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Don’t Let Your Veggies Fight: The Ultimate Guide to Companionship in Your Garden

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Which Veggies Shouldn’t Share a Bed

As a home gardener, you want to grow the freshest, healthiest veggies possible. But did you know that some veggies are better off kept separate? We spoke with the experts at Love & Carrots, a woman-owned urban farming company, to find out which veggie combinations are a recipe for disaster.

The Unholy Trinity: Potatoes and Tomatoes

Potatoes and tomatoes are both nightshades, and planting them together can lead to disease-ridden tomatoes. “Potatoes are planted early in the spring and reach their highest disease risk early in the summer, right when tomatoes are getting started,” says Ruby Dessiatoun, Love & Carrots Senior Farmer. “Planting potatoes and tomatoes next to each other increases the risk of tomatoes getting potato diseases right at the time it is too late to replant.”

The Sulfur Squad: Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions are heavy nitrogen feeders, and planting them together can deplete soil nutrients and compete for resources. “Unless regularly fertilizing, two heavy feeders next to each other can cause them to rapidly deplete soil nutrients and compete with each other for resources,” says Dessiatoun.

The Broccoli-Bashing Tomatoes

Broccoli is typically planted in early spring, but planting it near tomatoes can lead to stunted tomato plants. “There is some belief that planting tomatoes near your broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables will lead to stunted tomato plants,” says Dessiatoun.

The Oregano-Squash Showdown

Oregano and squash have different watering needs, making it hard to tend to them in the same garden bed. “Oregano is a perennial that requires very little water when established,” says Dessiatoun. “Squash is an annual with giant leaves that becomes dehydrated quickly and needs much more water than an oregano would tolerate.”

The Potato-Cucumber Conundrum

Potatoes are prone to fungal diseases, which can jump to cucumbers, squash, and melons. “As the plants start to die back at the end of their lifecycle, they are prone to fungal diseases like Alternaria leaf spot, which can jump from the potatoes to the just-getting-started cucurbits,” says Dessiatoun.

TL;DR: When planting your veggies, remember to keep potatoes and tomatoes separate, garlic and onions apart, broccoli and tomatoes distinct, oregano and squash separate, and potatoes and cucumbers, squash, and melons apart. With proper care, including sunlight, fertilizer, soil, and watering, you’ll be on your way to growing the freshest, healthiest veggies possible.

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