There are some things that classically go together – in the food area, we think of macaroni and cheese, milk and cookies, bread and butter, peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, fish and chips, soup and salad. Spaghetti and meatballs, meat and potatoes, burgers and fries, grilled cheese and tomato soup. Cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, sugar and spice, lemon and limes, cucumbers and onions and the list goes on.
The DIY person might think of the companion in hammer and nails or nuts and bolts that work together.
If you are old enough, and are thinking of people, you might come up with Ozzie and Harriet, Sonny and Cher, Abbot and Costello, Bonnie and Clyde, Fred and Ginger, Jack and Jill, Batman and Robin and even Romeo and Juliet.
After a hard day, your thoughts might go to the combinations of Rum and Coke, pretzels and beer, or gin and tonic.
In the garden, companion planting offers every gardener the chance to harness the power of nature for higher yields as well as natural, organic pest control.
As you are selecting your vegetables for the coming growing season, consider the companion plantings asparagus with tomato plants.
Beans work well planted by corn, cucumbers, radish, and strawberries. Beets go together with bush beans (not pole beans), cabbage, broccoli, kale, lettuce, onions and garlic.
The cabbage family such as cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts like the companion plants of beets, dill, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, onions and potatoes.
Carrots like to be near beans and tomatoes. Corn does well planted by cucumbers, melons, squash, peas, bean, and pumpkins. Eggplant goes well planted with beans and peppers.
Melons like to be close to corn, pumpkins, radish and squash. Onions benefit from beets, carrots, Swiss chard, lettuce and peppers nearby.
The potato companion plants are beans, corn and peas while tomatoes do well near carrots, cucumbers, onions and peppers. Tomatoes do not like their neighbors to be corn, potatoes or kohlrabi.
Marigolds repel many species of insects. You can plant marigolds around tomatoes to inhibit the ugly green hornworms.
Herbs add flavor to foods and they can also discourage harmful insects. Nasturtium and rosemary deter beetles that attack beans. Thyme repels the cabbage worm. Chives and garlic deter aphids. Oregano like marigolds is a good all-purpose plant for the organic gardener who wants to deter most insect pests.
Plant herbs freely among vegetables, tucking basil, oregano, rosemary and chives in among the tomato and pepper plants. You can harvest the entire crop and make one great tasting dinner.
Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.