Can’t We All Just Get Along? No: Frenemies in Companion Planting

girlfightNot all companion plantings get along.  While you can plant strawberries and onions together, and strawberries and beans together, you can’t plant beans and onions together.  Its like the best friend triangle back in school:  Jenny and Sally are BFFs and Sally and Amanda are BFFs, but Amanda and Jenny hate each other, and refuse to be in the same room together (as if!) and so Sally is constantly juggling to make it work with both of them.  While we all know that Amanda and Jenny just need to get over it already, and if not, then Sally needs to dump their sorry selves and find new BFFs, it doesn’t always happen, and the antagonism and cat fights over Sally will continue.  So it is with companion plantings – except some will never, ever get over it or get along.

When you are deciding where to plant your veggies, here are some relationships that will not work:

Vegetable Haters Why?
Beans (bush) onions, garlic, or chives see, onion
Beans (pole) onions, beets, kohlrabi and cabbage they don’t grow very well when grown together; see, onion
Beets Pole beans they stunt each other’s growth
Cabbage family Strawberries, tomatoes and pole beans the cabbage family plants will have their growth impaired by strawberry plants close by.  The major members of the cabbage family include: broccoli, broccoflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, and Romanesco broccoli
Carrots Dill carrots won’t grow very well; dill and carrots are in the same family
Chives Peas and beans see, onion
Cucumbers Potatoes, aromatic herbs the root of the potato plant releases substances that negatively affect the growth of cucumber plants.
Onions and Garlic Peas and beans while beans associate with bacteria to fix nitrogen in the soil, members of the onion family produce and exude an antibacterial substance. This kills the bacteria on the roots of the beans and stops the nitrogen-fixing action. For this reason, beans should never be planted close to onions, garlic, leeks, chives or other members of the onion family
Peas Onions, garlic, potatoes and chives see, onion
Potatoes Pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, sunflowers, tomatoes and raspberries the other plants tend to increase blight in potatoes
Pumpkins Potatoes tends to increase blight in potatoes
Squash Potatoes tends to increase blight in potatoes
Strawberries Cabbage the cabbage family plants will have their growth impaired by strawberry plants close by.  The major members of the cabbage family include: broccoli, broccoflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, and Romanesco broccoli.  Also tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers are susceptible to verticillium. If these plants have been grown in the same spot recently (within 5 years), it is best to grow your strawberry plants elsewhere.  Otherwise, the strawberry plants may be infected and die themselves
Sunflowers Potatoes tends to increase blight in potatoes
Tomatoes Kohlrabi, potatoes, fennel and cabbage these crops stunt/inhibit tomato growth

 

Note: This doesn’t mean that you can’t have the frenemy plants in your garden, only that you have to plant them away from the plants that they don’t get along with.