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Intercropping is one of the most important factors in growing vegetables and herbs. Herbs and vegetables do not always get along with each other and this is why mixed cultures came about. This puts good neighbors next to each other and sorts out bad ones so they don't steal space, nutrients and light from each other. In addition, mixed cultures protect against leaching of the soil and the spread of weeds. You can find out here which types of vegetables should be planted next to each other.

mixed culture

Mixed culture means using the vegetable beds in which you plant certain types of vegetables together in one bed in order to enable growth advantages. In nature, many plants grow together and many do not get along at all. This is also the case in your own garden, even if you take care of it. This form of culture brings many benefits, if good neighbors are planted:

  • larger selection of vegetables and herbs compared to monoculture
  • Soil texture and quality improves
  • Floor fatigue is prevented
  • Pest infestation is prevented
  • Diseases spread more slowly or are stopped
  • Weeds are prevented
  • sufficient light, water and nutrients are available

As you can see, the use of this form of culture is much better than the classic monoculture. With these possible combinations, you can not only provide variety in the bed, but also protect the plants. For example, garlic has antifungal ingredients if you plant it between strawberries. Kohlrabi and lettuce, on the other hand, keep pests at bay and established dill plants improve the germination of good neighbors such as peas, beetroot or lettuce. For this reason, the use of culture is worthwhile. An overview of the types of vegetables can be found below in a handy table, which you can also download for free as a PDF.

Other aspects

In addition to the mixed culture table below, there are other aspects to consider when creating a mixed culture with vegetables and herbs. This includes:

Heavy, medium and weak consumers

When planning your mixed cultures, be sure to pay attention to the ratio of heavy to weak and medium consumers. Because these determine the nutrient requirements of the plant, which can quickly lead to a nutrient deficiency or excess if the planning is wrong or ignored. Make sure you use a good combination of the different types of feed to ensure rich yields and healthy plants in the bed.

root system

The root system is also important. However, deep and shallow roots rarely get in each other's way, which saves you space in the bed and ensures that each crop receives sufficient nutrients and moisture. Never plant too many flat-rooted plants such as onions next to each other, otherwise space problems will quickly arise. Deep rooters are less likely to get in each other's way, but using only deep-rooted vegetables is not ideal for the soil. The advantage: The soil permeability is improved by different root types and waterlogging is prevented.

crop rotation

Crop rotation is even more important. No matter what kind of vegetables or herbs you are interested in, select a new section in the bed the following year. The soil is completely depleted by many plants within one or more seasons and enriched with a wide variety of substances, which then have a negative effect on the cultivation of the same variety. Crop rotations vary by variety and should definitely be considered to optimize crop yields and health.

growth rate

The growth rate of the plants should not be ignored. Tomatoes, for example, grow much more slowly than lettuce, but they reach excessive heights. If tall plants grew faster than those that stayed short, they would steal the sun from the other plants. This can prevent an entire harvest, because the vegetables need sufficient light to develop.
When creating the mixed culture, be sure to take your time and keep looking at the mixed culture table provided for this purpose. This will give you the information you need about your planned mixed culture within a short period of time.

tip: Of course, with all the planning, you mustn't neglect one important thing: planting spacing. The planting distance is necessary even with the ideal culture, because this is the only way for the plants to have enough space to grow healthily.

mixed culture table

You can download the mixed culture table as a PDF here:

Good neighbors

If you want your mixed culture to be productive and easy to care for, you have to rely on good neighbors. Because these get along well with each other and thus enable all the advantages mentioned above. It is interesting to see that many types of vegetables and herbs get along particularly well if they do not belong to the same genus or even plant family. Examples include, for example, beans, peas, cabbage and lettuce.

Vegetables from A-K

eggplants: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, lettuce, spinach

cauliflower: eggplant, broccoli, peas, potatoes, celery

beans: Savory, chicory, dill, strawberries, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, parsnips, lettuce, radish, radishes, beetroot, salsify, celery, spinach and zucchini

savory: Beans, lettuce, lettuce, beetroot

broccoli: eggplant, cauliflower, peas, potatoes, celery

Chicory: beans, fennel, lettuce, parsnips,

dill: Beans, peas, cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, lettuce, onions, beets

endive: cabbage, leeks, beans

peas: Cauliflower, broccoli, dill, fennel, cucumber, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, corn, Swiss chard, parsnip, radish, radish, spinach, and zucchini

strawberries: Beans, lettuce, leeks, garlic, radishes, radish, spinach, onions

Lamb's lettuce: Strawberries, cabbage, kohlrabi, leeks, beans, onions

fennel: chicory, peas, cucumber, lettuce, lettuce

cucumbers: Beans, dill, peas, fennel, garlic, cabbage, lettuce, leeks, corn, peppers, celery, spinach, onions

Nasturtium: Potatoes

carrots: Chicory, dill, peas, garlic, lettuce, leeks, chard, peppers, peppermint, radish, radishes, black salsify, tomatoes and zucchini

potatoes: Beans, cauliflower, broccoli, nasturtium, turnip greens, corn, peppermint, spinach

garlic: Strawberries, cucumbers, carrots, beets, spinach, onions

cabbage: Eggplant, Beans, Dill, Peas, Cucumber, Lettuce, Leeks, Swiss Chard, Paprika, Peppermint, Radish, Radish, Beetroot, Celery, Spinach, Tomato

