Companion Planting Made Easy-ish: Part 1 of 3

by Daisy

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When I was describing all of this to TL, she made a wise remark.

Companion planting is just like planning the seating at your wedding reception.

1. Too many members of the same family shouldn’t be seated together.

2. Hatfields and McCoys must be kept across the room from each other.

3. Sometimes somebody dated someone else’s sister and it ended badly, so those individuals need to be kept apart.

This post covers Rule 1, SEPARATE family members.

Members of the same family have the same strengths and weaknesses (remember all that cuckoo and hemophilia running around the royal families?)

In Plant World, that means that member of the same family attract the same pests and diseases. That, or they just plain hate each other and continually fight.

There are a few families, like Beans, that are superb conversationalists, even with their own relatives. But who wants to hoard all that goodness at one table, when you could spread that magic around the whole room, right?

So, try not to “seat” any two members of the same family together.

But I bet a dollar, you don’t know what veggies go with what family anyhoodle, right?

Here’s a great video, though he uses a couple of different names for the families and in his “other” page are some things that we actually DO know the family for, but this will give you some visuals, so we’ll worry about that later, K?.

Here’s the list we’ll be working from:

Bean Family–beans, peas, peanuts
Carrot Family–carrots, dill, fennel, celery, parsley, cilantro
Cabbage Family–cabbage, brussels, bok choy, cauliflower, kohlrabi, broccoli, collards, turnips, radishes, kale
Corn Family–corn, wheat, oats, rice, other cereal grains
Daisy Family–lettuce, artichoke, sunflowers, daisy, asters , marigold
Goosefoot Family–spinach, beets, chard
Gourd Family–squashes, melons, cucumbers
Lily Family–asparagus, onion, shallots, garlic, chives
Mint Family–oregano, mint, basil, rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme
Nightshades Family–tomato, petunia, potato, peppers
Rose Family–roses, strawberries, blackberries, apples, pear, raspberries

PDF of above list

Today, walk around your garden (or the plan in your notebook) and identify the plant families. See who is hanging out next to who.
Just notice it.

That’s enough information to try to absorb for now. But if want to know now which families can be doubled if need be and which totally hate each other, here’s our pdf chart that incorporates ALL the rules.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna January 11, 2010 at 4:52 am

Thank you soooo much for making that nice little PDF chart! I have been trying to make one with Companion Planting and Crop Rotation but it just seemed too daunting.

Jill April 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I just found your website while searching for a crop rotation plan that I could adapt to the shorter summers in the northern Midwest, and was pleased to also find this companion planting chart. Thank you for sharing these helpful tools!

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