Cultivating Harmony: The Benefits of Companion Planting

There is a hidden harmony in the world of plants that is the secret to gardening success.

With strategic cultivation, gardeners who understand the symbiotic relationships between plants are able to transform ordinary gardens into thriving ecosystems.

This is the time-honored practice of companion planting, offering myriad science-backed benefits that go beyond mere crop placement. Let’s delve into its remarkable effects on garden health and productivity, and how you can turn your backyard into a thriving oasis, too! 

The benefits of companion gardening includes the Three Sisters | Vego Garden

The "Three Sisters" companion plants include beans, squash and corn

Companion planting is not new and has been practiced for centuries around the world. Essentially, companion planting is the strategic placing of plants together to maximize their growth potential, enhance flavor, and deter pests.

When paired strategically, each plant variety will bring a unique talent to the table. Some provide shade or support, while others improve soil health or help keep pests at bay. When done well, companion planting also promotes biodiversity and reduces the need for pesticides and fertilizers.

A well-known and time-proven example of companion planting is the “Three Sisters” method: where beans, corn, and squash are planted together. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil and improve plant growth, corn provides a structure for the beans to climb, while the broad leaves of squashes help to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture.

Perks for your garden 

Companion planting enhances soil health and helps maximize the potential of veggies planted together. Legumes like peas and beans are particularly beneficial when paired with other plants, as they fix nitrogen in the soil and enriches it for companion plants, reducing reliance on chemical fertilizers.

The benefits of companion planting includes sunflowers | Vego Garden

Taller plants like sunflowers are able to detoxify soil

Taller plants can help provide shade for their sun-sensitive neighbors when planted together, while stronger plants can lend support to climbing varieties. and improve its quality by extracting heavy metals from it. 

Another key benefit of companion planting is pest control. By simply interplanting your crops, you can naturally deter pests and make it harder for them to harm your crops. For example, planting marigolds with your tomatoes can help repel nematodes, while including some aromatic herbs like mint or basil can keep pests like aphids at bay.

Companion gardens may include wormwood | Vego Garden

Wormwood can be planted among cabbage to fend off cabbage moths

Additionally, some plants produce compounds that act as insect repellents, effectively protecting their neighbors from garden pests. 

Growing your garden plants together can also improve their flavor and yield. Some plant varieties can bring out the best in each other when grown together, enhancing the other’s natural taste. Planting tomatoes with your carrots for example, can result in better tasting tomatoes.

Here are a few more tried-and-true plant pairings that can help you maximize your garden’s growth. 

Beneficial pairings

Benefits of companion gardening include planting marigolds and tomatoes | Vego Garden

Marigolds are the protectors of tomatoes and other garden plants, keeping pests like nematodes, spider mites and whiteflies away

Corn and beans: Corn and beans might seem like an odd pairing at first, but they are in fact great companions in the garden. Beans improve and enrich the soil, fixing nitrogen while corn offers support for beans to climb. The roots of the beans also help stabilize corn stalks, making them more resistant to wind damage. 

Nasturtiums and cabbage: When planted together, nasturtiums act as a decoy and trap crop for pests like cabbage moths, which are then drawn to the nasturtiums instead of your cabbages. Nasturtiums also help to keep pests like whiteflies and aphids at bay. Together, this is indeed a strategic partnership that benefits both. 

Marigolds and tomatoes: Marigolds are the protectors of tomatoes and other garden plants, keeping pests like nematodes, spider mites and whiteflies away. The strong pungent scent of these vibrant flowers are natural insect deterrents, and also confuses pests searching for their host plants.

Final thoughts

By understanding and harnessing the symbiotic relationships between your plants, you can build a garden that is not only more productive but also balanced and sustainable.

Companion planting is one of the secret tools that gardeners can take advantage of without taking the conventional route, to cultivate harmony in their gardens and beyond. 


  • Della

    Very very helpful. Many thanks!

  • De Vonna Simpson

    Very informative. Thanks.

Leave a comment