Don’t Grow These Vegetables Next to Each Other

A garden is like a community. Some members of that community live quietly next to each other, and others demand their own space. Some will even rob valuable nutrients from nearby neighbors. Make sure your companion plants happily coexist. Here are a few plants that don’t play well with others.

© Zbynek Pospisil/Getty Images

Beans and Onions

Beans are considered allelopathic plants, which means they produce biochemicals that can hinder the growth of another plant. Beans do not do well with members of the onion family, such as onion, leek, chives and garlic. Beans and carrots complement each other, giving each other nutrients that encourage growth. Carrots also help beans by attracting ladybugs that keep aphids from damaging leaves.

Tomatoes and Corn

Tomatoes and corn fight each other for soil nutrients if planted too close together. The tomato hornworm and certain types of fungus love corn and tomatoes, so separating the two prevents mass extinction of both. Tomatoes also don’t like cabbage or potatoes. Instead, pair with lettuce, which will be shaded and keep the soil moist for the water-loving tomatoes.

Potatoes and Sunflowers

One grows deep and the other rises high. However, they don’t get along because sunflower seeds contain a toxic ingredient that prevents potatoes from growing fully. Grow spinach for early harvest around the potato hills, before the potato plants need soil mounding.

Asparagus and Garlic

These two incompatible plants share the same need for nutrients in the soil, and asparagus is a real quitter if it can’t get everything it needs. Your best bet is to give asparagus its own bed with no competition. But if you must give it a friend, try parsley or dill.

Celery and Carrots

We often pair them on a vegetable platter, but these plants should avoid each other in the garden. Both need water and shade and seek a taller leafed-out companion like beans to keep the soil moist. Use thyme as a companion to celery, which will smother weeds and moisten the soil.

Eggplant and Fennel

Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, and fennel produces a chemical that slows nightshade growth. Instead, choose bush beans as eggplant’s companion. Eggplant loves the nitrogen that the bush beans add to the soil. And the bush bean repels the Colorado potato beetle, which has a taste for eggplant.

Cucumber and Rosemary

The cucumber can take on the flavors of strong herbs, so keep rosemary, basil and sage away until blending them into a delicious salad in the kitchen. Allow cucumbers to vine by giving them a trellis, which helps them avoid rotting on moist soil.

Lettuce and Garlic

Poor garlic hinders many plants, including producing chemicals that wilts lettuce in place. Keep lettuce away from garlic’s cousins, too — onion, leeks and chives. Instead, plant lettuce next to that power pair of carrots and radishes. The shallow roots of quick-growing lettuce won’t disturb the root crops.

Parsnips and Carrots

These two root crops like the same growing conditions, but both are susceptible to the carrot root fly. So, it’s best to give them their own space, far from each other. Both plants would rather line up with radishes, as the little round radish grows quickly. Once the radishes are pulled, there is growing space between the longer-growing carrot or parsnip.

Pumpkins and Summer Squash

Pumpkins are aggressive garden plants. They can choke out summer squash such as zucchini that competes for water and space. Pumpkins will also cross-pollinate with other squash varieties, affecting your harvest. Pumpkins like to sprawl and snake up corn’s thick stalk. The two vegetables are harvested at different times, so they won’t compete for precious water in the late summer.

Story by Rosie Wolf Williams for The Family Handyman©

19 Vegetable Garden Plans & Layout Ideas That Will Inspire You

Are you ready to plant your garden, but are feeling a little unsure of how to lay it out?

Well, it seems everyone faces that dilemma each year. The reason is that there are so many different ways to layout your garden.

Then you have to consider what your goal for your vegetable garden is. Do you want it to give some produce but also care about aesthetics? Are you more interested in getting the most produce possible from your garden?

After you decide what your primary goal for your vegetable garden is, then scroll through the vegetable garden plans I’ve gathered from all over the internet and see which options work the best for you.

Simple Vegetable Garden Plans

Here are the vegetable garden plans:

1.  Raised Garden Bed Gardening Plans

These plans are amazing. The reason is that they take each raised garden bed into account and lay it all out to scale.

Then you can see that they incorporate the purpose of each vegetable as well. For instance, you’ll see they are growing multiple beds of tomatoes.

However, they label the tomatoes that are meant for sauce, the tomatoes meant for sandwiches (or slicers), and also incorporate the other vegetables they plan to grow in smaller amounts.

This is why this thorough layout would be a great place to start if you are planning on gardening in raised beds this year.

