‘COMPANION PLANTING” — the theory that certain plants benefit each other when grown in close proximity — has proven an effective means of pest-control here at A Garden for the House. Last summer, rabbits immediately stopped munching my cosmos and zinnias after I edged the plants with fragrant lavender. And onions, when planted around the vegetable beds, have surely repelled moles, voles and certain insects, too. Now, what other plants benefit each other in the garden?
Allium (onions, chives, garlic, shallots). Plant near roses, fruit trees, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, and other vegetables. Deters aphids, weevils, moles, fruit-tree borers. Protects roses from mildew, black spot and aphids.
Basil. Plant near tomatoes or asparagus. Repels aphids, flies, mosquitoes and spider mites; controls the tomato hornworm and asparagus beetle.
Beans. Plant near beets, carrots, cucumber, corn, eggplant, potatoes. Encourages growth by adding nitrogen to soil; is reported to control the Colorado potato beetle.
Borage. Plant around tomatoes, strawberries, fruit trees. Repels the tomato hornworm; attracts honeybees.
Castor Bean. Plant near vegetables to thwart moles. Do not, however, mistake the castor bean as edible; all parts of the plant are poisonous.
Celery. Plant near broccoli, cabbage, leeks, tomatoes, cauliflower. Deters the white cabbage-moth.
Coriander. Benefits all vegetables by repelling aphids.
Cucumber. Grown up cornstalks, the prickly vines of the cucumber discourage woodchucks and raccoons.
Geranium. Plant near cabbage, corn, grapes, roses. Repels cabbage worms; may thwart Japanese beetles.
Horseradish. Grow near potatoes, to discourage Colorado potato beetle.
Hyssop. Locate near cabbage and grapes; deters the cabbage moth.
Lavender. This is my favorite repellent. Protects vegetables and flowers from rabbits and woodchucks.
Leeks. Plant near celery, carrots and onions. Repels carrot flies.
Marigold. Plant near tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, roses. Deters a wide range of harmful insects.
Nasturtium. Plant near cucumbers, squash, other veggies, and fruit trees. Repels cucumber beetles, white flies and squash bugs. Deters fruit tree borers.
Oregano. Plant near broccoli. Repels white cabbage moth.
Parsley. Grow near asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, roses. Deters carrot fly and beetles.
Pennyroyal. Place near broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage. Thwarts ants and cabbage maggots.
Pyrethrum. Plant in both vegetable and flower gardens. Impedes aphids, leafhoppers, ticks, pickleworms and cabbage worms. Repels the dreaded iris borer.
Radish. When you sow vegetable seeds directly in the garden, be sure to sow radish, too. It sprouts quickly, insects get used to the taste, and therefore leave your other, more-cherished seedlings alone.
Rosemary. Plant near carrots, cabbage, beans. Restrains carrot flies and cabbage moths.
Rue. Reportedly repels Japanese beetles.
Sage. Plant near carrots and others. Fends off carrot flies, cabbage moths, ticks.
Soybeans. Adds nitrogen to the soil, a benefit for all heavy-feeders. A possible deterrent for the Japanese beetle.
Summer Savory. Aids beans by frightening the bean beetle.
Thyme. Plant near cabbage to control flea beetles, cabbage maggots, and cabbage moths.