Herbs: Great Garden Companions

Gardening, Herbalism, Pollinators

It’s not too late to add herbs to your summer veggie beds, or too early to start thinking about a planting scheme for a fall harvest!

Herbs love fruits and veggies, and there are so many combinations that make for happy garden companions. Not only can you enhance the flavor of your crops, but you can increase their disease/pest resistance, attract beneficial insects, AND grow plenty of wonderful herbs to add to your summer or fall table.

Basil comes in many varieties!

Tuck a few basil plants among your tomato crops. They don’t only pair well on the plate, but basil can deter flies and mosquitoes while enhancing the flavor of nightshades like tomatoes and peppers. It can even inspire oregano’s flavor profile—that seems like a one-stop pizza plot waiting to happen!

Chives and dill play nicely in the Burpee Kitchen Garden.

Chives’ sharp oniony scent repels aphids and Japanese beetles while enhancing the flavors of carrots, squash, tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli.

Garlic really does go with everything… It loves leafy veggies, beets, carrots, and tomatoes and helps repel pests like aphids, moths, rabbits, and slugs or snails. As a natural antibiotic, it’s also a great choice for fighting fungus issues in the garden.

Perhaps you’ve used mint as a natural pest repellant either on yourself or in your home, and it works the same way in the garden, deterring cabbage moths, ants, aphids, flea beetles, and squash bugs. And the best news is that any mint will work, so grow your favorites. (Side note: since mint will take over a garden if given half a chance, you might want to plant your mints in containers.)

Thyme is a workhorse when it comes to the garden, from repelling pests like tomato hornworm and cabbage worm to attracting beneficial insects and, if planted near hives, enhancing the flavor of honey. As a natural antiseptic, it can also contribute to healthy hive hygiene.

These are just a few suggestions, but you can’t really go wrong when you add herbs to the garden. Need inspiration? Our Burpee Kitchen Garden and the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses are wonderful examples.

This basil cultivar, ‘Aristotle’, Ocimum basilicum, has dwarf leaves.

Rosemary, another common ingredient in insect repellants, deters cabbage moths, beetles, slugs, and snails while enhancing the flavor profile of beans and anything in the cruciferous family. Find this in the Burpee Kitchen Garden.

Parsley is a wonderful general workhorse, attracting butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to the garden. This particular parsley is in the Burpee Kitchen Garden.