Companion Planting for Raised Bed Gardens

Companion Planting for Raised Bed Gardens

For those of us that have gardens or raised beds gardens and we have an issue with pests , flies and insects on our hard grown vegetables, but we don’t wish to use insectisides or pesticides, well fear not, there is a natural solution to this problem. There is a type of natural control that we can use parallel with our growing vegetables, and is guaranteed to be safe to use. Companion planting for raised bed gardens or indeed ordinary open ground gardening is a new phenonomen and is widely used by growers and gardeners and those that use this method seem to be very happy with the results. The idea seems to be complicated and difficult to understand, but it’s a really simple alternative to the pest eradication system that we may have used heretofore.

It’s really planting and sowing some heavily scented flowers, herbs and some vegetables in amongst our regular vegetables. One of the main variety of flowers used for this purpose is the common Marigold, believe it or not. Others that are regularly used and have proved to be quite effective in controlling these pests are narstitiums and in some cases, ordinary geraniums. If we have been growing these in our patio containers or flower pots, we will be very familiar with these and the other interesting fact that we may not be aware of is, these flowers that I have mentioned above have a particular repelling scent which deters insects.


Why Marigolds;


Like all the gardening books that we now have at our disposal, either online or in our libraries, believe it or not there are now some great books on the subject of companion planting. If we are thinking of going all out in the garden and becomming almost professional, then I would recommend that we go ahead and purchase some of these books for reference on the topic of companion planting. Meanwhile back to the topic of Marigolds,  whats all the fuss about, I hear you say, when it comes to mentioning these flowers and what’s so special about these. Even though they loook splendid with their bright orange and yellow coloured appearance and the bushy flower head that they produce for most or all of the summer months, they do have a rather pungent smell or aroma.

This is where the magic happens in the gardens, what we do when we have our vegetables all sown and planted, we then go ahead and plant some marigolds in amongst these. As our vegetables mature and begin to produce , this is the time when insects and garden pests are attracted to our gardens. But the pungent aroma that eminates from our Marigolds will deter some or all of these insects. Evidence suggests that these marigolds will deter most beetles, beet leaf hopper, the mexican bean beetle and nematodes. Potted marigold repels asparagus beetle and tomato worms. The rarer mexican marigold variety is known to deter rabbits from our garden patch also. There is also further evidence to suggest that, when the flowers die away and the roots of the marigold dissolve into the soil, this creates a natural pesticide that will last for a number of years.




Other flowers that will deter insects and pests;


The very common and brightly coloured nasturtiums are another well known favourite when it comes to companion planting in our vegetable gardens. These flowers also have a rather pungent aroma and make a great natural pesticide or insecticide, if I can use these words. Even though these nasturtiums make rather delicious accompaniemients to salad meals from time to time, they are often use as garnishes or as a decorative element to a side dish, they do have that uncanny trait that will repel most insects from the gardens. The fact that nasturtiums repel most insects and are a gardeners friend when it comes to solving this issue, we need to be aware that these flowers will multiply a hundred fold, if we do not take preventitive measures.. The seed of these are located under the flower in a seed pod or sac and  each flower will produce many seeds, so in twelve months from planting a garden can be coverd instantly.

Along with the two varieties that we have mentioned previously, there are other flowers that will also be just as effective in helping and assisting with these problems and they are, geraniums, dahlias and chrysanthemums. If its possible to grow these, they are a great way of eliminating the pest problem from our gardens, not only will that insect problem be eradicated but the other advantage that this system will bring is a fantastic splash of natural colour to our otherwise rather dull vegetable raised beds or gardens. Vegetable raised beds or gardens are predominantely green in colour all over from the leaves, so by adding these brightly coloured flowers, we will really transform our outdoor growing arena into an attractive canvas of colour.



Vegetable Companion Plants;


Along with all the flowers that we have covered and considered to be great companions in our vegetable gardens, let’s not forget that there are also rather acidic scented and heavy emitting aromatic vegetables that will greatly assist us with this problem. Vegetables like onions, spring onions, chives, sage, horseradis, mint, peppermint and thyme. These have their own unique scented aromas, that will also deter a section of these pests from time to time. Take the onion for example, if these are planted in amongst cabbages, they are known to deter the butterflies from going any where near them and thus preventing them from laying their eggs.

Indeed if we pick an onion and mash up the leaves in our hands, the smell is almost overpowering and that is just one example. How many times has the task of peeling onions brought a tear to our eyes and right there is further evidence of how effective this vegetable is in the elimination of certain garden pests. Let’s look for a moment at the i above image of a community allotment garden and we see marigolds and calendula scattered throughout and planted amongst the vegetables.

I trust that you have enjoyed reading this post on companion planting for raised bed gardens and if so, please join the conversation and leave your thoughts in the comments section under here.

Happy gardening to all.

Cheers             Phil Browne.


“Oh, the joy, the joy of Spring,

a joy so grand, so absolute,

so lavish and engaging,

dipping my humble soul in magic,

uplifting and exhilarating,

instilling beauty and virtue into my days.”

― Amelia Dashwood


6 thoughts on “Companion Planting for Raised Bed Gardens

  1. Hello Phil, very interesting post. I have always been an open ground gardener until this year now I’m using raised beds. My plants are up very well at this point, can I still add Marigolds to my garden and if I can do I place them randomly around the rest of my plants? I will look into buying a book for my library as well. Do you have one you recommend?

    Thank you

    1. Hi there
      Many thanks for content feedback and for taking the time out to read this post, its very much appreciated. I would say yes, you can plant these marigolds within your vegetables or plants at any time. They will help with the pests issue at any time of the year. If you had any other minty or strong smelling herbs…these would also assist with this problem.
      One of the great gardening books, that I would recommend for you would be a Title called ” Raised Bed Revolution ” by Tara Nolan. This is a great read and comes highly recommended. There are some great gardening hints and tips and its very easy to follow and understand.
      Thanks again for stopping by and happy gardening.
      Cheers Phil Browne

  2. Phil-58,
    I really enjoyed your article. I am a novice at trying to grow vegetables. This year is the first year in 3 years I have not grown anything. Every time I try to grow something I get some type of insect, pest or fly on/in my garden and nothing grows or is extremely small. This article gives me hope that I can grow something. It was very informative. I like the fact of having some of these plants around just to keep away general insects I do prefer natural over chemicals.

    1. Hi there Monica

      Many thanks for dropping by and offering feedback comments, very much appreciated. I am glad that you found the post informative and interesting. Yes I agree, its a very simple solution and a rather inexpensive method also. These marigolds interspersed throughout the veggies and plants will repel a lot of those critters…

      Strong scented veg. like onions and mint will also assist with this problem and as you rightly pointed out, this is a natural remedy.

      Thanks again for dropping by and happy gardening.

      Cheers       Phil Browne

  3. I am very interested in using natural remedies for pests and am happy to find this information about specific flower varieties that work as well as certain herbs. If I purchase and plant these flowers, will they come back the following year? Will I need to save and dry the seeds? And if I collect the seeds, will they germinate if they are not organic? Thanks!

    1. Hi there AHeg,

      Many thanks for stopping by and offering comments feedback. I am glad that you found this post informative and interesting. These flowers that I mentioned are just basic summer bedding plants and are known as annuals. They will not grow back next year, unfortunately.

      However they are rather inexpensive and unless you are a very keen experienced gardener, you could gather the seeds and propogate them next year.

      Thanks again for dropping by and happy gardening.

      Cheers       Phil Browne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *