Onions have shallow roots

So, you’re going to try out companion gardening and try interplanting fruits and veggies with flowers and herbs. Keep in mind that specimens planted near each other should have different types of root systems, such as shallow rooted, medium rooted or deep rooted, so they won’t compete directly with each other.

Shallow-Rooted Plants

  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Onions
  • Flowering annuals (the majority of them)

Medium-Rooted Plants

  • Cucumbers
  • Turnips
  • Beans
  • Summer squash
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Flowering perennials (a good portion of them)

Deep-Rooted Plants

  • Tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Winter squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Parsnips
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  1. Chard and kale also have shallow roots, just like their cousins lettuce and spinach. Thanks for the question – we’ve added it to our list above.

    Jessy Yancey
    editor, Farm Flavor

  2. What about peppers (jalepano) and beets and red radishes? Will they work in a 3-4 inch shallow bed?

  3. I have a pretty shallow (5-6 inches) raised bed and have successfully grown radishes and peppers. I think beets would be all right as well.

  4. The summers in this area are HOT! I have a small garden with mostly herbs (oregano,mint,bail,thyme,parsley,tarragon,dill & sage). Also a tomato a couple aubergine (one an Ichiban),Sweiss chard,beets. Lavender & Zinnias. Rapid evaporation is a problem so I water in evenings. Should I irrigate (i.e. soak) or sprinkle each evening & assume that will suffice. Water consrvation is also necessary here, that’s why I ask. Thanks.

  5. Hi Ace,

    Yes, watering at dawn or dusk will help to ensure that your veggies get saturated and the water doesn’t immediately evaporate. Hope this helps!

    Jessy Yancey
    Farm Flavor

  6. Thank you for the information about root depth of plants. But I would like to know more: Potatoes, Collard, Chives, Strawberries, Peppers, beets etc. I would appreciate any information you have on at least these items.

    Sheree Bodreau

  7. Why would corn be classified under shallow rooted plants? The root system can vary from 2 feet to 5 feet depending on whether there is a drought.


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