Kohlrabi: Beans, peas, potatoes, lettuce, beets, celery, spinach, tomatoes

lettuce: Eggplant, beans, savory, chicory, dill, peas, strawberries, lamb's lettuce, fennel, cucumber, cabbage, turnip greens, leeks, corn, carrots, radishes, radishes, beetroot, salsify, spinach, tomatoes, onions

Vegetables from L-Z

leek: Strawberries, cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, parsnips, salsify, celery

Corn: Beans, peas, cucumbers, potatoes, spinach, zucchini

chard: Cabbage, carrots, parsnips, radishes, radishes

paprika: Cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes

parsnip: beans, chicory, peas, leeks, chard, lettuce, onions

Parsely: strawberries, radishes, radishes, tomatoes

peppermint: Potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes

pick lettuce: Eggplant, beans, savory, dill, fennel, parsnip, radish, radish, beetroot, salsify, spinach and also onion

radicchio: fennel, cabbage, leek, beans

radish: Beans, peas, strawberries, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, peppers, lettuce, radish, salsify, spinach

radish: Beans, peas, strawberries, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, peppers, lettuce, radishes, salsify, spinach

rhubarb: Beans, cabbage, lettuce, lettuce, spinach

Beetroot: Beans, savory, dill, garlic, cabbage, turnip greens, lettuce, lettuce, zucchini, onions

salsify: Beans, lettuce, leeks, carrots, lettuce, radishes, radishes

celery: Beans, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, cabbage, kohlrabi, leek, spinach

spinach: Eggplant, beans, peas, strawberries, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, corn, lettuce, radishes, radish and also celery

tomatoes: Garlic, turnip greens, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, peppers, peppermint, onions

zucchini: Beans, peas, corn, beets, onions

onions: Dill, strawberries, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, carrots, parsnips, lettuce, beets, tomatoes and zucchini


A big advantage of the good neighbors is their variety. If you put enough planning into your intercropping design, numerous types and varieties of vegetables will do well without struggling with poor yields or depleted soil. This makes it easier to grow a variety of crops in advance and with exactly the vegetables you prefer.

tip: If you plant different varieties of any of the mentioned herbs or vegetables, you don't have to worry about a possible bad neighbor. Vegetables and herbs of the same kind always thrive together, regardless of whether you choose high-yielding, resistant or particularly decorative varieties for the bed.

Bad neighbors

Bad neighbors, on the other hand, are exactly the opposite and do not enable the advantages mentioned above. Fighting for the necessities of plant life is not guaranteed by bad neighbors, as you will soon discover. In order not to make any mistakes here, take a look at the mixed culture table to avoid combining with bad neighbors.

Vegetables from A-K

eggplants: Peas, potatoes, peppers, beetroot

cauliflower: cabbage, rhubarb, onions

beans: Peas, fennel, garlic, leeks, onions

savory: no bad neighbors

broccoli: cabbage, onions

Chicory: no bad neighbors

dill: no bad neighbors

endive: no bad neighbors

peas: Eggplant, beans, potatoes, garlic, leeks, peppers and onions

strawberries: Cabbage

Lamb's lettuce: no bad neighbors

fennel: beans, kohlrabi, peppers, tomatoes

cucumbers: radish, radish, tomato

Nasturtium: no bad neighbors

carrots: no bad neighbors

potatoes: Aubergines, peas, cabbage, peppers, lettuce, beets, celery, tomatoes and onions

garlic: beans, peas, cabbage

cabbage: cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, garlic, kohlrabi, onions

Kohlrabi: fennel, cabbage

lettuce: Celery


Vegetables from L-Z

leek: Beans, peas, beets, onions

Corn: beets, celery

chard: Beetroot, salsify, spinach

paprika: eggplant, peas, fennel, potatoes, beetroot

parsnip: no bad neighbors

Parsely: lettuce

peppermint: no bad neighbors

pick lettuce: Potatoes

radicchio: no bad neighbors

radish: cucumbers

radish: cucumbers

rhubarb: no bad neighbors

Beetroot: eggplant, potatoes, leeks, corn, chard, peppers and also spinach

salsify: Chard

celery: potatoes, lettuce, corn,

spinach: Swiss chard, beetroot

tomatoes: fennel, cucumber, potatoes,

zucchini: cucumbers

onions: Beans, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, potatoes, cabbage, leeks

It is particularly interesting to see how many species of a genus or family do not get along. Bad neighbors here are above all species within the nightshade family (bot. Solanaceae) or legumes (bot. Fabaceae), which steal many nutrients from each other due to their way of life and thus work against each other. There are also some plants that are not compatible with vegetables of the Allium genus, i.e. leeks. The reason for this is primarily the ingredients of the leek family, which can have a negative effect on other types of vegetables in mixed cultures. Bad neighbors are rarely found when it comes to herbs.

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