Companion Planting

Is there somebody in your life that helps you grow stronger and healthier every day?  Just like people, plants have companions (close friends) that help them grow when they are planted together. 

Companion crops (plants we grow to eat) grow well together.  Companion crops do not compete (fight with) each other for sun light or nutrients (vitamins and minerals in the ground).  Some companion plants even help each other by attracting pollinators, adding nutrients, or keeping away pests (insects, animals or diseases we don’t want in the garden.) 

But just like people, some plants work together better than others— and there are even some that just don’t get along!  By putting the right plant with the right companion plants, you can ensure healthier, happier, and more productive plants throughout the growing season.  

Here is a great list of common vegetable companion plants from the AfriStar Foundation that you can use to plan your companion plantings for Spring. Don’t forget to check the seed packet to make sure you are planting your crops at the correct spacing (distance apart from each other) for sunlight and nutrients– after all, even the best of friends need their space 🙂


Here is a list of Rival plants listed in the Old Farmer’s Almanac: These are really great vegetables, but for some reason they just don’t get along with each other and should not be planted together:

Garlic and onions vs beans and peas

Sunflowers vs potatoes

Cabbage vs cauliflower

Corn vs Tomatoes

Carrots vs Dill and Parsley

Cucumber vs Melons


Some companion plants can protect crops (plants you grow for food) and keep them safe from diseases (getting sick) and pests (insects and animals you don’t want).


Other companion plants attract beneficial insects that help the plants, such as butterflies, bees, and other pollinators (insects that fertilize flowers to make fruit).

Some Examples of pollinator plants native (originally from) New York State are:

Bee Balm (Oswego Tea)Mountain MintButterfly WeedGoldenrod

To learn more about garden planning, please register for our Free Gardening 101 Workshop at!