Turvey Allotments

Sow, Nurture, Harvest for Life

Companion Planting

About companion planting

Creating plant communities for mutual benefit is an old gardening tradition. Companion planting isn't just about pest control. By combining plants carefully, plants can help each other in terms of providing nutrients in the soil, offering protection from wind or sun and also, by attracting beneficial pests or acting as a decoy for harmful ones.

Plant combinations

  • Grow French marigolds among tomatoes. Marigolds emit a strong odour that will repel greenfly and blackfly.
  • Grow sage with carrots or plants in the cabbage family to ward off pests. Both have strong scents that drive away each other's pests.
  • Plant nasturtium with cabbages - they're a magnet for caterpillars that will then leave the cabbages alone.
  • Garlic planted among roses will ward off aphids.
  • Plant carrots and leeks together on the allotment or vegetable patch to protect against a number of pests. Leeks repel carrot fly and carrots repel onion fly and leek moth.

Make sure companion plants are planted at the same time as your edible crops to prevent pests from getting a foothold.

Ten plants to try

  • Asparagus - prevents microscopic nematodes from attacking the roots of tomatoes
  • Chervil - keeps aphids off lettuce
  • Chives - onion scent wards off aphids from chrysanthemums, sunflowers and tomatoes
  • Coriander - helps to repel aphids
  • Dill - attracts aphid eating beneficial insects likes hoverflies and predatory wasps
  • Garlic - deters aphids and is particularly good planted with roses
  • Tansy - strongly scented plant deters ants
  • Plants in the pea family - lupins, peas, beans and sweet peas benefit the soil by taking nitrogen from the air and storing it in their roots
  • Yarrow - this boosts vigour in other plants and accumulates phosphorous, calcium and silica, which can benefit homemade compost when plants are added to the heap. It attracts many beneficial creatures such as hoverflies and ladybirds