Gardening for the Apocalypse: Companion Planting

Gardening ZombeaseWe can’t all move to a nice big farm in the country to raise livestock and grow an acre of food for our families… but that’s no reason to give up on gardening and whatever self-sufficiency we can manage at home in our yards, balconies, and even parking strips outside our doors.

Whether you’re working on acres at a time, a few garden boxes on the back patio, or a couple of pots on the porch, you’ll want to get the most out of the space you’re using. Not only is it better for overall crop yields, but companion planting can actually improve the health of the soil, stimulate plant growth, and even help ward off pests.

With a small reclaimed-pallet garden box and three metal tubs, we have roughly 20 square feet of gardening space here at Zombease HQ. This is a prime example of companion planting and small space gardening.

Over the last two years these 20 square feet have successfully provided us with buckets of tomatoes, bushels of peas, more greens (kale, lettuce, and chard) than we can handle, herbs like basil, thyme, mint, and cilantro, whole strings of peppers, and bags and bags of onions… among other things like cucumbers, beets, carrots, and so on.

So, what’s my point? With even just a little space, just about anyone can have a successful garden and be one step closer to a self-sustaining lifestyle… not to mention being prepared for a sudden disaster like a Zombie apocalypse or economic collapse.

COMPANION PLANTING
Certain combinations of plants go better together than others, that’s a fact. Companion planting is the method of pairing up compatible plants to get the most out of their growth cycles and overall health. It’s kind of like a perfectly prearranged marriage for plants to get the most out of their time together.*

Artichoke
Plant near:
Brassica family (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassica).
Avoid: No known.

Asparagus
Plant near:
Basil, Marigold, Nasturtium, Parsley, Tomato.
Avoid: Allium family (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium).

Bean-Bush
Plant near:
Beets, Celery, Corn, Nasturtium, Peas, Radish, Strawberry.
Avoid: Allium family and Fennel.

Bean-Pole
Plant near:
Carrot, Catnip, Celery, Chamomile, Corn, Cucumber, Garlic, Marigold, Nasturtium, Oregano, Peas, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Spinach, Squash.
Avoid: Allium family, Beets, Brassica family, Fennel.

Beets
Plant near:
Allium family, Bush-Beans, Brassica family, Lettuce, Tomato.
Avoid: Pole Beans.

Broccoli
Plant near:
Artichoke, Beets, Catnip, Celery, Chamomile, Cucumber, Dill, Garlic, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion, Oregano, Peppermint, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
Avoid: Basil, Pole beans, Snap peas, Strawberry, Tomato.

Brussels Sprouts
Plant near:
Artichoke, Bush beans, Beets, Celery, Chamomile, Garlic, Nasturtium, Onion, Peas, Peppermint, Potato, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Thyme.
Avoid: Basil, Kohlrabi, Pole beans, Strawberry, Tomato.

Cabbage
Plant near:
Artichoke, Beets, Celery, Chamomile, Cucumber, Dill, Garlic, Nasturtium, Onion, Peas, Peppermint, Potato, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Thyme.
Avoid: Basil, Pole Beans, Tomato.

Carrots
Plant near:
Beans, Chives, Leeks, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Peas, Pepper, Radish, Rosemary, Sage Tomato.
Avoid: Celery and Dill.

Cauliflower
Plant near:
Artichoke, Bush Beans, beets, Cabbage, Celery, Chamomile, Garlic, Lettuce, Nasturtium, Onion, Peas, Potato, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Thyme.
Avoid: Basil, Pole Beans, Strawberry, Tomato.

Celery
Plant near:
Beans, Brassica family, Chives, Cilantro, Garlic, Leeks, Nasturtium, Spinach, Tomato.
Avoid: Carrot and Parsnip.

Collards
Plant near:
Artichoke, Beets Celery, Chamomile, Rosemary, Thyme, Tomato.Avoid: Basil, Pole Beans.

Corn
Plant near:
Alfalfa, Beans, Cucumber, Melon, Parsley, Peas, Potato, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potato.
Avoid: Tomato.

Cucumber
Plant near:
Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Catnip, Chives, Corn, Dill (small amounts), Eggplant, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Marigold, Nasturtium, Onion, Oregano, Peas, Radish, Sunflower, Tomato.
Avoid: Basil, Marjoram, Potato, Rosemary, Sage.

Eggplant
Plant near: 
Bean, Cilantro, Cucumber, Marigold, Pepper, Potato.
Avoid: None known.

Garlic
Plant near:
Beets, Brassica family, Celery, Chamomile, Lettuce, Radish, Roses, Tomato.
Avoid: Beans and Peas.

Kale
Plant near:
Artichoke, Beets, Bush Beans, Celery, Chamomile, Cucumber, Garlic, Lettuce, Mint Nasturtium, Onion, Peas, Potato, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Thyme.
Avoid: Basil, Pole Beans, Strawberry, Tomato.

Kohlrabi
Plant near:
Artichoke, Beets, Brassica family, Celery, Chamomile, Cucumber, Garlic, Nasturtium, Onion, Late Cabbage, Late Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Thyme.
Avoid: Basil, Pole Beans, Pepper, Strawberry, Tomato.

Leek
Plant near:
Carrot, Celery, Onion.
Avoid: Beans and Peas.

Lettuce
Plant near:
Beets, Carrot, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Dill (small amounts), Kale, Radish, Strawberry.
Avoid: Allium family, Brassica family (except kale and cauliflower).

Melon
Plant near:
Corn, Radish, Squash, Sunflower, Tomato.
Avoid: Potato.

Mustard
Plant near:
Artichoke, Beets, Celery, Chamomile, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Nasturtium, Radish, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
Avoid: Basil, Pole Beans, Tomato.

Onion
Plant near:
Beets, Brassica family, Carrot, Chamomile, Cucumber, Dill, Leeks, Peppers, Potato, Spinach, Squash, Strawberry, Tomato.
Avoid: Asparagus, Beans, Peas, Sage.

Peas
Plant near:
Aromatic Herbs, Beans, Brassica family, Carrot, Cilantro, Corn, Cucumber, Mint, Radish, Spinach, Tomato.
Avoid: Allium family.

Peppers
Plant near:
Basil, Carrot, Catnip, Eggplant, Nasturtium, Okra, Onion, Parsley, Tomato.
Avoid: Fennel and Kohlrabi.

Potato
Plant near:
Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Catnip, Cilantro, Corn, Eggplant, Horseradish, Nasturtium, Onion, Peas.
Avoid: Cucumber, Pumpkin, Spinach, Squash, Sunflower, Tomato.

Radish
Plant near:
Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Carrot, Cucumber, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Melon, Mustard, Nasturtium, Peas, Squash, Tomato.
Avoid: Hyssop.

Spinach
Plant near:
Beans, Brassica family, Celery, Onion, Peas, Strawberry.
Avoid: Potato.

Squash
Plant near:
Beans, Borage, Catnip, Celeriac, Celery, Corn, Marigold, Melon, Mint, Nasturtium, Onion, Radish.
Avoid: Potato, Pumpkin.

Strawberry
Plant near:
Bush Beans, Borage, Lettuce, Onion, Sage Spinach, Thyme.
Avoid: Brassica family.

Tomato
Plant near:
Asparagus, Basil, Beets, Borage, Carrot, Chives, Cilantro, Cucumber, Garlic, Marigold, Melon, Mint, Nasturtium, Parsley, Peas, Pepper, Onion, Radish, Sage.
Avoid: Brassica family, Corn, Dill, Fennel, Potato.

Turnips and Rutabaga
Plant near:
Artichoke, Beets, Celery, Garlic, Peas, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach, Thyme.
Avoid: Basil, Pole Beans, Hedge Mustard, Tomato.

Click here to open a PDF of this companion planting guide

Companion planting, like all types of gardening is a game of give and get. Do your best to carefully plan and plant your crops, focusing on variety, yield, and whether you’ll actually use them. And, remember that all gardens are different. Results will vary based upon region, soil health, plant genes, and the amount of care you put into it, among other things.

References: Portland Nursery – Companion Planting guide, Homesweet Homegrown.

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One Response to Gardening for the Apocalypse: Companion Planting

  1. Outstanding article!!!! Companion planting is definitely a great way to utilize your space and keep your soil healthy. The list you have covers almost everything we’d need.

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