Thursday, January 31, 2013

Companion Planting in the Garden


I am a fairly new to gardening (this will be my 4th year) and in no way do I have a green thumb.  Most years, I am tickled pink that anything grows because I tend to neglect my gardens shortly after it starts producing.  If I don’t see results (quickly), I get distracted and give up on the endless pulling of weeds and fostering the tender plants.

It wasn’t until last year that I had ever heard of the term “companion planting,” so I was naturally curious.  With many Google searches and several books from the library, I was intrigued. 

Companion planting not only enhances the soil and works to keep those pesky bugs from eating leaves and produce, but you can grow a lot more in a smaller space!  I have also read that it is a good way to keep the weeds at bay (which has always been a struggle for me.)  I am looking forward to planting more in less space this year.  I think we will need to in order to grow allof the seeds I purchased this year!
From my research, I have found a couple of great websites that are helping me to plan my garden this year.  They include:

Companion Planting InteractiveExcel Spreadsheet
This interactive spreadsheet from  is awesome!  You can choose the vegetable you are planting and see what is bad, good, better and best to grow alongside your plant. 

Companion Planting with Herbs 
I am looking forward to incorporating more herbs into our garden this year for medicinal purposes as well as to dry and use for later use.  This link shows where to plant the herbs based on other vegetables or flowers. 

This link has an extensive list of all fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as their companion plants.

Free Garden Planning Printables
5 Dollar Dinners offers free garden-planning printables to help organize this year’s garden!  I am going to be using all four of the free printables on this site!  They include: The Garden Planner, The Square Foot Gardening Planner, The Container Gardening Planner and the Garden Harvest Planner. 

When to Plant
In years past, I planted everything by seed all within a 2-3 week timeframe.  Not only is this exhausting for me, some of my plants didnt do as well as others.  I learned that this is because some plants do better when planted in the ground several weeks before the last frost versus planting them after the last forst. (Duh! Can you say cold-weather plants?)

I came across a link that shows you exactly when to plant each vegetable in your garden based on the last frost in your zone! 

First, go to this website to see when the frost usually ends in your zone.
I am a Zone 5, so frost usually ends mid-April for me.

I entered May 16th into this spreadsheet and it shows me exactly when to plant each vegetable! This completely takes the guess-work out of when I need to be outside planting seeds.

My hope is that you find a few of these links as helpful as I have.  May this year be the best growing season for us all!

Have you ever used the companion planting method before?

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre



  1. I have never tried companion planting.
    But the Superbowl is upon us, and I plan to companion a lot of nachos & salsa together!!!

    1. This would be perfect for your balcony garden, Antonio. :-) This is the year to start gardening, my friend!

  2. Try searching for Bob Flowerdew on Google. I have one of his early books and they are really informative on Companion Planting. I think he left England's shores a few years ago but is still active in this way of planting. Take care. Chel

  3. I didn't even know that existed! It sounds like something I'll love, as lately I've been thinking of trying to plant some herbs or vegetables... and I only have windowsills to work on!
    Thanks for sharing!