Basil is a popular herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, from pasta to soup. But did you know that it’s also a fantastic companion plant? When planted alongside certain vegetables and flowers, basil can provide a range of benefits, including pest control, improved growth, and nutrient sharing. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of companion planting with basil and explore the top plants to pair with this fragrant herb.
|Tomatoes||Improved flavor and reduced pests|
|Peppers||Pest control and flavor enhancement|
|Eggplants||Enhanced flavor and pest reduction|
|Lettuce||Growth enhancement and pest control|
|Spinach||Pest control and tasty pairing|
|Asparagus||Improved flavor and pest protection|
|Marigolds||Pest repellent and soil fertility|
|Oregano||Improved flavor and pest reduction|
|Chives||Pest repellent and growth improvement|
|Garlic||Pest control and soil health|
|Borage||Soil health, pest control, and pollinator attraction|
|Chamomile||Pest repellent, pollinator attraction, and soil health|
|Petunias||Pest control and pollinator attraction|
|Nasturtiums||Pest control and pollinator attraction|
|Beans||Improved growth, flavor enhancement, and pest control|
The benefits of companion planting with basil
Companion planting is a practice that has been used for centuries to create a mutually beneficial growing environment for different crops. When done correctly, companion planting can help increase yield, reduce pests, and improve soil health. Basil is a particularly useful companion plant because it contains compounds that repel many common garden pests, including aphids, whiteflies, and mosquitos. Additionally, planting basil alongside certain crops can help improve their flavor and growth.
Pest control and prevention
One of the most significant benefits of companion planting with basil is pest control. The fragrant oils found in basil leaves can help repel a range of garden pests, including tomato hornworms, spider mites, and Japanese beetles. This means that you can reduce the need for chemical pesticides, which can harm beneficial insects and have negative effects on the environment.
Furthermore, planting basil alongside crops that are often targeted by pests, such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, can help protect them from damage. This is because the scent of basil can mask the scent of the host plant, making it harder for pests to locate it.
If you’re looking for a natural way to control pests in your garden, try making a homemade insecticide using basil. Simply steep a handful of fresh basil leaves in hot water for several hours, then strain and transfer the liquid to a spray bottle. This natural bug spray can be used to repel pests from your garden or indoor plants without the use of harmful chemicals.
Improved growth and flavor
In addition to repelling pests, planting basil can also help improve the growth and flavor of certain crops. For example, planting basil alongside tomatoes can help increase the fruit’s sugar content and improve its flavor. This is because basil contains compounds that can enhance the flavor of tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.
Furthermore, basil can help enhance the growth of leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach. This is because the nutrients and minerals in basil can help improve soil health, which in turn can promote healthy plant growth.
To maximize the benefits of companion planting, it’s essential to choose the right varieties of basil and plant them at the right time. Some of the best basil varieties for companion planting include Genovese, Lemon, and Thai basil. These varieties have a strong scent and contain higher concentrations of the compounds that repel pests and enhance growth.
Companion planting with basil can be a useful and effective way to improve the health and productivity of your garden. By repelling pests and enhancing growth and flavor, basil can help you achieve a thriving and sustainable garden.
Top basil companion plants
Now that we’ve explored the benefits of companion planting with basil, let’s dive deeper into the top 15 plants to pair with this versatile herb.
Tomatoes are one of the most popular crops to plant with basil. As we mentioned earlier, planting basil alongside tomatoes can help improve the fruit’s flavor and reduce pests. Tomatoes and basil also share similar growing conditions, making them great companions in the garden.
Peppers are another great crop to plant alongside basil, particularly if you’re growing hot peppers. Basil can help repel pests that are often attracted to pepper plants, such as spider mites and aphids. Additionally, peppers and basil can be used together in a variety of dishes, from spicy stir-fries to fresh salsas.
If you’re growing eggplants, planting basil alongside them is a smart choice. Basil can help improve the flavor of eggplants and reduce the damage caused by flea beetles and potato beetles. Plus, the two plants look beautiful together in the garden, with their complementary colors and textures.
Basil can help enhance the growth of leafy greens like lettuce, as well as reduce the damage caused by common garden pests like slugs. If you’re growing lettuce in a container, consider planting basil alongside it to help keep pests at bay.
