So that everything is harmonious in the vegetable patch, hobby gardeners should make sure they are good neighbours. Appropriate combinations not only increase the crop yield, but also protect each other from pests. You can find tips for the ideal mixed vegetable culture here.


There are two main advantages of a mixed vegetable culture. On the one hand, the harvest yield increases, since harmonizing plants can actually promote each other’s vitality and healthy growth. This results in a higher crop yield. But how exactly does it work?

The lupine is a good example to illustrate how certain properties of a plant have a positive impact on the ecosystem. Nodule bacteria form on their roots, which bind the nitrogen from the air in the soil. Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for healthy growth. Not only neighboring plants benefit from the nutritious soil, but also the gardener, who can fertilize the vegetable patch more sparingly.

Note: Speaking of nutrient-rich soil, a bad neighborhood in the previous year has a negative effect on replanting.

Another notable benefit of mixed vegetable cultivation is natural pest control. Experience shows that plants can protect each other from predators and fungal infections. Mediterranean herbs are particularly popular because their intense aroma has a deterrent effect on pests. But vegetables are also able to protect their neighbors from infestation. The combination of onions and carrots is a popular example in the fight against harmful flies.

Note: Sometimes good neighborliness goes so far that the roots of suitable partners grow together underground without depriving one another of important nutrients or impeding growth.

create plan

Whether two types of vegetables get along well depends on many different factors. In order to take all conditions into account and to get an overview of the possibilities, it is advisable to draw up a vegetable mixed culture plan beforehand. Self-caterers should include the following parameters in this:

  • lighting conditions at the location
  • maximum growth height and spread of individual plants
  • Nutrient requirements (resulting fertilizer application)
  • Water requirement (also in relation to waterlogging)

Some vegetables are always competing for nutrients and therefore prevent each other from growing. This includes:

  • legume
  • cruciferous
  • Doldenblütler

Home growers should always ensure sufficient spacing when growing two strains from one of these genera. Neutral planting partners, for example, are helpful as gap fillers.
Botanists and farmers differ in terms of nutrient requirements

  • heavy feeder
  • medium eater
  • and weak eaters

The rule of thumb when creating a vegetable mixed culture plan is: opposites attract. Weak consumers do not rob the strong consumers of any important minerals and do not need much themselves to form fruit. Medium consumers also serve as neutral neighbors here.

A mixed vegetable culture can only work if the neighboring plants do not interfere with each other both below and above the ground. The enormous growth of some types of vegetables, for example zucchini, should be noted in this regard. The gourd threatens to overgrow short-growing varieties and compete with them for sunlight.

However, shading the substrate can also have positive effects on the ecosystem. Plants that prefer moist soil benefit from the neighboring plant protecting the substrate from drying out in a sunny vegetable patch. Likewise, weeds need sunlight to grow, which the large leaves of some vegetables do not allow to penetrate to the ground.

Note: The optimal design of a mixed culture is controversial. The large number of factors mentioned above, which are relevant for a functioning neighborhood, makes it difficult to fully meet all the location requirements of a vegetable plant.

Good, bad and neutral neighbors at a glance

Taking the above criteria into account, the following combinations result in either good or bad neighborhoods. In order to be able to adapt the various types of vegetables to their nutrient requirements, the following overview is divided into high, medium and low consumers.

Neighbors for heavy eaters


  • good: beans, garlic, lettuce, leeks, radishes, spinach, onions
  • neutral: peas, fennel, cucumbers, potatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini
  • bad: all types of cabbage


  • good: cabbage, kohlrabi, spinach
  • neutral: beans, strawberries, fennel, garlic, lettuce, leeks, radishes, onions
  • bad: peas, cucumbers, carrots, celery, tomatoes


  • good: beans, peas, potatoes, lettuce, chard, leek, beetroot, celery, spinach, tomatoes
  • neutral: fennel, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, radish, radish, zucchini
  • bad: strawberries, garlic, kohlrabi, onions


  • good: strawberries, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, carrots, celery, tomatoes
  • neutral: fennel, cucumber, potatoes, garlic, chard, leek, radishes, spinach, courgettes, onions
  • bad: beans, peas, beets


