Learn the basics of lettuce companion planting so you can enjoy an endless supply of lettuce from your garden that is better than the grocery store!

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is when you grow different plants in close proximity to each other to take advantage of their natural relationships. This can help improve plant health, increase yields, and reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides. Some plants can deter pests that might harm their neighbors, while others can improve the soil or provide shade.

For example, planting marigolds with tomatoes can help deter nematodes, while beans can add nitrogen to the soil, benefiting nearby plants like lettuce.

Best Plants to Plant with Lettuce

  1. Carrots: They grow well with lettuce and help break up the soil.
  2. Radishes: These can be planted with lettuce, as they grow quickly and don’t compete for resources.
  3. Beets: Beets and lettuce have compatible growth habits and nutrient needs.
  4. Onions: They deter pests like aphids and can be planted around lettuce.
  5. Garlic: Garlic helps keep pests away and can be grown near lettuce without competing for space.
  6. Marigolds: They repel aphids and other pests, protecting your lettuce.
  7. Chives: They help deter aphids and can be planted around the edges of your lettuce bed.
  8. Nasturtiums: They attract aphids away from your lettuce and add color to your garden.
  9. Cucumbers: They provide some shade for lettuce, helping to prevent bolting in hot weather.
  10. Bush Beans: Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, helping the lettuce, and provide some shade.
  11. Peas: Like beans, they add nitrogen to the soil and grow well with lettuce.
  12. Spinach: Spinach grows quickly and can be harvested alongside lettuce without competing for resources.
  13. Strawberries: They grow well with lettuce and help cover the soil, reducing weed growth.

Worst Plants to Plant with Lettuce

  1. Brassicas: Plants like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can compete with lettuce for nutrients and space.
  2. Fennel: Fennel can inhibit the growth of many plants, including lettuce.
  3. Parsley: It can compete with lettuce for nutrients and space.
  4. Celery: Similar to parsley, celery can compete for resources and space.
  5. Melons: Melons spread out and can overshadow lettuce, depriving it of necessary light and space.
  6. Corn: Tall corn plants can overshadow lettuce, reducing the light lettuce needs to thrive.

Benefits of Lettuce Companion Planting

Pest Control

Natural Pest Repellents: Certain companion plants release scents or chemicals that naturally repel pests.

Example: Marigolds deter aphids and nematodes, while garlic and chives can repel aphids and slugs.

Attracting Beneficial Insects: Some companion plants attract beneficial insects that prey on pests.

Example: Nasturtiums attract aphids away from lettuce, while attracting ladybugs and lacewings that feed on aphids.

Masking Lettuce Scent: Strong-scented herbs like rosemary, thyme, or mint can mask the scent of lettuce, making it harder for pests to locate it.

Physical Barriers: Tall companion plants, such as bush beans, can act as physical barriers, protecting lettuce from pests like rabbits or providing shade to reduce pest activity.

Biodiversity: Increasing plant diversity can disrupt pest populations, as pests are less likely to find and infest a single type of plant when there are many different plants around.


Nitrogen Fixation: Beans and peas can fix nitrogen in the soil through their symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. This added nitrogen enriches the soil, benefiting the lettuce and other plants.

Improved Soil Structure: Root vegetables like carrots and radishes have deep roots that help break up compacted soil, improving its structure and aeration. This makes it easier for lettuce roots to grow and access nutrients.

Soil Cover and Erosion Prevention: Low-growing plants like clover can act as a living mulch, protecting the soil from erosion, retaining moisture, and adding organic matter as they decompose.

Shade/Moisture Retention

Other leafy greens, such as kale or Swiss chard, can also offer partial shade, helping to create a cooler environment for the lettuce.

Low-growing plants like clover or creeping thyme can act as living mulch, covering the soil and reducing evaporation helping retaining soil moisture for longer periods.

Planting lettuce close to moisture-loving plants, such as cucumbers or squash, can help create a more humid microclimate that reduces water loss from the soil.

More Lettuce Growing & Harvest Tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *