Uncategorized Fly. CC photo by Flickr user chefranden

Published on April 28th, 2009 | by Zachary Shahan

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Greening Your Spring Garden: Companion Planting


Companion planting is a great way to deter pests without spraying nasty chemicals onto your garden.

[social_buttons]Every Easter, I’m in charge of the veggie roast. That means my hubby and I get to hit up local Orlando farmers markets or farm stands on Easter weekend to pick out the goods. This year, we hit up a teeny stand near my in-laws’ house. We got more veggies than the seven of us could eat for under $10. Amazing! We also got to talking with the fellow who ran the stand. He was explaining that some of his onions were a little stained on one side, since the farm grows them alongside their strawberries to ward off pests. This was my introduction into companion planting.

I knew that marigolds would help keep certain bugs away from the garden, but that’s about as far as my companion planting knowledge went. Here’s a list of some other great plant pairings to help keep your garden pest- and chemical-free!

  • Elder Flower is said to deter mice.
  • Peppermint or bay leaf keeps ants away.
  • Plant chives near your apples to prevent the apples from scabbing.
  • Anise helps keep aphids away.
  • Thyme will keep worms and flies off of your cabbage.
  • Petunias will help keep those beetles off of your bean plants.
  • Geraniums keep pests off of roses, grapes, corn, and cabbage.
  • Plant oregano near your broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers to keep all sorts of baddies away.
  • Basil will keep all sorts of pests off of your tomatoes and asparagus.
  • Onion isn’t just great for your strawberries. It can also keep pests off of broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, beets, and lettuce!

This list is hardly exhaustive. I’m just starting to read up on companion planting! Not only can you plant things to discourage pests, some pairings, like planting chamomile near your onions, improves your harvest’s flavor. Is anyone here into companion planting? I’d love to get some more first-hand tips!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Randen Pederson.Keep up to date with all the hottest urban planning news by subscribing to our (free) newsletter.


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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • And garlic will help protect just about any veggie plant (but not so good for potatoes, I’ve heard).

  • Thanks for this article! I would love to hear more about companion gardening myself.

  • I know that Martha Stewart has some tips on it in her last gardening issue — she’s got an organic garden with something like 50 different types of veggies. It’s amazing! I’ll look it up tonight if I rememberrrrrr.

  • I understand that plants from the mint family keep the deer away, can anyone say anything about keeping rabbits away?

  • From the bit of Googling I did, it sounds like a dog or a fence are probably the best options if you’re having a rabbit problem. A couple of folks mentioned that marigolds might help, but that doesn’t seem to be agreed upon at all. :/ A chicken wire fence might be the cheapest/easiest option, tho!

  • Richard

    dog hair around the garden is supposed to keep rabbits away

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