  • good: cucumber, kohlrabi


  • good: beans, garlic, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, carrots, leeks, radishes, radishes, beetroot, celery, spinach
  • neutral: strawberries , chard, zucchini, onions
  • bad: peas, fennel, cucumber, potatoes


  • good: peas, beets, onions
  • neutral: other vegetables
  • bad: –

Neighbors for middle eaters


  • good: cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes
  • bad: other umbellifers such as carrots, parsnips, celer


  • good: beans, peas, fennel, garlic, cabbage, lettuce, leeks, celery, onions
  • neutral: strawberries, potatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, spinach, zucchini
  • bad: radish, radish, tomato


  • good: strawberries, cucumbers, carrots, beets, tomatoes
  • neutral: fennel, potatoes, lettuce, kohlrabi, leeks, radishes, celery, spinach, courgettes, onions
  • bad: beans, peas, cabbage


  • good: beans, peas, potatoes, lettuce, leeks, radishes, beetroot, celery, spinach, tomatoes
  • neutral: strawberries, fennel, cucumber, garlic, carrots, radish, zucchini
  • bad: cabbages, onions


  • good: cabbage, carrots, radishes, radish
  • neutral: other vegetables
  • bad: –


  • good: peas, garlic, chard, leeks, radishes, radishes, tomatoes, onions
  • neutral: beans, strawberries, fennel, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, spinach, zucchini
  • bad: potatoes


  • good: beans, chard, onions
  • bad: carrots


  • good: potatoes, cabbage, kohlrabi, radishes, radish, tomatoes
  • bad: Swiss chard, beetroot


  • good: beans, peas, chard, carrots
  • bad: cucumber, cabbage, turnip greens, radishes


  • good: cucumbers, garlic, cabbage, kohlrabi, parsnips, lettuce, zucchini, onions
  • bad: potato, chard, tomato


  • good: beans, peas, strawberries, fennel, cucumbers, cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, leeks, radishes, beetroot, tomatoes, onions
  • neutral: potatoes, garlic, other types of lettuce, chard, radishes, spinach, zucchini
  • bad: celery


  • good: cucumbers, carrots, parsnips, beets
  • bad: beans, peas, leeks, potatoes

Neighbors for the weak


  • good: strawberries, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage, kohlrabi, celery, tomatoes
  • neutral: Swiss chard, carrots, radishes, spinach, zucchini
  • bad: peas, fennel, garlic, leeks, onions


  • good: fennel, cucumber, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, carrots, radishes, zucchini
  • neutral: strawberries, chard, celery, spinach
  • bad: beans, potatoes, garlic, leeks, tomatoes, onions


  • good: beans, peas, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, chard, carrots, spinach, tomatoes
  • neutral: strawberries, fennel, potatoes, garlic, leek, radish, radish, beetroot, celery, courgettes, onions
  • bad: cucumbers

Herbs and ornamental plants in mixed vegetable cultivation

With the exception of parsley, almost all herbs are compatible with vegetables. Above all, aromatic plants from the Mediterranean region are popular companions in the raised bed. Flowering plants, meanwhile, provide a few lively color accents. Once again, not only the gardener benefits from a culinary or visual enrichment. With their intense scents, herbs and ornamental plants keep pests away. Some of them bring even more benefits:

  • against fungi and bacteria: garlic
  • against nematodes and roundworms: marigolds, marigolds, chamomile, lilies, tickseed, coneflower
  • for mulching: cress, spinach, mustard
Note: The latter plants not only enrich the soil with nutrients, but also grow very quickly. They are therefore ideal as replacement plants for gaps caused by vegetable varieties that are ready for harvest early in the year.

frequently asked Questions

No, not necessarily. Although self-suppliers should avoid combinations in which one crop overlaps the other, both vegetable plants do not necessarily have to take advantage of the neighborhood. For example, intensely fragrant plants protect vulnerable plants without direct compensation.

Not only the repulsive scent of some plants keeps pests away. Numerous fungi (e.g. powdery mildew) have specialized on a certain type of vegetable. In the event of an infestation, other types of vegetables are spared, so that the harvest does not fail completely.

The type of vegetable with all its subspecies often decides whether neighbors are good or bad. For example, a vegetable that doesn’t get along well with iceberg lettuce usually won’t tolerate lettuce either.

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