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Good neighbors for kitchen herbs: chives, parsley & co.

24.10.2022  /  Reading time: 12 minutes

Kitchen herbs make it easy to close gaps in the vegetable patch and benefit from positive mixed cultivation effects. Here you can find out what location requirements culinary herbs have and what makes a good neighbor for chives, parsley, basil and co. in the vegetable patch. We have also put together a table to give you an overview of good neighbors in mixed cultivation.

This article contains:

  1. Which herbs should you plant and why?
  2. Planning mixed cultivation with herbs and vegetables
  3. Examples of mixed crops with herbs
  4. Basil: Good neighbors in mixed cultivation
  5. Rosemary: suitable neighbors in the bed
  6. What goes well with thyme?
  7. Good neighbors for borage
  8. Chives: Which vegetables go well with them?
  9. Peppermint: What makes a good neighbor?
  10. Dill: Good neighbors in mixed cultivation
  11. Parsley: Which vegetables to plant together?
  12. What goes well with lavender?
  13. Table: Mixed herb and vegetable cultivation with good neighbors
  14. Examples of your vegetable patch with herbs
  15. Frequently asked questions about mixed herb and vegetable cultures

Quick Overview

Herbs in the vegetable patch: good neighbors

  • Kitchen herbs are a good addition to the vegetable patch, they fill gaps, attract beneficial insects, can improve the taste of vegetables and keep diseases and so-called pests at bay
  • With mixed cultivation, you need to consider the location, plant family, root space and growth form, plant spacing and strong and weak eaters
  • Good neighbors for chives are cabbage, spinach, carrots, parsnips, celery, kohlrabi, tomatoes, white cabbage, tuberous fennel, radicchio
  • You can growparsley in mixed cultivation with onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions, kale, palm kale, asparagus, peppers and chilli peppers.
  • Vegetable plants such as chili, fennel, cucumber, cabbage, pumpkin, bell pepper, tomato, zucchini go well next to basil
  • Thyme is a good neighbor for chilli, cabbage, horseradish, carrots, peppers
  • Rosemary goes well next to carrots in the vegetable patch. And lavender is a good neighbor for chilies and peppers.

Which herbs should you plant and why?

Herbs can be a great addition to the vegetable patch. The substances that we perceive through smell and taste also make a decisive difference in mixed cultivation. Herbs in the vegetable patch can ensure that vegetables are particularly tasty, attract beneficial insects and keep so-called pests away. In addition, herbs usually take up little space and are therefore ideal for filling gaps in the vegetable patch.

Herbs on a chopping board
Kitchen herbs such as basil, dill and parsley add fragrance and flavor to dishes. Photo by Kevin Doran on Unsplash

Aromatic herbs, medicinal herbs and culinary herbs

Aromatic herbs, medicinal herbs, fragrant herbs, culinary herbs - all these names reflect the special nature of these plants. Botanically speaking, herbs are plants whose above-ground shoots are not or barely woody. Many herbs are annuals and die towards the end of the growing season. In contrast, there are biennial or perennial herbs (herbaceous perennials). These plants overwinter with renewal buds lying close to the ground or underground and can therefore sprout again the following year.

Apart from this definition, we associate herbs in particular with their fragrance and aroma - they are irreplaceable in the kitchen. However, the boundaries between aromatic herbs, medicinal herbs and culinary herbs are blurred. There are certain herbs that are cultivated for their healing powers and for medicinal purposes. However, fresh culinary herbs from your garden are always rich in valuable ingredients whose health-promoting effects you can take advantage of. The spectrum ranges from antibacterial, anti-rheumatic and expectorant to calming or digestive effects. The right preparation and dose are important. First of all, however, you can simply enjoy the freshness and flavor, and the good ingredients are there when you eat them.

