If you have limited space in your backyard, can you do herbs companion planting? Indeed! Companion planting is one of the best ways to grow herbs in a confined space. Aside from practical reasons, choosing herbs for your limited space also comes with advantages.
Hers can liven up your meals, and some herbs deter insects from ruining your other plants. However, when choosing herbs for your garden, you have to consider a few things. Remember, for different herbs to grow together, they should be compatible with each other. It is like us – we need to be with people that we are compatible with in order to grow.
With this being said, here’s a general rule to follow: for a companion planting to be successful, only plant herbs that can be grown in the same environment. It means knowing the type of environment you have, the type of soil in your garden, and the amount of sunlight your garden is getting every day. With these factors in mind, you can easily narrow down the list of herbs that you can have together in your garden.
Thing You Should Know
Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram, and lavender are among the herbs that you can plant together. Other popular options include cilantro, basil, and tarragon.
For a successful companion planting, you have to remember one thing – herbs that grow together should love the same environment together. For example, the famous combo of beans, squash, and corn, these plants complement each other. Also, knew if a particular herb can grow with other herbs. Mint is the one that should be planted alone. Mint can grow rampantly and can kill those smaller herbs around it.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Herbs to Plant Together
Plant matching is basically finding plants or herbs that can live with the same condition (soil, weather, temperature). If you have moist soil in your garden, find herbs that can live in moist soil.
Second, consider the computability of the herbs you have chosen. If you have a garden of Rose, you can plant chives next to it. Chives ward off Japanese beetles and help roses bloom. Do not match your rose with mint. Mint will trample your roses.
Lastly, consider the spaces between your plants. Plants with little space with one another tend to compete for water and soil nutrients.
Height of the Plant
Plant herbs that grow with the same height. Imagine a tall fennel next to a smaller herb. It will look awkward because fennels are tall herbs. If you are growing herbs on a pot, it is best to choose low to medium height herbs.
If you are planting sister plants, make sure that they are indeed sister plants. It means they have the same needs, especially in terms of water supply. Rosemary, sage, and thymes like it dry, so don’t combine these plants with other plants that need constant watering.
It is also important to choose a companion plant based on your personal capability. If you are a busy person and you know you can’t diligently water your plants, go for plants that can tolerate dryness from time to time.
Grouping The Herb Plants Based on Their Common Characteristics and Needs
Mediterranean herbs and plants are those that came from the Mediterranean region. This variety includes Rosemary, sage, oregano, marjoram, lavender, and thyme. These herbs don’t need much water and love to be under the sun.
You can do companion planting of these Mediterranean varieties such as Rosemary and sage. The matching of prostrate rosemary and variegated sage is one of the most popular matches of herbs that you can find in gardens today.
If you have larger space, you can plant these Mediterranean herbs as a group, and you won’t even have a problem making them grown. All they need is a little sunlight and water.
This type of herbs needs a lot of water. It needs to have sunlight, as well. The most common example of this is basil and parsley, making these two a great companion plant.
Another herb that you can plant along with parsley and basil is tarragon. Don’t expect these herbs to stay in your garden forever. For example, biennial parsley can only grow and leave for two years.
If you have moist soil all year long and your garden is abundant with sunshine, don’t hesitate to plant parsley and basil. In no time, you can surely start making your own pesto with fresh basil from your garden.
You can have plenty of lemon-scented herbs in your garden through companion planting. What will you need? You can plant lemon verbena and lemon thyme and care for them just like a single plant.
First, you have to plant lemon verbena. This South American lemon-scented herb is a tall herb. Once grown, you can start growing lemon thyme underneath it. Having lemon thyme under it will keep the water in the soil in moderation. This will help your lemon verbena to have a beautiful spread flower.
Peppermint, spearmint, and catmint are among the popular members of the mint herb family. There are also popular flavored mints, such as orange mint and lemon balm. These mints grow sideways and are runners.
This characteristic of mint is the reason why it shouldn’t be planted in pots. It can’t spread in pots. It grows best when planted in long plant boxes where it can spread freely. It is best to grow a single variety of mint in one box. Combining different varieties can lead to interbreeding that can lead to mixed fragrant.
Mint is a type of herb that should be left on its own. It is invasive. When planted with other herbs, it can take over the other herbs and kill it. If you want different varieties of mint in your garden, put it on separate plant boxes. Make sure that there is enough space for each plant to grow and spread.
You can still have other plants in your garden on a different box, next to a mint herb. It grows well with cabbages and tomatoes. The most common enemy of mint is parsley. Don’t attempt to match parsley with mint. It won’t work.
Mint flourishes with less water. It also loves being under the sun. If you want to control the growth of your mint herb, plant it in a small box. Remember, it is not easy to grow mint, but once it flourishes, you will surely enjoy watching and smelling the fresh fragrance coming from it.
Herbs That You Can Plant Together
If you want a plant that can deter insects like mosquitoes, having basil in your garden is one sure way to keep them away. To make basil grow, don’t plant sage near it. You can partner it with oregano, parsley, or tomato, but not sage. To make it even luscious, plant chamomile on the same pot with your basil.
The sisters of Rosemary are thymes and sage. You can plant them together in one pot and expect them to compliment each other. This group of plants is easy to grow. Even if your soil is not rich and dry, this group will thrive effortlessly. Just water it from time to time.
Don’t attempt to combine Rosemary with other herbs like mint or parsley. It only grows well with sage. What you can do is plant Rosemary in a vegetable garden. A popular vegetable to grow Rosemary with is broccoli. Broccoli benefits from Rosemary because it deters insects from ruining your broccoli and its leaves. In return, broccoli keeps the soil nourished, helping Rosemary to thrive.
You can also plant Rosemary around your cabbage, hot peppers, or beans. However, do not let your Rosemary near your potatoes, pumpkins, or carrots.
Often, you can find chives in rose gardens. It is a popular combination because chives seem to ward off insects that can damage rose bushes. Chives is a known nemesis of Japanese beetle, an insect that damages Rose flowers, giving it dark spots.
Chives naturally attract pollinators that help flowers and vegetables to thrive. It also kills aphids. Aphids is a known pest, an enemy that most gardeners hate to see because it ruins everything if you want to protect your peas, celery, and lettuce from aphids, plant chives next to them.
If you want an easy herb in your backyard, have oregano. This plant grows quickly regardless of the soil type and weather. It is not picky as well when it comes to its companions.
Oregano grows well when planted to its friend, such as basil. Basil repels insects that can damage oregano leaves. Oregano is easy to maintain as well as it doesn’t need too much water. It doesn’t need too much sunlight as well.
Sage needs a lot of sunlight in order to grow well and become flavorful. It survives in a shady garden yet don’t expect it to taste like a fresh sage from a farm. Sage is easy to grow because it doesn’t need too much water, and it can survive in sandy soil.
Sage is known to grow better with its friends next to it, such as rosemary, thyme, tomatoes, and carrots.
If you want a low-maintenance herb, try parsley. Parsley grows almost anywhere. It grows best next to tomatoes, though. Its worst enemy is mint, so don’t even attempt to match these two.
Parsley can survive with partial or full sunlight exposure. It doesn’t need too much water as well, but if you plant it in moist soil, it can still thrive and survive.
Another low-maintenance plant to have is Coriander. You can plant it alongside parsley, dill or anise. It is a known insect attractor, so it can help pollinate any vegetable next to it.
Coriander loves a humid environment, and it should be placed in a shady garden. It doesn’t take well when planted directly under the sun. If you will plant a Coriander, make sure you have a good sprinkler system as it loves being watered all the time.
Thyme is the best companion for Rosemary. These plants can grow in the same environment, specifically a sunny one. Thyme and rosemary can survive dry soil and only needs to be watered once in a while. Basically, thyme only requires very minimum maintenance effort to grow.