This week, we continue our Companion Planting series with something extra sweet—Strawberry Companion Plants! If you haven’t yet, check out the introduction to this insightful series, the Companion Planting Chart and Guide. Do pop over and read this more in-depth overview of the basics and benefits of companion gardening at home.
In this installment, we will discover why and how strawberries benefit from this unique method and the best plants with which to surround your sugary-sweet berries.
all about companion planting with strawberries
Interspersing some strawberry companions with the berry plants in your home garden is an excellent use of space and an effective method to ensure your strawberries grow to be healthy, plump, and juicy! Increase the yield and improve the flavor with plants that attract pollinators. Further, incorporating other strawberry companions (veggies, other fruit, herbs and flowers) in your strawberry patch will help fight against certain plant-destroying pests.
One of the challenges of growing strawberries is their vulnerability to various insects and pests, especially aphids and slugs. To protect your precious berries, consider planting them with herbs and vegetables known for deterring the nastiest of pests. While they need a good eight hours of sun, strawberry plants occasionally need to be shaded from the intense midday sunlight. So, given your climate, you may want to incorporate taller plants around your strawberries to tower over them and cool them off some.
In turn, your strawberries will help to reduce weeds and keep the soil moist. Continue reading to discover what plants work best when growing sweet strawberries with the sustainable and efficient companion planting approach.
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ten strawberry companion plants
Rhubarb and strawberries are great companion plants as they have similar growing needs; both do best in highly acidic soil with good drainage. But, they don’t compete for nutrients or space. They are both perennials, so need a dedicated space year after year. And, as luck would have it, they are both harvested around the same time.
As a plant that grows low to the ground, strawberries also provide a bit of natural living mulch for rhubarb. And not for nothing, they pair very well together in desserts and jams! Check out this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
Lavender, coneflower, lamb’s ear, and geranium are repellant to rabbits and deer, which love to nibble on those precious red berries. Additionally, all of these flowers attract beneficial insects to help control bad pests and pollinate your strawberries. Work your garden plan to have some of these flowers planted alongside strawberries
Garlic is an excellent strawberry companion plant. It’s wise to plant garlic near your vulnerable strawberry plants because the pungent fragrance deters pesky insects and bugs, including caterpillars, that will quickly devour your strawberry plant’s leaves.
Strawberry plants grow very well when planted close to the herb section of your home garden. Borage, dill, thyme, mint, sage, chives, and catnip attract beneficial insects like parasitic wasps to your garden. They also attract pollinators, which help increase the growth and productivity of the berries. Additionally, rosemary and lavender will help deter slugs, which are very attracted to strawberries.
Borage is believed to actually improve the flavor of strawberries! I’ve got a little crush on Borage! It has so many beneficial uses. These are the borage seeds I purchased online. They were quick to germinate, and I’ve already planted the seedlings amongst my tomatoes.
spinach and other types of lettuce
Leafy spinach plants and variations of lettuce help to shade strawberries and hide away the bright red berries from larger pests, like rodents and birds. It is also believed that growing strawberry and leafy crops benefit the overall growth productivity of all the plants involved.
Like strong-scented garlic plants, onions repel garden pests with their unappealing smell.
Boost the pollination of your strawberry plant’s flowers by attracting hoverflies and other pollinating insects. Yarrow is an excellent plant near your strawberries to attract beneficial insects.
All legumes help increase the quality of the surrounding soil with nitrogen fixation, providing your berries with rich and healthy soil. Green peas, bush beans, string beans, etc… are excellent strawberry companions in the garden. They are great at improving the soil with nitrogen fixation prompted by the bacteria pea plants contain. With healthier soil, your strawberries will grow to have a perfectly juicy and sweet flavor.
Mexican marigolds have a distinct and intense aroma that masks the sugary-sweet scent of fresh strawberries to keep rabbits and deer away. Keep nematodes and other pests away while at the same attracting beneficial insects by surrounding your strawberry plants with fragrant marigolds.
To get the biggest bang from your marigolds, plant them in a dense row around your plants as opposed to interspersing them with your strawberries.
A couple of clover plants make for some of the best strawberry companion plants. Crimson clover is an ideal habitat and nutrient source for pirate bugs that feed on plant-damaging thrips. Situate your strawberries near crimson clover to invite beneficial pirate bugs and other predator insects, like wasps. Not to mention, crimson clover is another nitrogen-fixing plant that boosts soil health.
Furthermore, white clover is a great option for a strawberry bed. Like crimson clover, this variation increases nitrogen in the surrounding soil. But it will also attract pollinators and attract beneficial bugs, keeping weeds under control.
what are NOT good strawberry companion plants?
While one element of companion planting is planting the RIGHT plants together, the other side of the method is knowing what NOT to plant with strawberries. Some of the following species will compete with the strawberry rows for adequate nutrition, depriving the berries of their needs. And others often spread disease to the vulnerable strawberry plant.
When arranging your vegetable garden, be sure not to plant the following near your precious strawberries:
Brassicas compete for the same nutrients as strawberries, but strawberries tend to win. You’ll find that the growth of your brassicas will be stunted.
Potatoes, peppers, melons, tomatoes, okra, and eggplant may pass the deadly verticillium disease to your strawberries.
Fennel has a bad rap, though I’ve heard of many gardeners who have not had a problem interplanting. One of these days, I need to do a science fair project to see for myself. I do know that Fennel attracts all sorts of beneficial insects.
more information about companion planting
what’s next for your companion planting guide?
Congrats on getting through the first part of this super beneficial gardening series about companion planting! Now, your strawberries will have the best chance to be strong, healthy, and DELISH.
Please, feel free to print my convenient chart and guide for companion plants. Hang it up near your potting bench, or your gardening shed to reference when introducing brand-new sprouts to your flourishing garden!
Explore the best companion plants when growing crisp green cucumbers, flavorful onions, juicy, fragrant tomatoes, prolific peppers, bountiful potatoes, sweet strawberries, and zesty zucchini in your garden. And if you haven’t yet, read the introduction to my companion planting series to learn about this fascinating method.
Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer to this guide on Strawberry Companion Plants in the future.
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