Planning mixed cultivation with herbs and vegetables

When combining herbs and vegetables, the same principles apply as always in mixed cultivation:


  • Observeplanting distances
  • If possible, do not plant plants of the same family next to each other or one after the other in the same place
  • Distinguish between strong and weak eaters
  • Pay attention toroot space and growth habit

Native herbs for a mixed culture
Many native herbs can also be used as culinary herbs. Photo by Angèle Kamp on Unsplash

When growing culinary herbs, you should of course also consider the requirements and origin of the plants.

  • Although not all mediterranean herbs originally come from the mediterranean, they are native to the region and are now an integral part of the cuisine. These include oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil and lavender. These plants thrive in sunny locations and cope better with the hot summers. On the other hand, they are more sensitive to harsh weather and frost.
  • Native herbs, on the other hand, can also be found wild in our latitudes. These include wild garlic, lovage, chives, borage and woodruff. These usually feel at home in partial shade and with a little more moisture.

Examples of mixed crops with herbs

Here we present a few examples of the best-known culinary herbs with their good and bad neighbors. However, the following is about mixed vegetable-herb cultures. If you are interested in which herbs go well together, please read our article on this. There you will also find a table with good and bad neighbors for herbs.

Basil: Good neighbors in mixed cultivation

Location: Even though we primarily associate basil (Ocimum basilicum) with Italy today, the plant originally comes from India. It grows best in the sunniest spot in your garden in nutritious, well-drained soil. In mixed cultivation, basil is effective against mildew, whitefly and cabbage whitefly infestation and attracts pollinating insects.

Good neighbors: bell pepper, cabbage, chili, cucumber, fennel, pumpkin, tomato, zucchini.

Basil
Basil can do much more than pesto and tastes particularly aromatic from your garden. Photo by Alissa De Leva on Unsplash

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Rosemary: suitable neighbors in the bed

Location: As a typical Mediterranean plant, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is best planted in a sunny spot in your garden. Poor, humus-rich, well-drained soil is best.

Good neighbors: Carrots

Rosemary plant in the garden
The leaves of rosemary are perfectly adapted to hot, sunny locations. Photo by Babette Landmesser on Unsplash

What goes well with thyme?

Location: Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) should also be planted in a sunny, sheltered location. The herb likes well-drained, loose, calcareous soil.

Good neighbors: Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chilli, horseradish, kohlrabi, pak choi, palm kale, peppers, savoy cabbage, white cabbage.

Thyme bush
Thyme is a Mediterranean herb and grows best in sunny locations. Photo by Ian Yates on Unsplash

Good neighbors for borage

Location: Borage (Borago officinalis) with its rough leaves is best planted in a sunny spot with nutritious, fresh to moist soil.

Good neighbors: brussels sprouts, chinese cabbage, bell pepper, bush bean, cauliflower, chili, cucumber, field bean, garden lettuce, head cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, pak choi, palm cabbage, pea, potato, radicchio, runner bean, savoy cabbage, white cabbage, zucchini.

Purple flowers of borage
In addition to the rough leaves, the purple flowers are also characteristic of the culinary herb borage. Photo by Kieran Murphy on Unsplash

Chives: Which vegetables go well with them?

Location: Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) grow in sunny to semi-shady locations with nutritious, not too moist soil.

Good neighbors: bulbous fennel, cabbage, carrots, celery, kohlrabi, parsnip, radicchio, spinach, tomatoes, white cabbage.

Chives flowers
The purple flowers of the chives are also edible. Photo by Jane Duursma on Unsplash

Peppermint: What makes a good neighbor?

Location: Mint (Mentha spec.) thrives best in sunny to semi-shady locations. Nutritious, moist soil is best for the plant. If you would like to find out more about different types of mint , you can read the article on this subject. In mixed cultivation, mint should ideally be planted with a root barrier, otherwise the plant will spread by itself in the bed.

Good neighbors: brussels sprouts, chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, garden lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, pak choi, palm kale, potato, savoy cabbage, tomato, white cabbage.

