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A Guide to Incompatible Garden Plants
Some garden plants are seemingly not very nice to each other. Some try to steal light and nutrients from their neighbors, who might very well be drawing harmful insects to their neighbors in kind. Harmony in the garden can be a delicate balance, and requires a good knowledge of the soil, light and watering needs of the plants themselves, as well as what plants just can’t seem to get along.
The easiest factors to consider when planting are the relative size and light requirements of the plants. When planting taller and shorter plants near each other, make sure the shorter plants are spaced far enough apart and arranged in such a way for the sun to shine on them properly. One simple way to assure this is by arranging short plants in their own row near the edge of the garden.
Aside from light, plants can have different watering and fertilizing needs. It is beneficial to plant things near each other that have similar needs for convenience unless one of the plants is overly aggressive. To counter this, just pay a little extra attention to proper spacing when you plant and make sure there is adequate fertilizer for all plants.
The last thing to consider, are plants that are allelopathic. These plants have the ability to chemically hinder the vital systems of neighboring plants. Often times these plants are weeds, but can also be a variety of crop and landscape plants.
Potentially Allelopathic Plants: * Asparagus * Beans * Beets * Broccoli * Cabbage * Cucumbers * Peas * Soybeans * Sunflowers * Tomatoes
Combinations to avoid:
Garlic and onions near peas and beans
Plants like tomatoes, eggplants, and corn will suffer near black walnuts
Keep anise and dill away from carrots
Avoid planting mint or onions near asparagus
Pole beans and mustard should not be planted near beets
Keep potato hills away from cucumber, pumpkin, squash, radish, sunflower and tomato plants.
Don’t plant any member of the cabbage family near strawberries
Cabbage, cauliflower, corn, dill, and potatoes should be kept away from tomatoes
Rotate crops annually when growing broccoli to prevent the buildup of toxic residue