion planting since they provide quite a few advantages to their neighbors.

Advantages Of Companion Planting

The most typical motive gardeners use companion planting is for pest management. Some strongly scented vegetation naturally repel undesirable pests, like Japanese beetles, carrot root flies, white cabbage moths, and the bean beetle. Different vegetation entice predatory bugs, like hoverflies and ladybugs, that feed on plant pests.

Nonetheless, there are various advantages of companion planting past pest management, together with:

  • Fewer weeds. Low-growing vegetation, like creeping thyme, are sometimes used as pure groundcovers to scale back weeds and lock in soil moisture ranges.
  • Improved plant development. Legumes, like beans and peas, naturally enhance soils and increase the expansion of different vegetation.
  • Area financial savings. Tall vegetation, like corn, perform as pure trellises for vining beans, whereas small herbs might be planted on the base of taller crops to fill in empty house.

Companion Planting Fundamentals

When selecting companion vegetation, it’s at all times a good suggestion to analysis the rising wants of the vegetation you’d prefer to develop. Though many herbs, flowers, and veggies might be planted collectively, vegetation with very totally different care wants gained’t make nice plant companions within the backyard.

As an example, Mediterranean herbs love well-draining, sandy earth, in order that they aren’t good companion vegetation for veggies that crave moist soil!

For finest outcomes, choose vegetation with the identical primary gentle and water wants and decide whether or not vining vegetation want trellising. As a basic rule of thumb, gentle feeding vegetation might be grown collectively, however heavy feeding vegetation, like tomatoes and potatoes, ought to be evaded different heavy feeders.

You’ll additionally wish to analysis whether or not vegetation are annuals or perennials, as planting perennial herbs in a backyard mattress stuffed with annual greens could make tilling and mulching a bit of difficult.

When you’ve settled on the varieties of vegetation you’re considering rising, double-check that your backyard has sufficient house to accommodate your plant picks. Good airflow is important for wholesome plant development and for stopping points like powdery mildew. Many herbs develop superbly in small, 6” pots, however you will have more room if you wish to develop a number of herb and vegetable vegetation collectively!

Fundamentals of Herb Gardening

Most herbs are full solar vegetation, which implies they want not less than 6 to eight hours of vivid gentle each day. Nonetheless, dill, cilantro and some different tender-stemmed herbs will develop higher in scorching climates with gentle afternoon shade.

Tender-stemmed herbs want common watering, whereas herbs with woody stems, like lavender and oregano, choose to develop in well-drained soil with much less moisture. Usually, herbs are gentle feeders that don’t want a lot fertilizer however can profit from a month-to-month dose of diluted, liquid natural fertilizer in the course of the rising season.

For much more planting choices, most potted herbs might be grown indoors with a develop gentle and harvested yr spherical!

Are you new to herb gardening? Our newbie’s information to herb gardening might be a useful resource for you.

A mint plant grows outdoors in a sunny garden, it is in bloom.
Mint is a superb companion plant, however it may unfold & can change into invasive. It’s finest to develop it in a big pot.

Companion Crops For In style Herbs 

Basil 

Basil is a flexible herb that companions effectively with most veggies and tender-stemmed herbs, nevertheless it’s a very good match for tomato vegetation! When planted with tomatoes, basil repels pests like tomato hornworms, whereas taller tomatoes return the favor by shielding basil leaves from sunburn.

Oregano

Since most pests keep away from oregano’s sturdy aroma, oregano is an efficient plant to develop for basic pest safety. Oregano is particularly good for controlling cucumber beetles on melons, pumpkins, and different members of the Cucurbit plant household.

Thyme

Whereas thyme can be utilized for pest management, it’s additionally a unbelievable plant for weed prevention. Strive rising creeping thyme as a low upkeep groundcover or plant widespread thyme or lemon thyme close to Brassicas to repel cabbage worms! 

Chives

Chives and different vegetation within the Allium household are well-known for his or her sturdy scent, which deters a variety of pests. Develop chives as border vegetation round your backyard to maintain deer and rabbits from looking in veggie beds, or pair chives with carrots to discourage carrot flies. If you happen to preserve roses, plant chives close by to stop black spot.

Parsley

Parsley can be utilized as a companion plant for a lot of greens, nevertheless it’s usually paired with asparagus for asparagus beetle management. If you wish to use parsley to draw hoverflies and different useful bugs, let a few of your parsley vegetation flower!

Mint

Aphids, flea beetles, and cabbage loopers keep away from mint vegetation, making mint an amazing companion plant for tomatoes and Brassicas. However you might wish to develop mint in its personal pot close to your backyard to maintain mints from rising aggressively.

Dill

Dill flowers entice useful bugs, like hoverflies and parasitic wasps. Hold pests at bay by planting this annual herb close to Cucurbits, Brassicas, lettuce, and candy corn, and don’t pull up your dill vegetation once they begin to bolt!

Sage

Sage acts as a pure insect repellant for flea beetles, cabbage loopers, and carrot flies that concentrate on Brassicas and root veggies. Simply bear in mind to plant sage in a spot the place it gained’t overshadow smaller vegetation — sage is a perennial that grows fairly massive.

