Perfect Plant Pairings – for taste and pests

Tomato seedlings in pot with label

When you think of the perfect pair you may think of your favourite outfit, your favourite wine and dinner combo or a couple you know that just go so well together. But have you thought about perfect pairings in your allotment or greenhouse? We’ve put together a guide on why this works and three of our top perfect pairs.

The science bit

So why would you bother planning out your planting? One of the benefits are keeping those pests away without the use of chemicals. The other biggest benefit is your soil. When you fill your veg trug with the same crop, the soil will have the same root system running throughout. Whereas if you alternate the rows, for example carrots and onions, the root system is a lot more varied. The root system on a carrot is very long and deep (taproots), however an onion has a more horizontal spread root system (fibrous). This enables you to utilise your planting area and make your space work harder for you. 

Carrot & Onions 

Carrots and onions don’t just go well together in the kitchen, they are also mutually beneficial when it comes to pests. The dreaded carrot fly is deterred by the smell of onions and the onion fly is deterred from the smell of carrots, so these really are a match made in heaven. And when it comes to recipes, we can’t name a hearty stew that doesn’t have carrots and onions as a base.

Julia Parker teaching a basil webinar

Tomatoes & Basil

You only need a few more ingredients and you have either a delicious pizza or healthy soup! The strong smell of basil deters the pests commonly associated with tomatoes. In return the tall growing tomatoes provide some shade for the basil. We aren’t 100% sure, but there are rumours that planting your tomatoes alongside basil actually improves the flavour of your tomatoes. 

Marigold – the ultimate partner  

You may not have thought about combining flowers with your edibles, but marigolds fit well with many veg. They can deter almost every common garden pest: aphids, onion fly, carrot fly and nematodes to name a few. If you’re thinking about using marigolds in your garden then think about where you plant them as they thrive in a sunny position, but aren’t fussed on the soil type. 

Are you a confident grower or have you picked up a new hobby over lockdown? Then why not sign up to our upcoming webinars, where we get horticultural experts to share their knowledge. Or join our grow club where our community of growers share tips and advice. You even get early bird access to our events too!