There are 18 more garden layouts to view by clicking the link below.

19 Vegetable Garden Plans & Layout Ideas That Will Inspire You (

Growing Your Own Vegetables

As summer comes to an end, many vegetable gardeners are busy reaping what they’ve sown and harvesting the fruits of their labors. Growing your own vegetables has health, nutritional, and environmental benefits, says University of Illinois Extension Educator Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle. 

Photo credit Anita Wilkinson

The health benefits are exponential with the combination of nutrients, sunshine, and exercise gained through gardening. Walking, bending, lifting, and pulling movements that naturally happen in the garden fit into the moderate excise category that can increase your body’s immune system function.

Certain vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, produce a disease-fighting compound called sulfurane after being cut. Colorful vegetables provide antioxidants such as lycopene and beta carotene. Eating a diverse group of vegetables ensures balanced nutrition.  

“Different varieties of vegetables have different flavors,” Flowers-Kimmerle says. “Growing your own vegetables from seed allows you to choose varieties for your garden to suit your tastes.”

The flavor is also based on biochemical changes that happen to the produce once it is harvested. “The sugar in sweet corn kernels starts converting to starch as soon as the ear is harvested,” Flowers-Kimmerle says. “Cook sweet corn as soon as you can for the sweetest flavor.”

Harvest timing can also affect the flavor of a vegetable. Harvesting vegetables at their peak ensures maximum flavor. Locally grown vegetables benefit the environment by reducing carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels to transport grocery store produce.

“No plastic packaging is required when you harvest vegetables straight from the garden, which also reduces fossil fuel inputs,” Flowers-Kimmerle says. Pesticide and other chemical inputs tend to be lower in small, well-tended gardens than even small farms.

When vegetable gardeners use kitchen and yard waste as compost, they keep it out of landfills and create their own soil amendment to increase the garden’s productivity.

These health and environmental benefits can last even longer with cool weather plantings for a late fall harvest. Vegetables that grow well in cool weather, such as leaf lettuce, radish, spinach, and turnips, can be planted throughout Fall.

Article by Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle

Source: Gardener’s Corner Fall 2020: University of Illinois Extension

Planting Vegetables that Grow in Shade for a Successful Harvest

Stuck with a shady garden space? Opting for vegetables that grow in shade  — or at least vegetables that will tolerate shade — will increase your garden success. 

Vegetables that grow in partial shade

With a few exceptions, which I’ve noted, the crops below can thrive in just three to four hours of sunlight.

Shade grown vegetables have a tendency to be smaller, though. They can also take a little bit longer to mature than those grown in sunny gardens.

  • Salad greens like lettucearugula, and mesclun actually like a bit of protection from the sun. Greens are not only vegetables that grow in partial shade, but they’ll thrive there. You’ll have better luck with loose leaf lettuce; head lettuce doesn’t form well in a shade garden.

Hearty greens like Swiss chard, spinach, collards, cabbage, and kale are highly nutritious and versatile shade grown vegetables. If you can eke out five hours of sunlight, chard will produce thick stems, giving you two ways to enjoy it.
Vegetables that grow in light shade.
The plants listed above will grow in light shade as well, but add the following to the list if you’re dealing with only light shade. For these root crops, aim for four to five hours of sunlight and be aware that they might take longer to mature in these conditions.

And remember: the greens of beets, radishes, and turnips are all edible, giving you a bonus crop.

Root crops like beets, carrots, kohlrabi, radishes, and turnips are partial sun vegetables that will produce in low-light situations.
Potatoes are another partial shade vegetable.
Asparagus prefers cooler temperatures, so it’s no surprise that it will do okay with light shade, especially in hotter regions.

Vegetables that tolerate some shade

Some vegetables don’t really love shade, but they’ll do a pretty good job of tolerating low-light situations.

These options are best to choose if you have light shade.

  • Peas and beans can tolerate light shade. They won’t produce as abundantly as crops grown in full sun, though.
  • Green onions will keep producing all summer long in light shade if you cut just what you need and leave the root in place.
  • Celery tolerates light shade. Once it’s established in your garden, it will produce stems all summer long. In warmer climates, it will winter over and produce for a second year.
  • Brussels sprouts and cauliflower appreciate a little reprieve from the sun and are a good option for partial sun vegetables, as does broccoli and Romanesco.

Author: Kris Bordessa- Planting Vegetables that Grow in Shade for a Successful Harvest (

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