Some plants thrive in each other’s company, but some just don’t get along.

The cabbage family. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale and kohlrabi. The family does well with herbs like sage and mint, which repel the white cabbage butterfly. It also pairs well with the onion family.

Potatoes. They are good companions with the cabbage family, but keep them away from tomatoes and cucumbers, which share a common blight. According to, cucumbers protect from the Colorado potato beetle.

Tomatoes. They help protect asparagus from the asparagus beetle. Some gardeners report that basil seems to improve the flavor of tomatoes and of lettuce. Basil, like marigolds, also deter many garden insects. But keep basil away from potatoes, fennel and the cabbage family. Keep the mint away from tomatoes.

Garlic. In the onion family, garlic repels insects like the carrot fly. Plant it around fruit trees, roses, tomatoes and cabbage. It appears to have some protection against the Japanese beetle.

Corn, beans and squash. Known since pre-colonial times as “the three sisters,” Native Americans planted them together. The corn plants support the bean vines. The beans add nitrogen to the soil, and the squash leaves keep the soil moist and block out weeds.

Cucumber is a good companion to the trio. Nearby sunflowers can help ward off pests from the corn. Keep the three sisters away from tomato plants, which attract some of the same pests.

The health and inspirational benefits of gardening are as important as the produce you ultimately collect. Digging, planting, weeding and watering provide exercise and satisfaction. It’s all about you and what you want to do.

Watching your garden grow is relaxing and inspirational. At harvest time, a friend or partner can share the joy of collecting baskets of colorful food.

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