Spinach is another leafy green that can benefit from companion planting with basil. Basil can help repel pests like aphids and spider mites that are known to target spinach. Additionally, spinach and basil make a delicious pairing in salads and other dishes.
If you’re growing asparagus, planting basil alongside it can help improve the flavor of this delicious vegetable. Basil can also protect asparagus from pests like asparagus beetles, which can wreak havoc on the plants.
Marigolds are often used as companion plants because they can help repel pests and increase the soil’s fertility. When planted alongside basil, marigolds can help repel nematodes, a type of soil-borne pest that can damage plants’ roots. Additionally, marigolds and basil look beautiful together in the garden, with their bright colors and varying heights.
Oregano and basil are a classic herb pairing. Planting oregano alongside basil can help improve the flavor of both herbs and reduce the damage caused by pests like spider mites and aphids. Oregano also has antibacterial properties, which can help protect other plants in the garden from harmful pathogens.
Chives are another herb that pairs well with basil. When planted together, chives and basil can help repel pests like aphids and improve the growth of other plants in the garden. Chives also have a mild onion flavor that can complement the taste of basil in a variety of dishes.
Garlic is another powerful companion plant that can help repel pests and improve soil health. When planted alongside basil, garlic can help protect against common garden pests like spider mites and aphids. Garlic also has natural fungicidal properties, which can help prevent fungal diseases from affecting other plants in the garden.
Borage is a useful companion plant that can help improve soil health and attract pollinators to the garden. When planted with basil, borage can also help repel pests like tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. Borage has beautiful blue flowers that can add a pop of color to the garden and make a lovely garnish for salads and other dishes.
Chamomile is another plant that can help improve soil health and attract pollinators. When planted with basil, chamomile can help repel pests like aphids, thrips, and flies. Chamomile also has a calming effect and can be used to make a soothing tea or infused oil.
Petunias are beautiful flowers that can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects to the garden. When planted with basil, petunias can help protect against common pests like aphids and whiteflies. Petunias come in a wide range of colors and can be used to create stunning floral arrangements or as a colorful border for vegetable beds.
Nasturtiums are another flower that can help repel pests and attract pollinators. When planted with basil, nasturtiums can help protect against common garden pests like aphids and whiteflies. Nasturtiums also have edible flowers and leaves that can add a spicy, peppery flavor to salads and other dishes.
Finally, beans are another crop that pairs well with basil. When planted together, beans and basil can help improve the growth and flavor of both plants. Additionally, basil can help repel pests like bean beetles that can damage bean plants. Beans and basil also make a delicious combination in soups, stews, and other dishes.
Basil is a fantastic companion plant that can provide a range of benefits when planted alongside certain vegetables and flowers. From pest control to improved growth and flavor, the benefits of companion planting with basil are numerous. By planting basil alongside the top plants we’ve explored in this article, you can create a thriving and healthy garden that’s both beautiful and delicious.
What should you not plant next to basil?
While basil is a great companion for many plants, it’s best to avoid planting it near sage, rue, or rosemary. These herbs may compete for nutrients and space, potentially stunting the growth of each other.
What plants go well with basil?
Basil is a fantastic companion for a variety of plants, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, lettuce, spinach, asparagus, marigolds, oregano, chives, garlic, borage, chamomile, petunias, nasturtiums, and beans.
Can I plant basil and flowers together?
Yes, planting basil and flowers together can be beneficial for both. Basil can help repel pests, while flowers like marigolds, petunias, nasturtiums, and chamomile can provide additional pest control and attract pollinators to the garden.
Are basil and thyme companion plants?
Yes, basil and thyme can be companion plants. Both herbs can benefit from each other’s pest-repelling properties, and their flavors can complement each other in culinary dishes.
Which herbs cannot be planted together?
Some herbs that should not be planted together include basil and sage, rue, or rosemary, as they can compete for nutrients and space. Additionally, dill and fennel should not be planted together, as they can cross-pollinate and negatively affect each other’s flavor.
What herbs don’t go well together?
Some herbs that may not grow well together include basil with sage, rue, or rosemary; dill with fennel; and mint with parsley or chamomile. These combinations can lead to competition for nutrients and space or negatively impact each other’s growth and flavor.