Monday, March 22, 2010

Carrots Love Tomatoes

Did you know that carrots love tomatoes?  Well, evidently they do.  I'm not talking about romantic vegetable love.  I'm talking about companion planting.  I've just finished reading Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte.  (Thanks, Mavis.  You must see how she chose me as winner.) Riotte is well-know for her many writing contributions on gardening and companion planting.  This book was an easy read chock full of helpful garden planting advice.  Let me give you an excellent example of companion planting straight from the book.

"A major enemy of the carrot is the carrot fly, whereas the leek suffer from the onion fly and leek moth.  Yet when leek and carrot live together in companionship, the strong and strangely different smell of the partner plant repels the insects so much that they do not even attempt to lay their eggs on the neighbor plant."

A good thing to know if you will be planting carrots and leeks in your garden this year.  Some more super-helpful information, especially if you have kids, is the section on poisonous plants.  I knew some of these, but not all.   The following are poisonous to humans and animals:  castor beans, peach stones and apple seeds (contain cyanide), pokeberries from the pokeweed, jack in the pulpit, English ivy, hydrangea leaves, oleander, daffodils, lily of the valley, hyacinths and larkspurs to name a few.

The book has great sections on companion planting recommendations for vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and bushes, nuts, and ornamental trees and shrubs.  Here are a few vegetables and their companions (+) or anti-companions (-)...  

(+) = plant near it, (-) = do NOT plant near it.

Asparagus: (+) parsley, basil, tomatoes (repels asparagus beetle)

Beans: (+) carrots, cauliflower, marigolds (repels Mexican bean beetle) (-) onion, garlic, shallots

Broccoli: (+) dill, oregano, celery, sage, peppermint, rosemary, potatoes, beets and onions (-) onion, garlic, shallots

Carrots: (+) tomatoes, onions, leeks, rosemary (-) do not store apples and carrots near each other

Corn: (+) potatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash and planting sunflowers in alternating rows with corn has shown to decrease army worm populations by as much as half.

Leek: (+) celery, onions, cabbage

Lettuce: (+) onions (repel rabbits), strawberries, cucumbers, carrots

Onion: (+) cabbage, beets, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce (-) peas, beans

Peas: (+) carrots, turnips, radishes, cucumbers, corn, beans and potatoes (-) onions, garlic and gladiolus

Tomato: (+) chives, onion, parsley, marigold, nasturium, carrot, they like being planted in the same place each year (-) cabbage, potatoes, fennel, tabacco (even residue from a smoker's hands)

This book goes on to talk about different gardening techniques including French Intensive Gardening (raised beds), Intercropping, Mulch, Succession Planting and Two-Season Planting.  It includes sections on soil improvement, pest control and garden plans with actual diagrams of A Model Companion Garden, a Kitchen Herb garden, Weekend Garden and Postage Stamp Garden for a small lot.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, taking many notes along the way.  My next task is to pass those notes to Jamey to see if we can move some things around on our garden map.  Vegetables need companions as much as we do, I suppose.  And, that's nice to think about. Pin It


  1. I was given this book for Christmas, and excitedly devoured it! I can't wait to see how the suggestions offered in it work in real life. :-)

  2. I'm seeing this as a primer for this years efforts. wow.
    Thanks for sharing-
    Your examples are very enticing, off to my library website then to amazon. ...
    this may be one of my book purchases this year. (only 3 so far)

  3. Ohhh, this book sounds so good! It has more in it than I thought. I hadn't bought it because the Vegetable Gardener's Bible has a similar planting guide, but I don't think it goes into the deep explanation this one does.

    Just an FYI... I don't recommend running out and eating a bunch of apple seeds, but a friend who is a physician says that when you consume the apples seeds with the apple (in small limited amounts) it is actually good for you - the arsenic (cyanide) actually helps prevent cancer. BUT... I would do some research on this first. I haven't eaten a lot of them myself as I'm still a bit leery, but I've watched my friend do it on a number of occasions and he is healthy as they come (70+ years old, too).

    1. I used to work for a naturopath and she said the same thing about raw almonds. They are related to peach and apricots, and eating the seed on both of those in very limited quantities helps kill cancer cells because of the arsenic.

  4. What a fun way to pick a winner.. her "girls" are too cute and smart to boot!
    In Florida we had Florida Sweets which were onions grown on the borders of the strawberry patches to keep the critters out..and they were so good. Sure miss those. I would buy them in bulk in season and slice or chop them and freeze I am really missing them!
    This book looks llike it holds many interesting planting ideas. I will have to get a copy.
    Have a wonderful week!!

  5. Congratulations on winning your book. That's so funny how she and the chickens chose you. They must have sensed your love for their feathery friends :)

  6. I love this book. I also carry it to the garden with me during plantin time!

  7. How interesting! I am so anxious to get this book as I attempt to put in a garden for the FIRST TIME EVER!! I know, shameful...but better late than never. Thanks for the information. I will be using your blog as a guide when I get started!

  8. what great advice. i knew the strawberry and onion paring having grown up with strawberry fields all over the place - and the corn/beans thing - but funny enough - i just planted sunflowers with my corn because it looked pretty in another garden - i didn't know it served a purpose!! LOL.

  9. Hmmm - I have an Amazon and a Barnes and Noble gift certificate to spend - might have to look into this book! Thanks for the tip!

  10. I heart that video :) I need to figure out what to plant with potatoes... I'm planning on planting my extra seed potatoes down at the community garden and need something to go with them. Happy Planting!

  11. What a great post! Thank you..and for the book recommendation as well. I must check that one out!

  12. Very cool post...i am bookmarking for reference as this is our first year attempting to grow a veggie garden. Thanks! :)

    Your sister must be a great blessing to you...such wonderful crafts she does for your children! Those bulletin boards are adorable. :)

    Have a great week!

  13. Oh yes, this book is as good as you described. I think it's going to make a huge impact on our efforts, thanks for sharing.

  14. Thanks for the helpful companion planting list. What would you recommend for an organic bug spray? I found an organic bug spray online called Tomato and Vegetable Insect Killer that's made by Safer Brand. Have you heard of it? It targets a bunch of different bugs and is safe to use up to the day of harvest.

  15. Ashley, The most popular way to be rid of unwelcome bugs on our vegetables is to pay Sam to pick them off (we pay by the bug). If you don't have someone to do the work for you, check out this article. In addition to really helpful hints as to which plants repel which bad bugs, there is a recipe for a solution you can spray on your plants. I hope this is helpful:-).


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

Please choose the Anonymous option if you prefer not to sign in to comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails