Friend or Foe – How do you know?

When planting your garden, it is important to know which of your plants are friends and can enhance each other’s growth and which are foe and can stunt each other’s growth.

By planning your garden this way, you will enhance your plants health; maximise their growth and give them the best chance to succeed and produce well this summer.

I usually split my garden into a couple of different areas to better facilitate this.

Helpfully, there are some vegetables that are friends with everyone.

As well as companion planting your summer veg, it is also good to think about under planting your taller vegetables with ones that prefer a little more shade. This way, the taller ones give the smaller ones some much needed protection from the intense summer heat and also to know which plants grow well with almost no sun at all.

Let’s look at some good plants I recommend planting together and why.

Corn is a tall plant and can be planted with climbing beans. Not only do these plants like to grow together, the corn also acts as a natural support as the beans start to climb, so no need to put stakes in the ground – less work is always beneficial.

Beans can be planted really close to the corn and, as these are a legume, they will fix extra nitrogen to the soil for the hungry corn!

These can also be inter-planted with lettuce, who like a bit of shade through the hot summer months

Alternatively, plant your cucumbers next to the corn, as these will grow up the corn, in turn keeping them off the ground and preventing rot when the heavy humid rains come.

Within this same bed, you can also plant zucchini, peas, beetroot, pumpkin and squash. These are all friends and get along like good neighbours, enhancing each other’s growth.

Below is a Friend or Foe Chart to give you some idea of what goes together. Generally, the foe plants will either stunt the growth or make them more prone to pest and disease by decreasing the overall health.

Give yourself the best chance for success and know your friends and foes!

Happy gardening!


Plant Helped By… (Friend) Hindered By… (Foe)
Beans, Peas, Dwarf beans Cucumber, Strawberries, Celery Fennel, Onion
Pole beans Radish, Corn Sunflowers
Onions Tomato, Capsicum, Potato, Carrots Beans, Peas
Carrots Tomato, Lettuce, Onion Dill, Parsnip, Radish
Celery Bush bean, Cucumber Corn
Corn Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Zucchini Tomato, Celery
Cucumber Beans, Lettuce, Carrots, Onions Potato, Aromatic Herbs
Tomato, Eggplant, Chilli, Potato Basil, Marigold Beans, Corn, Fennel, Dill
Potato Beans, Corn, Peas Carrots, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Raspberries, Squash, Sunflowers, Tomato

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