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Mixed cultures in the vegetable patch not only provide more variety. They have benefits for the respective vegetables by keeping pests away and reducing diseases. This article shows which neighbors get along well with bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).

In a nutshell

  • Mixed cultures are said to give vegetables benefits
  • better growth and flavor
  • fewer diseases and pests
  • Beans belong to the legumes
  • incompatible with himself

bush beans

These types of beans do not grow upright like the climbing pole beans. They form low bushes and therefore need more space in width in the bed. The row spacing is therefore about 40 cm, within the row the plants should be about 8 cm apart. The bush bean prefers a semi-shady location with a medium supply of nutrients.

mixed culture

Mixed culture means the common culture of different types of vegetables and herbs within a bed or in the immediate vicinity. The following should be noted:

  • Consider location requirements of all cultures
  • Maintain plant and row spacing
  • the fertilization depends on the culture with the highest demands
  • prefer direct fertilization on the plant

Notice: Flowers or herbs, as neighbors, for the mixed culture with bush beans are also well suited for edging beds.

Good neighbors for bush beans from A to J

savory

This culinary herb grows in sunny and warm locations. There are annual and perennial varieties. The planting distance should be 30×30 cm.

  • used to flavor beans
  • also suitable for cooking
  • keeps black aphids away from beans
Savory (Satureja)

dill

This medicinal and culinary herb is often used with cucumbers or fish. It likes sunny to semi-shady locations and is either broadcast or sown with a row spacing of 30 cm.

  • annual culture
  • gives bush beans a better aroma
  • Food plant for swallowtail caterpillars
dill (Anethum graveolens)

strawberries

This popular fruit variety grows in any nutrient-rich garden soil and does not require too much care. The young plants are then planted out 25 cm apart in rows and 30 cm apart in rows.

  • perennial culture
  • suitable for many mixed cultures
  • benefits from the nitrogen-forming bacteria of the French bean
Strawberries (Fragaria)

cucumbers

Cucumbers can be eaten immediately after harvesting or used in salads, for example. They thrive best in warm, humid, sunny locations that are sheltered from the wind. As heavy feeders, they also need nutrient-rich soil.

  • annual
  • Plant spacing: 100 x 40 cm
  • uses nitrogen from French beans
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)

from K to Q

potatoes

Potato cultivation prepares unused garden soil very well for subsequent crops. If new potatoes are used, other types of vegetables can follow in the same year.

  • annual culture
  • Heavy feeder, uses nitrogen from the beans
  • requires a lot of space
  • accumulate necessary, take this into account with mixed cultures
  • Beans keep Colorado potato beetles away
Potato (Solanum tuberosum)

celery root

Celeriac is the cultivated form of celery that is most commonly cultivated in Germany. The vegetables should be planted in a sunny to partially shaded location.

  • heavy feeder
  • moist, loose soil
  • Planting distance: 40 x 30 cm
Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum)

cabbages

Cabbage is particularly versatile. While Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, like broccoli, are good for freezing, red cabbage also tastes good when processed into red cabbage and boiled down.

  • annual crops
  • mostly heavy feeders
  • Bush beans well suited as underplanting for tall types of cabbage (rose or kale)
Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera), red cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra) and broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) (from left to right)

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is an uncomplicated, fast-growing cabbage vegetable. If sown strategically, kohlrabi can be harvested several times. A sunny to partially shaded location and humus-rich, evenly moist soil are ideal.

  • basically biennially
  • medium eater
  • Planting distance: depending on the variety between 25 x 30 cm and 40 x 50 cm
  • a welcome stopgap in crop rotations because of the small space requirement
Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)

chard

Swiss chard is mainly grown in Italy and the Balkans, but the leafy vegetable is also becoming increasingly popular in this country. No wonder, the cultivation is quite undemanding.

  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • evenly moist, nutrient-rich soil
  • medium eater
  • tolerates light to medium frosts
  • Planting distance: 40 cm, 23 cm in staggered rows in raised or deep beds
Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris)

From R to S

radish

Radishes are ideal neighbors for bush beans, mainly because of their short cultivation period of three to four weeks and their small space requirement.

  • annual
  • sunny, airy location
  • weak feeder
  • Planting distance: 5 to 7 cm
Radish (Raphanus sativus subsp. sativus)

rhubarb

Rhubarb is only edible when cooked. The petioles taste very good as a compote or together with strawberries on cakes. The plants need a lot of space and should therefore be divided after a few years.

  • perennial culture
  • heavy feeder
  • benefits from the nitrogen in the soil
  • provides shade for the beans
Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)

Beetroot

Beetroot is not only easy to cultivate, but also very easy to store. It can be used as a cooked vegetable side dish, salad, soup, smoothie or coloring agent.

  • biennial
  • Full sun, warm location to semi-shade
  • medium eater
  • Row spacing: 25 cm
Beetroot (Beta vulgaris)

salads

Salads are always good - they taste best fresh from the garden. During cultivation, the vegetables do not have high soil requirements. The only thing you should avoid is acidic and muddy soil.

  • different varieties: lettuce, chicory, radicchio, endive…
  • Depending on the variety, a sunny to shady location
  • regular watering necessary
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitata)

spinach

Spinach's short cultivation time makes it an ideal partner for bush beans. Roots left in the ground after harvest also provide a good substrate for the beans.

  • annual
  • humus rich, well drained soil
  • full sun to semi-shady location
  • Planting distance: 20 - 25 cm
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

celery stalk

In contrast to celeriac, celery only develops a small tuber, but it has pronounced stalks. For ideal growth, it needs a sunny to partially shaded location.

  • perennial
  • heavy feeder
  • tolerant of frost; can be harvested directly from the bed in mild winters
  • Planting distance: 50 x 50 cm
Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce)

From T to Z

tomato

Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables to grow at home. You need a nutrient-rich soil and a sunny, warm and wind-protected location.

  • annual
  • heavy feeder
  • use nitrogen from French beans
  • Be careful not to overshadow beans in tall crops
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)

zucchini

Whether steamed, grilled or fried, zucchini are becoming increasingly popular. Just like tomatoes, they need nutrient-rich soil and a sunny, warm and wind-protected location.

  • annual
  • Planting distance: 1 to 2 meters
  • use nitrogen from French beans
Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo var. giromontiina)

Notice: In principle, beans like the neighborhood of fruit vegetables, but peppers are an exception. However, peppers are better kept in the greenhouse anyway.

sweetcorn

Corn grows up to 2 meters high and is therefore more suitable for the edge of the vegetable garden. There is then plenty of space around the corn for underplanting.

  • annual culture
  • heavy feeder
  • Beans provide nitrogen for the corn
Sweetcorn (Zea mays Saccharata group)

Bad neighbors for bush beans

peas

  • annual culture
  • medium eater
  • belongs to the same plant family
  • mutual promotion of pests and diseases is therefore possible

fennel

  • annual culture
  • medium eater
  • Umbelliferae

onion vegetables (e.g. garlic, leeks, onions)

  • annual crops
  • mostly weak feeders
  • tolerate too much nitrogen badly
Peas (Pisum sativum), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), garlic (Allium sativum) (from left to right)

frequently asked Questions

What else needs to be considered with the mixed culture?

The more types of vegetables are supposed to grow together in a bed, the more difficult it becomes to find the right neighbors. Therefore, it makes more sense to limit yourself to a few varieties that get along well with each other.

What is the difference between crop rotation and intercropping?

In the mixed culture, different plants are planted together if they protect each other and support each other in growth. Crop rotation avoids planting the same plants or plant families on the same site several times in a row. A break of several years is observed.

Can different types of beans be planted together?

It is not advisable to do this, as both pests and diseases can occur more frequently. However, if it is a small garden and it is not possible to adhere to the crop rotation in any other way, it is the better alternative.

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