The Art of Companion Planting

Companion planting harnesses the different properties of plants to create a thriving plant community.
Companion Planting

Companion Planting

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Companion planting is a traditional technique used by organic growers to create a better growing environment. Examples of good companion plants are basil, tomatoes, French marigolds, thyme and pansies.

From: DK Books - Family Garden
Similar Topics:

French marigolds are a classic companion plant, as they are attractive to hoverflies, which feast on aphids. They also emit a pungent odor, which helps to repel pests. Scent is an important element of companion planting, and using strong-smelling culinary herbs, such as thyme, can confuse pests as to the location of their prey.

Border Basics 

  • Size: Containers of any size 
  • Suits: A patio 
  • Soil: Organic multipurpose compost 
  • Site: Sunny and fairly sheltered 

Shopping List 

  • 1 x basil 
  • 2 x Tagetes French group 
  • 1 x cherry tomato such as “Gardener’s Delight” 
  • 2 x variegated thyme 

Planting and Aftercare 

Make sure the base of the container has adequate drainage holes and then cover these with broken pots to ensure the holes do not get blocked with compost. Fill the container about two-thirds full, and then plant. Place the tomato toward the back of the container, the medium-sized basil in the center and the two thymes next to the edge, where they will trail, softening the effect. As this is quite a densely planted pot, it needs watering to make sure it doesn’t dry out. It will also need a weekly feed with a high-potassium tomato fertilizer as soon as the first truss of flowers have started to turn into fruits. Tie the tomato onto a stake for support.

Next Up

Veggie BFFs: Companion Planting for a Healthier Garden

HGTV blogger Meagan Francis offers tips for vegetables and flowers that make for great garden companions.

Planting Australian Plants in Your Garden

Some of these specimens from Down Under could have great potential for American gardens.

Family Planting: Tropical Garden

A tropical border is one of the most exciting plantings, filled with bold, colorful plants and reminiscent of a child’s fantasy jungle.

Family Planting: The Giant Garden

Large plants that dwarf little people can be a wonderful addition to a children’s garden.

Tips for Planting a Rock Garden

Creating an optimal environment and choosing the right plants are essential to creating a rock garden.

Companion Plants for Old Roses

Annuals, perennials, and ornamental grasses make beautiful partners for antique roses.

Family Planting: Butterfly Garden

If you have a sunny, sheltered border, you have the makings of a butterfly garden. Here's what you need to get started.

How to Choose Planting Companions for Roses

Learn what you need to know to play matchmaker between roses and other garden plants.

Fresh Bites: Planting A Snack Garden

A snack garden gathers together edibles that appeal to children.

How to Plant in Gardening Containers

To ensure that plants in gardening containers grow and perform as well as possible, you need to plant them properly.