Peppermint plants
Peppermint can be used for tea and desserts. Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Dill: Good neighbors in mixed cultivation

Location: Garden dill (Anethum graveolens) grows in deep, nutritious, fresh soil in sunny locations. Dill produces a better aroma in mixed cultivation with root vegetables as a positive effect.

Good neighbors: brussels sprouts, chinese cabbage, asparagus, bean, beet, bell pepper, broccoli, burke, carrot, cauliflower, chilli, garden salad, kale, kohlrabi, onions, pak choi, palm cabbage, pea, radicchio, rutabaga, savoy cabbage, spring onion, turnip, white cabbage.

Dill plant
Dill is a good neighbor in the vegetable patch as well as a spice for cucumbers. Photo by Önder Örtel on Unsplash

Parsley: Which vegetables to plant together?

Location: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is the number one culinary herb. It grows well in semi-shady locations in humus-rich, moist soil. You should plant parsley in a different place in the bed every year because it is incompatible with itself. In mixed cultivation, parsley repels various pests.

Good neighbors: asparagus, bell pepper, chilli, cucumber, kale, onion, palm kale, spring onion, tomato.

Parsley in the vegetable patch
Flat-leaf and curly parsley are a great addition to the vegetable patch for mixed cultivation. Photo by Marina Yalanska on Unsplash

What goes well with lavender?

Location: Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) should be planted in sunny locations with well-drained, calcareous, dry soil. The plant works in mixed cultivation by repelling ants and attracting pollinating insects. You can plant it as a border.

Good neighbors: peppers, chili

Lavender in the bed
Lavender is easy to dry but can also be integrated into the vegetable patch. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Table: Mixed herb and vegetable cultivation with good neighbors

Herb Good neighbors
Basil bell pepper, cabbage, chili, cucumber, fennel, pumpkin, tomato, zucchini
Rosemary Carrots
Thyme Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chilli, horseradish, kohlrabi, pak choi, palm kale, peppers, savoy cabbage, white cabbag
Borage brussels sprouts, chinese cabbage, bell pepper, bush bean, cauliflower, chili, cucumber, field bean, garden lettuce, head cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, pak choi, palm cabbage, pea, potato, radicchio, runner bean, savoy cabbage, white cabbage, zucchini
Chives bulbous fennel, cabbage, carrots, celery, kohlrabi, parsnip, radicchio, spinach, tomatoes, white cabbage
Mint brussels sprouts, chinese cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, garden lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, pak choi, palm kale, potato, savoy cabbage, tomato, white cabbage
Dill brussels sprouts, chinese cabbage, asparagus, bean, beet, bell pepper, broccoli, burke, carrot, cauliflower, chilli, garden salad, kale, kohlrabi, onions, pak choi, palm cabbage, pea, radicchio, rutabaga, savoy cabbage, spring onion, turnip, white cabbage
Parsley asparagus, bell pepper, chilli, cucumber, kale, onion, palm kale, spring onion, tomato
Lavender peppers, chili

Examples of your vegetable patch with herbs

For inspiration, you can find a few planting plans with vegetables and herbs here. Your diverse mixed crop is sure to succeed!


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Cover image: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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Emilie

Emilie is studying agricultural sciences at the University of Hohenheim. She finds it fascinating how closely nutrition and health are connected and exciting which wild plants you can eat.

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FAQ

Herbs in the vegetable patch attract beneficial insects, keep pests away, can improve the taste of vegetables and take up little space.

Good neighbors for basil are chili, fennel, cucumber, cabbage, pumpkin, bell pepper, tomato and zucchini.

Rosemary is suitable for mixed cultivation, especially with carrots as neighbors.

Parsley goes well with chili, spring onion, kale, cucumber, palm kale, bell pepper, asparagus, tomato and onion.

Chives are compatible with fennel, cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, parsnip, radicchio, celery, spinach, tomatoes and white cabbage.

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