Grow Better Veg with Companion Planting

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Companion Planting - Courgette growing with calendula and borage.

Companion Planting – Courgette growing with calendula and borage.

Companion planting. Like us, plants have friends, and like us, they have are some they like more than others. For example, my potatoes love hanging out with horseradish but put the squashes right off their game.

Companion planting

Companion planting

We’ve known about companion planting for a while, and in the greenhouse, we take care to grow French Marigolds alongside the tomatoes. As well as looking very pretty, these attract the hoverflies, which much on aphids and other pests. Basil likes to be there too, but at a distance and prefers to stay in its pots.

Tomatoes and Marigolds. Companion Planting in the Greenhouse

Tomatoes and Marigolds. Companion Planting in the Greenhouse

We find it useful to start a few trays of calendulas, French marigold and nasturtiums off in the early spring, to pop in alongside beans, or in pots. Our courgettes are loving the companionship of borage and nasturtiums and are just coming into that prolific stage where you are scratching your head in the kitchen for some new inspiration with courgette recipes. The borage self-seeds from the year before – although strictly an annual, once you have borage in the garden, it won’t leave you.




Herb Society UK Companion Planting Poster

Herb Society UK Companion Planting Poster

We follow the Herb Society UK on both Facebook and Instagram, and this year bought a very useful poster from them, which is pinned to the back of the potting shed door. It gives a long list of plants, their companions, and antagonists.

I’d been wondering why, out of six squashes planted, two had yellowing leaves and were failing to thrive….the answer may well be that potatoes are antagonists to squashes. It will be interesting to see if they pick up once the potatoes have been dug up. We could move them, but where to? The garden is full to bursting. We may well pop a borage plant in there, as I see from my poster that borage is a good companion plant to squash – goodness knows, the borage is doing really well, providing masses of edible blue flowers as well as material to go in the dustbin for making organic comfrey feed. 

The onions are about to be lifted, and I see from our chart that carrots and beetroot both like onions, so it seems a good idea to pop in a few rows of late carrots and beetroot once they’ve been dug up. Although I’ll have to sneak in the beetroot – Tim thinks it’s the food of the devil – I disagree!

Next year, I’m looking forward to trialling the Three Sisters method of planting squash, beans and sweetcorn together – though whether there will be enough sun for sweetcorn in Northumberland remains to be seen.

I had a quick look on the internet for useful links and companion planting charts and have found a few, which I hope will be helpful to you.

Here are the links:


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Tim & Sue in the Bridge Cottage Way garden

Thanks for reading. Best wishes, Tim and Sue Reed

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