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Companion Planting with Herbs

May 21, 2024
Written by The Eising Team

Growing herbs can be oh so satisfying because they’re low-maintenance and provide abundant flavours. But did you know that they can also be greatly beneficial companions to many other plants in your garden?

Companion planting is a practice that organic gardeners have been utilizing for generations. It combines vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs grown together as part of a supportive ecosystem. More recently, scientific terms like intercropping, interplanting and polyculture have been introduced but it all describes a practice of growing multiple types of plants that support each other in building a healthy garden culture. Growing certain plants together also makes them more resilient and resistant to pests. 

Why Plant Herbs?

Herbs are great supports for many other plants including other herbs, vegetables, and fruit. They can improve the flavour of neighbouring plants, discourage unwanted pests, and attract beneficial insects. The following is a compilation of some favourite herbs to include in the garden.

Basil

Tomatoes love Basil, which is said to improve their flavour and it will also benefit asparagus, beets, carrots, turnips, peppers and oregano. 

Aphids, mites, mosquitoes, flies, thrips, asparagus beetles, and moths that lay tomato hornworms are some of the pests that Basil potentially repels. It also attracts bees to improve pollination of nearby plants.

Mint

Mint is a great companion for beets, eggplant, lettuce, peas, squash, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and most other vegetable plants and herbs. This refreshing green repels a host of pests as well. Ants, mosquitos, spider mites, aphids and other insects steer clear of mint. Placing fresh mint on a hummingbird feeder will also deter wasps. At the same time, mint attracts many beneficial insects like ladybugs and hoverflies. 

Keep mint in it’s own pot though or it will spread through the garden quickly!


Sage

Keep Sage near your carrots and cabbage to discourage carrot flies and cabbage moths. Sage and Rosemary make great companions in the garden.

Rosemary

Brassicas like cabbage, kale, cauliflower and broccoli, as well as carrots, peppers, beans and sage are said to appreciate a Rosemary plant nearby. 

This tasty herb can ward off a variety of pests like mosquitos, cabbage moths, slugs and snails.

Cilantro

Aphids and spider mites don’t like cilantro but dill and spinach do!

Dill

One of the benefits of dill is that it attracts many beneficial insects like hoverflies, bees and parasitic wasps. This herb also draws the attention of ladybugs which eat pests like aphids and spidermites. Dill repels cabbage loopers as well. 

Cucumbers, onions, corn and brassicas like cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli will benefit from dill near them but keep it away from cilantro and carrot so it doesn’t cross polinate with them. Tomatoes and dill don’t do well together either.

Save Some Space

Even if certain herbs don’t appeal to your taste buds, it’s worth including them in the garden for all of their neighbourly qualities. If you haven’t tried companion planting before, consider tucking an herb or two into your garden this season!

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