Back to Back Issues Page
David's Garden Seeds And Products Newsletter
March 03, 2017

Companion Gardening

Spring is underway here in Texas and many gardeners have already planted their spring gardens! We have not because we think it will freeze one more time. A safe time to plant is right after Easter. Easter is late this year so you may not want to wait that long.

If you are up north, you still have snow on the ground, but spring is on the way. Today we are going to talk about something called Companion Gardening. This is the practice of putting several plants together for the benefit of one or both plants. It is also knowing when not to plant two types of plants together since they will inhibit each other's growth. We have written a new section on our website and we invite you to check it out at Companion Planting 2017. Companion planting in gardening and agriculture is the planting of different crops in proximity for pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial creatures, maximizing use of space, and to otherwise increase crop productivity. Companion planting is a form of poly-culture. This type of planting is used by farmers and gardeners in both industrialized and developing countries for many reasons. Many of the modern principles of companion planting were present many centuries ago in cottage gardens in England and forest gardens in Asia, and thousands of years ago in what was known as Mesoamerica (from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica). The smell of the foliage of marigolds is claimed to deter aphids from feeding on neighboring crops. Marigolds with simple flowers also attract nectar-feeding adult hover-flies, the larvae of which are predators of aphids. Onions and garlic stunt the growth of bean and pea plants. Keep them far apart.

Beans will not grow well if they are near sunflowers. Keep the sunflowers on one side of the yard and grow your green beans in a completely separate garden bed.

Cabbage and cauliflower hate each other and both will not grow well when next to each other.

Most new gardeners think of tomatoes when they make a list of things they want in their garden and rightly so. When you plant tomatoes, put some herbs in between the tomato plants, namely some varieties of dill and basil. We sell several varieties of each.

New dill seedlings actually enhance the well-being of tomato plants and help them grow. They also prevent hornworms from getting on your tomato plants. However, mature dill plants stunt the growth of tomato plants so be sure to plant your dill seeds or seedlings by your tomato seedlings but do not put tomato plants by mature dill plants.

Basil improves pollination to tomatoes by attracting bees. It also repels hornworms, aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and mosquitoes.

Parsley is good to have because it brings hoverflies which eat the pests that like to eat tomato plants. Parsley, however, does not do well in heat.

Mint varieties keep away ants, mice, cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles. However, if you allow it, mint will take over and eventually destroy everything that is in the same garden bed. It is difficult to control. A Three Sisters Garden is a Native American idea based on a story of three vegetables that were staples of the ancient Native American diet. The three vegetables are corn, beans, and squash (including pumpkins). The corn stalks grow tall and the beans will grow up the stalks. The corn will support the bean vines so you don't need to worry about poles for the beans to climb. The squash vines spread out on the ground and help keep moisture in the ground. They also help to keep weeds from growing on the ground by blocking sunlight on the ground, preventing weeds. The beans add nitrogen to the ground, which the corn needs to grow properly. Tomato companion planting is very helpful for new gardeners as it can make your first attempt at growing tomatoes a great success!

Most new gardeners want to try growing tomatoes because garden fresh tomatoes are one of the most delicious foods you can grow. The thought makes my mouth water every time!

Herbs work with tomato plants by preventing pesky insects from destroying them. But which ones are the right ones to plant with tomato plants? When you plant tomatoes, put some herbs in between the tomato plants, namely some varieties of dill and basil. We sell several varieties of herb seeds, if you want to plant your herbs from seed. This is what we do.

New dill seedlings actually enhance the well-being of tomato plants and help them grow. They also prevent hornworms from getting on your tomato plants. However, mature dill plants stunt the growth of tomato plants so be sure to plant your dill seeds or seedlings by your tomato seedlings but do not put tomato plants by mature dill plants.

Basil improves pollination to tomatoes by attracting bees. It also repels hornworms, aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and mosquitoes.

Parsley is good to have because it brings hoverflies which eat the pests that like to eat tomato plants. Parsley, however, does not do well in heat.

Mint varieties keep away ants, mice, cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles. But be warned: if you allow it, mint will take over and eventually destroy everything that is in the same garden bed. It is difficult to control.

We sell an herb called borage and it is good to put with tomato plants because borage improves the flavor of the fruit and improves the overall health of the tomato plant. It also repels the tomato hornworm as well as the cabbage worm so this should also be planted by cabbage.

Chives repel aphids. Do not plant the herb fennel near your tomatoes. This herb inhibits the growth of tomatoes. Some vegetables should be grown near tomatoes. First plant some asparagus nearby. Asparagus makes a chemical underground to kill non-beneficial nematodes that destroy tomato plant roots. Likewise, tomato plants repel the asparagus beetle, helping your asparagus to grow healthy.

If you are tight on garden space, plant your lettuce and spinach in between tomato plants. They produce quickly and are ready for harvest before tomato plants get very big.

It is also good to plant tomato seeds or seedlings near your carrot plot. Carrots are a cooler weather crop and are ready for harvest shortly after you put tomatoes in the ground. Also, carrots, which are a root crop, break up the soil as they grow down into the earth, providing nutrients and water down into the soil. This helps the tomato roots grow down deep once the carrots are pulled.

Garlic repels spider mites so it is a good companion for tomato plants.

Some vegetable plants that should not be planted anywhere near your tomatoes are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts. They all inhibit the growth of tomatoes.

Corn should not be planted near tomatoes as it attracts two enemies that attack both corn and tomatoes, the tomato fruitworm and the corn earworm. Keep your potato plot away from tomato plants as they attract blight fungus and you do not want that to destroy the roots of your tomato plants. Do not plant your tomatoes near black walnut trees. The black walnut trees stop the tomatoes from growing by secreting a compound called juglone which can stop the tomato from putting out fruit and sometimes kills the tomato plants. Juglone can kill a lot of garden vegetables so beware if you have black walnut trees in your yard.

Marigolds are great to plant near tomatoes. They keep away enemies of the tomato like slugs, non-beneficial nematodes, and the evil tomato worm.

Nasturtiums ward off fungal diseases that like to grow on tomato plants. They also keep away white flies, aphids, beetles, and squash bugs. Yes, they are great for placing near squash as well.

Tomatoes can be planted near rosebushes as tomatoes protect roses from blackspot.

Gooseberry bushes love tomato plants because tomatoes repel insects from them.

San Antonio Spring Home Show

We had a wonderful time at the San Antonio Home and Garden Show this past weekend meeting so many gardeners in and around the San Antonio area! Our booth was a success and we had thousands of visitors to it. A big thank you to all of you who came by and said hi and got some of their spring garden seeds! In the photo above, David and Matt are setting the booth up before the day begins. The photo below shows from the back of our booth looking out. The aprons you see are a new addition to the David's Garden Seeds line. They are gardening aprons made by Juanita and they were a hit at the show.

Visit Our Store

Visit our store today, either in person at 7715 Tezel Road in San Antonio, Texas, or online at our website, David's Garden Seeds. You can also call your order in at (210)370-9873. Order your seeds now while our selection is great. Spring planting time will be here before you realize it! Until next time.

David Schulze

Back to Back Issues Page