Monday, May 4, 2009

Organic Vegetable Gardening - Friends and Foes

Organic Vegetable Gardening - Friends and Foes

My last post talked about plant families, which is a great way to start your planting, but once you understand basic families, there are families that like to be neighbors and even thrive around each other. Learning which plants are friends and which plants are foes is the way to take your garden planting to the next level.

The other benefit is that in organic gardening you want to produce a natural environment where your plants thrive and are strongest against insects and disease, putting them with other plants that help their growth is one way to achieve this.

So here is a list of the Friends and Foes:

Plants-----------Friends--------------Foes

Asparagus
FRIEND---basil, nasturtium, parsley, tomato
FOE------garlic, onion

Bush Bean
FRIEND---beet, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chard, corn cucumber, eggplant, leek, marigold, parsnip, pea, potato, radish, rosemary, strawberry, sunflower
FOE-----Basil, fennel, kohlrabi, onion family

Pole Bean
FRIEND---carrot, cauliflower, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, marigold, pea, potato, rosemary, strawberry
FOE-----basil, beet, cabbage, fennel, kohlrabi, onion family, radish, sunflower

Beet
FRIEND---bush bean, cabbage family, corn, leek, lettuce, lima bean, onion, radish
FOE-------mustard, pole bean

Broccoli
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, chard, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, onion family, oregano, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, tomato
FOE-------pole bean, lima bean, snap bean, strawberry

Brussels Sprout
FRIEND ---beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion family, pea potato, radish, spinach, tomato
FOE--------kohlrabi, pole bean, strawberry

Cabbage
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce mint, nasturtium, onion family, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, thyme, tomato
FOE-------pole bean, strawberry

Cantaloupe
FRIEND---corn
FOE-------potato

Carrot
FRIEND---bean, brussels sprout, cabbage, chive, leaf lettuce, leek, onion, pea, pepper, red radish, rosemary, sage, tomato
FOE-------celery, dill, parsnip

Cauliflower
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, onion family, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, tomato
FOE-------pole bean, strawberry

Celery
FRIEND---bush bean, cabbage family, leek, parsley, pea, tomato
FOE-------carrot, parsnip

Corn
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, cabbage, cantaloupe, cucumber, morning glory, parsley, pea, potato, pumpkin, squash
FOE-------tomato

Cucumber
FRIEND---bush bean, cabbage family, corn, dill, eggplant, lettuce, nasturtium, pea, radish, sunflower, tomato
FOE-------potato, sage

Eggpalnt
FRIEND---bush bean, pea, pepper, potato
FOE-------none

Kale
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, cabbage, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion, potato, spinach, tomato
FOE-------pole bean

Kohlrabi
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion, potato, tomato
FOE-------pole bean

Leek
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, carrot, celeriac, celery, onion, parsley, tomato
FOE-------bean, pea

Lettuce
FRIEND---everything
FOE-------none

Lima Bean
FRIEND---beet, radish
FOE-------none

Onion
FRIEND---beet, cabbage family, carrot, kohlrabi, leek lettuce, parsnip, pepper, strawberry, spinach, tomato, turnip
FOE-------asparagus, bean, pea, sage

Parsley
FRIEND---asparagus, corn, tomato
FOE-------none

Parsnip
FRIEND---bush bean, garlic, onion, pea, pepper, potato, radish
FOE-------caraway, carrot, celery

Pea
FRIEND---bean, carrot, celery, chicory, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, potato, radish, spinach, strawberry, sweet pepper, turnip
FOE-------gladiolus, onion family

Pepper
FRIEND---carrot, eggplant, onion, parsnip, pea, tomato
FOE-------fennel, kohlrabi

Potato
FRIEND---bush bean, cabbage family, corn, eggplant, horseradish, marigold, parsnip, pea
FOE-------cucumber, pumpkin, raspberry, rutabaga, squash family, sunflower, tomato, turnip

Pumpkin
FRIEND---corn, eggplant, nasturtium, radish
FOE-------potato

Radish
FRIEND---bean, beet, cabbage family, carrot, corn, cucumber, leaf lettuce, melon, nasturtium, parsnip, pea, spinach, squash family, sweet potato, tomato
FOE-------hyssop

Rutabaga
FRIEND---nasturtium, onion family, pea
FOE-------potato

Spinach
FRIEND---cabbage family, celery, legumes, lettuce, onion, pea, radish, strawberry
FOE-------potato

Squash
FRIEND---celeriac, celery, corn, dill, melon, nasturtium, onion, radish
FOE-------potato

Strawberry
FRIEND---bean, lettuce, onion, pea, spinach
FOE-------cabbage family

Tomato
FRIEND---asparagus, basil, bush bean, cabbage family, carrot, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, marigold
FOE-------pole bean, dill, fennel, potato

Turnip
FRIEND---onion family, pea
FOE-------potato

This is by no means every plant, but it covers some of the most popular vegetable garden plants. I personally like to have a printed out copy of this list when I plan out my garden each year. That way I can make sure I am creating the optimal growing environment.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

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