If you’ve been keeping up with our articles, have taken our Intermediate Herbal Course, or even have only just visited us for the first time, you probably already know how strongly we at the Herbal Academy believe herbs can improve our health and enrich our lives.
But did you know that herbs can benefit the lives of other plants as well?
Companion Planting Herbs and Vegetables
Companion planting is the act of planting specific cultivars in the same garden because they foster better growth for the other. Corn and beans may be planted together, for the beans attract insects like leaf beetles that would prey on the corn.
Other gardeners may plant tall flowers among their lettuce because they provide the kind of light shade that will help the lettuce to prosper. But herbs can benefit the growth of other plants as well. Below are five herbs that can be companion planted alongside other crops.
Chamomile and Cabbage
The aromatic of chamomile plants, as well as other aromatic herbs like sage and rosemary, can benefit the growing of cabbage. Growing other members of the Brassica family (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) alongside of these aromatic herbs can be beneficial as well. Their aromatic nature can repel unwanted insects like the white cabbage butterfly.
Tarragon and Eggplant
It is thought that pests don’t tend to like tarragon very much, even though it plays a wonderful role in this asparagus crepes recipe. Though tarragon can repel a lot of pests, it is particularly beneficial for eggplant. Along with repelling pests, it enhances the flavor of the companion plants as well.
Basil and Tomatoes
Basil is known for being a companion to all sorts of flavorful dishes, especially in Italian cooking. But did you know that when it’s planted with tomatoes it actually enhances the flavor of the tomato plants themselves? Not only that, but it may help with the crop yields as well. You can learn more about how to grow fresh basil here.
Fennel and Dill
Fennel is known to be problematic alongside nearly all other plants, and yet can grow with dill. Though dill helps other plants, like cabbage and lettuce, using it with such crops may make lonely fennel a little bit jealous.
Lovage and…Almost Everything
Lovage is a perennial that can be used for its leaves as well as its roots for various dishes. But it is also considered to be a beneficial companion plant for nearly all different plant species.
Do you have any stories about successful companion planting herbs to share? Leave a comment below and let us know what you’re planning for your spring garden. You can also find some helpful Companion Planting Charts, like the image to the right by Afristar Foundation, included in our Pinterest garden board.