Fennel Doesn’t Have Friends: A Guide to Companion Planting

June 3, 2013
Companion planting lettuces

If you are like us, you enjoy growing, harvesting and eating home grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  As we have transitioned to gardening entirely organically at Tilly’s Nest, we have come to learn of some fascinating gardening techniques that can help you get the best from your plantings.  One such technique is companion planting.  Companion planting involves placing plants that can benefit from one another adjacent to each other the garden.  It also involves keeping some plants far away from one another, as they can be detrimental to one another’s growth.  In fact, this year is my first year growing fennel. I picked up one bulb and sadly, it has no home. I will have to plant it in a container.

Today, I’m sharing what I have learned from years of reading and researching gardening, personal experience, and the like. The list is far from comprehensive, but it gives you an idea of plants that are happy together.  Most of these plants are what we grow here in our own gardens.  With a little bit of planning, I have to admit that this technique of gardening is really quite amazing. It works especially well if you are short on space.  It also is a great way to mix and match your plantings in raised gardening beds.

The table below is how I have taught my children this technique in the garden.  This is the easiest way for them to relate.  When you are school age, everyone has a BFF.  They have kids they prefer to avoid and know some kids that are just so amazingly cool that everyone wants to hang out with them.

Tilly’s Nest Guide to Companion Planting ©
Best Friends
Friends with Superpowers
Plant these near your plants for added benefits
Asparagus, Corn, Sunflower
Tomato, Basil, Strawberry, Parsley, Dill, Cilantro
Potatoes, Garlic, Onion
Basil-Asparagus Beetle
Peppers,  Tomatoes, , Oregano,
Rosemary, Sage
Bush Beans,  Onion, Lettuces,
Cabbage, Broccoli
Pole Beans
Bell Peppers
Tomatoes, Basil, Carrots, Parsley
Mint, Rosemary, Sage
Tomatoes, Eggplant, Peppers, Beans, Strawberries
Eggplant, Cucumbers, Celery, Corn, Lettuce, Peas
Beets, Onion, Marigolds
Bush Beans, Strawberry, Potato,
Lettuce, Peas, Radish, Eggplant
Rosemary- Cabbage Flies
Geraniums-Cabbage Worms
Celery-repels White Cabbage Butterflies
Dill-Cabbage Looper
All beans, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Tomatoes, Sage
Dill, Parsnip
Tomatoes, Leeks, Bush Beans, Cabbage
Potatoes, Corn
All Beans, Cabbage, Onions
Corn, Cucumbers, Melons
All Beans, Corn, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radish, Dill
Nasturtium-Cucumber Beetle
All Beans
Tomatoes, Beets, Carrots
Beans, Peas
All Beans, Carrots, Cucumbers, Strawberries, Onions, Cabbage
Celery, Parsley, Potatoes
Beets, Cabbage, Carrot, Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce, Pepper, Squash,
Strawberry, Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Broccoli
All Beans and Peas
Bush Beans, Cabbage, Carrot, Peas, Onion
Cucumber, Squash, Turnip, Fennel, Tomato
Bush Beans-Colorado Potato Beetle
Pole Beans
Cucumbers, Eggplant, lettuces
Beets, onions, garlic
Carrots, lettuces, Asparagus
Corn, Fennel, Potatoes,Broccoli, Cabbage
Dill-Tomato Horn Worm
Basil-Tomato Horn Worm
Cabbage, Beans, Carrots
Onions, Lettuces, bush beans
Corn, Onion, Marigold, Melons,
Lemon Balm-Squash Bug
Beans, Corn, Onion
Cucumbers, Potatoes

Click here for a printable copy of the above table.

Photo Credits:  Tilly’s Nest



Author/Blogger/Freelancer-Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.



28 thoughts on “Fennel Doesn’t Have Friends: A Guide to Companion Planting”

  1. oops, I put my bush beans in between my yellow onions this year… they seem to be doing ok but I guess I just didn't think to research that one… ran out of space and thought i would give it a try! Thanks for the helpful list, pinning for next year.

  2. Great list! Thanks so much! I do some companion planting but have been doing the same stuff for years…..and never knew there was help for cabbage worms! Buying geraniums today!


  3. I grow my carrots in alternate rows to Fennel and they both do very well. The smell of the Fennel keeps the Carrot root fly away. I also do the same with cabbage or any brassica as it keeps the butterflies away.

  4. I grew the best fennel tightly packed in a wide row raised bed in between radishes and beets and also next to a bounty of onions. I can only say the bounty was incredible in all regards and this was in South Florida. I still have one fennel bulb left to be eaten and it has not bolted and is at about 88 degrees but with a close spacing, the soil is completely shaded.

  5. Just wanted to tell you I grew tons of fennel and tomatoes right next to each other in the same box. The fennel brought in lots of swallowtail caterpillars and kept them off my dill. The tomatoes were san marzano and caramello and there was an amazing quantity.

    • Yes, fennel is an incredible host plant for a variety of good bugs. However, fennel is known to stunt the growth of members of the nightshade family including tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. So, it is generally not recommended to grow near these. Different environments can also grow different rates of produce based on climate and soil. There are so many variable that can affect your crops.

  6. Wow! Your chart is utterly perfect for me to work out 8 gardens worth of plantings! This is the first year to grow fennel. I did read from that Dahlias like fennel. Across a path or in an adjacent container. Fennel is of the Umbelifer family and will attract parasitic wasps to keep the pests down! I’m not sure if Dalias will grow here, but I will give it a try. Brightest Blessings!

  7. One of my raised beds had fennel and carrots last year. I would like to plant other things in it this year. How long does the negative effects of the fennel last in the soil? Would it be a mistake to plant tomatoes in that bed this year?

    • That is a great question. I do not have an answer. I would probably be on the safe side and avoid it again this year and I can research and see what I can find for you.


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.