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Companion Planting: Pairing Your Plants Like a Pro

Posted by Andrew Wallace on

We all know that some ingredients go well together in a recipe (tomato and basil salad, anyone?) but did you know that the same goes in the gardening bed?

Companion planting is the art of growing complementary plants in close proximity, and it’s something that all of us can try at home.

There are lots of ways that companion planting can benefit your garden. Here’s a quick overview.

  • Deterring pests. Certain plants act as decoys when it comes to insects (e.g. calendula diverts slugs and snails away from veggies and basil is a powerful fly repellent), so including them in your garden can help keep the bugs at bay. This also means you can ditch all those nasty pesticides and enjoy delicious chemical-free, home-grown goodness.

  • Improving growth. Some plants have an impact on the soil itself, which improves conditions for those around. Peas, beans and legumes are widely acknowledged for their nitrogen-fixing abilities (drawing nitrogen from the air, converting it and storing it in their roots, so others around them can flourish).

  • Enhancing flavour. Hard to believe but if you nail your pairing, you could also boost the flavour of your produce, making your homegrown goods even more delicious. For example, tarragon is said to be an all rounder and boost the flavour of any neighbor, while basil is believed to improve the flavour of other herbs.

  • Creating shade & structure. When it comes to pairing plants, their physical characteristics have a part to play too. For example, sunflowers can not only light up your backyard, they create shade for other plants (like cucumbers and climber beans), and give your climbers something to attach to.

Check out more on companion planting in the video below.

Now you know all the perks of pairing, here are a few seasonal combos to try out. Enjoy!


  • Bush tomatoes, eggplants, baby carrots, butter lettuce & nasturtiums.

  • Red capsicum, baby fennel, baby beetroot, endives & marigolds.


  • Cucumber, lemon grass, mint, strawberries & nasturtiums.

  • Brussel sprouts, French beans, thyme, chamomile & wild oregano.


  • Broccoli, sugar snap peas, radishes, cos lettuce & mixed pansies.

  • Broad beans, rocket, rainbow chard, sage & violets.

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