Round Table Farm

Donkeys, Goats, Books and Chickens

Companion Planting: Beginners’ Luck

Hopefully by late summer I will have some companion veggies from my own garden to pose with this book.

Our garden is one big experiment. Each year we try something new in the design and we also plant something we haven’t planted before. For the past 2 years, we have used this little book Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte. Of course, it doesn’t have everything about companion planting, but it has more than enough to get us started. What is companion planting? In short, plants don’t like to be lonely and are not evolved to exist in a monoculture. For instance, a field of tomatoes and only tomatoes will not fair as well as tomatoes planted with carrots, onions, and basil. In the wild, you find plants cohabitating with preferred species – such as corns, beans, and squash are all good neighbors.

Last year was our first attempt at this, but it was more of a fumble throughout the year. This year, we did more research on line, planned a bit more, gave ourselves more time to plant, and used labels (feel free to snicker). Planting a row of tomatoes is not so very difficult. Going back and sewing seeds of onion, basil, and carrot in-between the tomatoes is time consuming. But we took the time to do this because we expect all 4 veggies will benefit in some way.

We planted eggplant this year and we read that the green bean stage of any bean is helpful to the eggplant, as it deters a  certain beetle that chews on eggplant leaves. Did you know that the corn worm and tomato worm are the same? So, it is best for both corn and tomato that they are not planted side by side. Many veggies do not like sunflowers, which we planted around 2 edges of the garden last year and volunteers are sprouting up everywhere this year.

This is our first year for planting marigolds and zinnias to help with pest control – they attract certain bugs to them and repel other bugs from the garden. We also learned a little about companion planting for fruit trees – many of which benefit from planting garlic at their base.


  1. Planting gardens is always an experiment. And there is no way to control some of the variables, like weather. So you will always have wonderful surprises!

    • This is one of the things I am really enjoying about the garden, year after year. we always plant at least 1 thing we haven’t planted before. This year it is melon, asparagus, and fenugreek.

  2. I love stuff like this, it’s my favorite kind of science, the way everything interacts with everything else. Your farm might do just find without this kind of knowledge, but the more knowledge you have about which plants are friendly with other plants, the better your harvest will be!

    I smush as many planters on my little apartment balcony as i can – tomato, beans, zucchini (zucchini on a balcony? are you crazy? yes, yes I am), herbs. Last year we had a tough time getting bees to polinate stuff, so this time i made sure get some flowering plants as well that hopefully will attract some bees.


  1. The Harvest 2012 « Round Table Farm

Got a comment? Put it HERE.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: