From Antivist

Companion planting, or intercropping, allows us to take advantage of certain chemical interactions between plants. These interactions can be used to encourage plant growth and health in a symbiotic manner. Every plant releases different chemical agents, either above ground through its leaves, or below ground from its roots.

Planting different plants within close proximity to one another not only ensures that the available land is used to the maximum but by tapping into the natural associations the productivity of the crop yield itself can be increased. Synergistic effects and symbiotic relationships in nature can be used to enhance the functioning of the overall system within which different species of food producing plants grow.

For example growing camomile next to vegetables such as leeks can increase their size considerably and lettuce, spring onions and kale grow well together. Planting coriander near a potato crop helps to deter aphid attack on the latter, because coriander secretes a substance that aphids dislike.



Guilds are combinations of leaf crops, legumes, fruits and root crops in a stacked arrangement that use the vertical space to the maximum, and maximise productive use of available sunlight. Combinations of various plants such as a fruit tree with a leaf crop at its base and a vine on its trunk can ensure that several food producers, located within the same geographical space, can make use of the different levels of solar energy. In this garden one such guild consists of a Banana tree, beans, beetroots and poppies. In another guild celery, beans and a tamarillo plant (tree tomatoes) grow together.

Space Saving Complimentary Growth Combinations

  • Beans can be intercropped with celery, squash, corn, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, melons,and radishes.
  • Cabbage can be intercropped with peppers, tomatoes, chives,and onions.
  • Corn can be intercropped with cabbage, lettuce, melons, beans, squash, cucumbers,and potatoes.
  • Leeks and onions can be intercropped with carrots and parsley, cabbage, eggplant, pepper, and spinach.

Complimentary Growth Combinations

  • Beans, Cabbage, broccoli and other cole crops will provide shade for celery, lettuce, spinach.
  • Tomatoes, corn, and sunflowers provide shade for lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, as well as providing a climbing place for cucumbers.

Space Saving Complimentary Growth Combinations

  • Bean roots compliment the roots of carrots, celery, corn, cucumbers, onions, radishes, melons, and squash.
  • Corn roots compliment the roots of lettuce, and potato, radish, and onion.
  • Onion roots compliment the roots of eggplant, pepper, carrot, radish, and spinach.
  • Pea roots compliment the roots of turnips, and radishes.
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