You may be familiar with the concept of companion plants if you’ve ever heard the Native American tale of the “Three Sisters”. The three sisters symbolize the practice of growing corn, beans, and squash together, which helps each of them produce their best. Some companion plants help prevent disease, ward off bugs, and even help enhance the flavor of the main crop.
Each companion plant works best with a specific plant – one size (or plant) does not fit all. There are several resources available online for plant pairings, so if you’ve got a certain crop in mind, do be mindful that there are a variety of companion plants and choose one that will work well with the other seeds you’re planting.
Some widely known companion plants are marigolds. Grown next to tomatoes, they keep bugs away and help the tomatoes reach their fullest flavor. Chives and leaf lettuce also help tomatoes, with the leaf lettuce acting as a sort of mulch for the tomato plant.
Tomatoes, in turn, help when growing asparagus, as it shields the asparagus from the sun and helps keep weeds from going in their space. Other plants and vegetables to consider are carrots, garlic, calendula, and mint. If you’re curious and want to learn more, Gardening Soul has an expanded list of companion plants and their uses.