- beets (for bush beans but NOT for pole beans!)
- marigolds (helps repel a bean beetle)
- summer savory
Last year, we planted soy beans in an 8 x 4 raised bed, with onions in the middle. We learned the hard way that beans do NOT like being planted anywhere near the onion family, which includes garlic, scallions, shallots and chives. The beans survived but we didn't get even an onion seedling! Beans also don't like gladiolas or fennel.
Have you read our article about the three sisters planting? (http://backyardgrocerygardening.blogspot.com/2009/03/planting-three-sisters-way.html) Running (vining) beans grow up the corn stalk, giving them plenty of air and room to grow, making it easier to pick. Beans also fix nitrogen into the ground, which the corn needs. And the beans anchor the corn more firmly, which helps to protect against the wind and a thick growth of beans helps to deter critters.
If you have bush beans to plant with corn, alternate a row of corn with a row of bush beans.
Some bush beans like being planted with a celery plant - one to every 6 or 7 bushes of beans. Some bush beans also like being planted with strawberry plants.
Pole/vining beans don't like kohlrabi or sunflowers. We learned this the hard way because we planted sunflowers in our three sisters bed. Not even one bean plant survived past peeking it's head out of the soil! Pole beans do like radishes, though.
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I know this is a lot to take in. Sometimes you just have to look at what you want to plant, and see what you can fit and where.