Cilantro

Cilantro flowers are extremely engaging to predatory wasps that feed on pests like spider mites and cabbage loopers. Take full benefit of cilantro’s pest stopping properties by rising this herb close to vegetation that entice pest caterpillars, like tomatoes, spinach, and Brassicas.

Rosemary

Beans, Brussels sprouts, and different Brassicas all profit from rosemary’s capacity to repel pests. Nonetheless, as a result of rosemary vegetation aren’t cold-hardy, you might wish to develop this herb in a pot and produce it indoors within the winter.

Right here’s a listing of companion vegetation for rosemary, in addition to a information to pruning oregano.

Frequent Errors & How To Keep away from Them

Though most herbs develop effectively with greens and different herbs, there are a number of exceptions. Rising chives close to beans and peas can intervene with legumes’ nitrogen-fixing properties. Dill and carrots additionally don’t get alongside as these two vegetation are intently associated and entice the identical pests.

Other than incompatibility points, it’s additionally essential to keep in mind that woody-stemmed herbs can develop root rot in the event that they’re stored in overly moist soil. If you wish to develop these vegetation close to water-loving herbs and veggies, separating them into totally different pots or beds could also be sensible.

To keep away from points with overcrowding, at all times learn plant labels and seed bundle directions and observe the advisable spacing tips. Rising too many vegetation collectively in a small house can have an effect on their total well being and result in mildew points or stunted plant development.

We’ve assembled a information with herb backyard necessities and the instruments to develop herbs.

Seasonal Ideas & Upkeep

Harvesting herbs all through the rising season makes vegetation extra productive, however it’s also possible to prune vegetation in the event that they want reshaping. Reduce stems to a leaf node to encourage branching, however don’t minimize woody-stemmed herbs again into their woody sections, and by no means take away greater than 1/3 of the plant’s leaves without delay.

Other than pruning and harvesting, herbs have to be watered usually and will profit from fertilizer in spring and summer time. Chilly hardy perennial herbs might be left exterior in the course of the winter, however mulching over the soil to guard their root methods is normally sensible.

Warmth-loving herbs, like rosemary, might be grown as annuals or overwintered indoors in pots, whereas true annual herbs, like dill, should be planted yearly except vegetation are allowed to self-sow.

Quick on house? This information to rising herbs in raised beds will provide help to out.

Freshly pruned oregano sits atop a kitchen counter next to tomatoes.
Oregano & tomatoes are best to plant in a pizza backyard!

Companion Planting For Herbs In Pots

Utilizing herbs as companion vegetation in container gardens is a brilliant approach to squeeze extra vegetation right into a small house. To not point out, you should utilize these tasty herb leaves so as to add taste to the greens you develop in your container backyard!

Be sure that to maintain your potted vegetation in an space that receives not less than 6 to eight hours of vivid gentle, and select an appropriately sized pot to suit the vegetation you’d prefer to develop. Whereas a single basil plant can slot in a 6” container, if you wish to develop basil with tomatoes or one other vegetable plant, bigger 5 to 10-gallon develop luggage are normally a greater possibility.

Guarantee that any container you utilize has drainage holes within the base, after which fill it up with well-draining soil meant for container gardens.

If you happen to’d prefer to develop herbs and greens collectively in a single pot, check out a few of these plant combos:

  • Tomatoes with basil 
  • Bush cucumbers with dill 
  • Bush beans or bush peas with rosemary

Fascinated by rising your individual? Study rising herbs for a tea backyard, plus rising 22 herbs for cooking.

FAQ’s Companion Crops For Herbs

What do you have to not plant close to herbs?

Sprawling vegetation like pumpkins rapidly drown out smaller herb vegetation. Nonetheless, you could possibly develop these spreading vegetation with herbs in the event you select small pumpkin varieties and practice their vines to develop on trellises.

Are there any herbs that shouldn’t be blended collectively?

Woody-stemmed herbs and tender-stemmed herbs usually don’t combine within the backyard as they’ve totally different soil moisture wants.

What herbs develop effectively subsequent to tomatoes?

Basil is without doubt one of the finest companions for tomatoes, however it’s also possible to strive companion planting herbs like chives, parsley, dill, and oregano close by for a bountiful harvest of tomatoes!

Conclusion

Fragrant herbs make best companions for different herbs, greens and flowers, however they can be used to taste your homegrown veggies when harvest season arrives. For much more planting inspiration, contemplate planning out a salad, salsa, or pizza backyard, full with all of the greens and herbs you take pleasure in utilizing in your recipes. 

Hold some oregano in your pizza backyard to enrich the style of the tomatoes you develop, or plant cilantro in your salsa backyard to boost these homegrown onions, peppers, and tomatoes. The suitable companion vegetation not solely make gardens develop higher, however in addition they turn out to be useful within the kitchen! 

Glad gardening,

-Lauren

Lauren Landers is a Grasp Gardener and gardening author dwelling in Maine. After working a small natural farm in New England for a number of years, Lauren transitioned to freelance writing and loves serving to others uncover the great thing about natural and pollinator gardening!

This publish might comprise affiliate hyperlinks, you may learn our insurance policies right here.

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