(tips on growing basil in your garden)
There’s tons of information on the web about companion planting but the focus is often on vegetables and not companion planting herbs. Our Herb Garden decided to research and build our own guide to companion planting herbs. This page discusses growing basil and basil companion planting.
Basil Companion Planting
Basil companion planting will help asparagus, beans, beets, cabbage, chili and bell peppers, eggplant, marigolds, oregano, potatoes and tomatoes.
Tomatoes benefit from basil companion planting. Growing tomatoes and basil near each other is said to make each crop taste better. One expert did suggest that the only benefit of planting basil and tomatoes together was the ability to harvest them at the same time but I read numerous gardeners reporting that their tomatoes, basil or both plants seemed to benefit from the pairing.
Companion Plants for Basil
Companion planting basil with chamomile will be beneficial to the growth of your basil plants.
Common rue and sage are poor companion plants for basil and should not be grown near basil.
Basil & Anise
One of our sources said that growing anise near basil is beneficial and another listed anise as a bad basil companion plant. Another source explained that anise will cause the essential oil production of basil to increase. If you are growing enough of each type of plant, perhaps try planting a single pair of plants together to see how it goes.
Basil & Insects
Basil makes a great companion plant because it attracts butterflies to your garden and repels many harmful insects. It is said that basil repels aphids, asparagus beetles, mosquitoes, tomato hornworms and white flies. But, another source I found reported that aphids go after young basil plants (personally, I think those little monsters will eat anything they can find). Basil is also reputed to slow the growth of milkweed bugs.
Insect control with basil may be improved by avoiding overhead irrigation, increasing organic matter in the soil and ensuring the basil plants are not overcrowded.
Additional Basil Information
You can learn more about growing basil, harvesting basil and some common uses of basil on our basil growing guide.
Worshiped in some countries and associated with hate and poverty in others, basil has an interesting history. To learn more about the history of this culinary herb, please check out our history of basil page.
Basil and Tomatoes and Garlic – Oh YUM!
What could be better than a garden blooming with basil, tomatoes and fresh garlic? That would be Doug Oster’s book dedicated to this trio of garden goodness. Oster is a well-known gardener. He has his own radio program in Pittsburgh, is a syndicated newspaper columnist and is a regular guest on Martha Stewart’s radio program. Tomatoes Garlic Basil: The Simple Pleasures of Growing and Cooking Your Garden’s Most Versatile Veggies is full of tips on growing these three staples of every Italian kitchen. It also features a number of recipes Oster and his wife picked up on their trip to Italy.
But, this isn’t just another gardening or recipe book. This is a book written by a gifted storyteller who will both educate and entertain you as he shares pieces of his life and the lives of people like Fred Limbaugh with you. Mr. Limbaugh may be familiar to Pennsylvania area gardeners but his name was new to me – he is fondly remembered for a species of tomatoes with leaves that look like those of a potato plant. Oster talks about Fred, his semi-famous tomatoes and all sorts of other gardening adventures.