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Yes, I am adorable, but it will take me 65 days to start maturing all these sweet little peppers. Keep me free from competitors and pests!

Big juicy bells, succulent bananas, and crunchy little cherries — who could possibly wish these delightful sweet peppers harm? Well, while no other vegetable really clashes with sweet pepper plants, several compete for resources in the soil or share predatory pests. It’s better to keep your peppers clear of these varieties.

I'm named Early Girl because I take off like crazy in the garden, finishing fast! I may even beat the Colorado beetles to harvest . . . but will the pepper plants around me be so lucky?

I’m named Early Girl because I take off like crazy in the garden, finishing fast! I may even beat the Colorado beetles to harvest . . . but will the pepper plants around me be so lucky?

Tomatoes

Peppers and tomatoes are often planted together in the vegetable garden, and no wonder. You can set your pepper seedlings out just a week or two after the tomatoes, and they both like rich, well-worked soil. They would be the best of friends if it were not for the Colorado beetle, a destructive pest that targets these two vegetable plants. (It also likes petunias, a good friend to both peppers and tomatoes.) To avoid creating the ideal conditions for a big settlement of Colorado beetles, separate these two veggies in the garden if you can.

Even turnips such as White Lady Hybrid deplete soil nutrients the peppers need.

Even turnips such as White Lady Hybrid deplete soil nutrients the peppers need.

The Brassica Family

Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, even kale and collards — all these vegetables gobble the same nutrients from the soil that peppers need. And usually the Brassicas wind up with the lion’s share! To avoid having to continuously feed the garden — and possibly end up with smaller fruit — give them some space.

Kohlrabi

This is another Brassica, but it merits separate listing because it almost always wins the battle for soil nutrition against sweet peppers.

Fennel

Another greedy neighbor! Herbs such as parsley, basil, and marjoram are splendid among peppers, but fennel just runs all over the place.

You definitely want to chop my leaves and stems back into the soil after harvest, but I don't need to grow next to your peppers.

You definitely want to chop my leaves and stems back into the soil after harvest, but I don’t need to grow next to your peppers.

Beans

Like tomatoes, beans can be a friend to peppers, but they also use the same resources in the soil. Of course, as a legume, beans are terrific nitrogen-fixers, so you definitely do want them in your vegetable patch. Just give them an area apart from your bells during the growing season, and then plough the bean plants back under after harvest, enriching the whole veggie patch.

Apricots

Actually, these trees are completely harmless to peppers, but they are susceptible to a fungus often found in pepper plants. For the sake of your apricots, keep them well away from the pepper patch!


Next time we’ll look at beans’ best garden buddies!

About Sappho Charney

Sappho Charney is a garden writer living in Lubbock, Texas.

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