5 Tips for Creating a Better Garden

Are you a first-time gardener who would love to have a thriving vegetable garden, but are not quite sure how to go about it?

If so, here are five tips that will help you create a better vegetable garden by taking advantage of something called companion planting.

What is companion planting? — This is the art of planting a certain type of vegetable next to another type so that both can help each other grow. If you practice this type of gardening, not only will your veggies grow faster but, in many cases, they will taste much better as well.

There are some vegetables, however, that you should never plant next to other types of vegetables. If you do, one of them may not make it out alive.

Broccoli does not classify the strawberry as its friend — While broccoli will do very well planted next to beans, rosemary, oregano and chamomile, plant it far away from your strawberries.

Strawberries grow fast and tend to spread out quickly, which can be the death knell to the more keeps-to-its-own-space broccoli.

Leeks should avoid beans — Leeks love carrots, onions and marigolds. If you use companion planting and put your leeks next to beans, however, the beans will take over and your leaks will not get enough sunlight to grow properly.

Garlic helps fruit trees — If you want to have the best fruit this year, plant garlic next to your fruit trees. The garlic will protect your trees from pests, and will still thrive in its own little patch underneath the trees. Just remember to never plant it next to beans or peas. They have their own best friends.

Potatoes love beans — Potatoes will grow beautifully if planted next to beans, hemp, marigolds and basil. They will do less well if planted next to raspberries, strawberries, cucumbers or sunflowers.

Carrots thrive next to sage, beans and melon — If you love fresh carrots on your dinner table, be sure to plant them next to beans, sage or melons and keep them far away from dill and celery.

Follow these five tips for creating a thriving vegetable garden, and yours will do well.

For more about companion gardening and who loves who, this companion planting visual guide is an excellent way to help you remember.