Do you own a lovely garden full of strawberries? Then, aren’t you the geek gardener? Strawberries are the favorite fruit for many people across the globe. Undoubtedly you could not escape its sweet and juicy trap too. But you might have come to know that growing strawberries is not a piece of cake.
It requires immense care and support throughout its growing and blooming phase. Strawberries are also prone to damage by pests, insects, and intense sunlight that need to be kept in check. You might otherwise lose your sweet strawberries. However, you need not worry about it anymore with the support of the companion plants.
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is the process of planting various plants together in one place. It is an effective way of making coexistence beneficial for plants. Plants are susceptible to several diseases, rots, and attacks from insects and pests.
Companion planting strives towards solving such issues. It uses other plants to deter pests or insects or provide essential nutrients to the plant requiring a companion. The plants benefit each other and co-exist as companions, thus providing you with a serene garden to adore.
What Are The Benefits of Companion Planting?
Companion planting helps deter insects, pests, forages, etc., that feed on your plants. Companion planting comes with many benefits. It eradicates the threats associated with the plant and provides it with a safe condition to grow and thrive.
It also helps keep several diseases at bay without requiring any chemicals. Many companion plants attract beneficial insects and pollinators to enhance pollination and scare away unwanted pests and insects.
The best part about companion planting is that it improves plants’ flavor, so you get delicious fruits and vegetables out of your garden. Not only that, but you can also enhance the growing conditions for the plant by using a companion as a shade or ground cover.
Moreover, the companion plants add essential nutrients to the soil, fulfilling the deficiency plants may face. They also enhance nitrogen in the soil, a necessary nutrient for any plant.
Companion Plants for Strawberries
Here we have listed some of the best and most popular companion plants for strawberries to help you make the right choice.
Borage can be your first and the best choice for selecting a companion plant for strawberries. It is one of the most used plants in the companion planting of strawberries due to its numerous benefits.
Borage attracts good insects or pollinators through its attractive blossoms or deep blue flowers that benefit the strawberry plants.
It also attracts insects such as predatory wasps. These predatory insects are lethal to the pests that damage strawberries. It is how borage protects strawberries from their invaders.
Besides, it enhances the growth of strawberries by adding essential trace minerals to the soil desirable to the strawberries. So you get strawberries with improved flavors with borage as a companion plant.
You must add marigolds to your list if you are looking for the best companion plants for strawberries. Marigolds are known for their insect repellent characteristics due to their distinctive aroma and exquisite sunny blossoms. So you can keep harmful bugs, pests, and invasive weeds in check with marigolds as companion plants.
French marigolds, in particular, are considered the best for strawberries. It is due to their root-knot nematode’s repelling capacity that is known to damage strawberry plants. Marigolds do so by masking the smell of strawberries through their distinctive smell.
Besides, some studies show that the Mexican marigold or Tagetes minuta is effective against perennial weeds. Perennial weeds include bindweed, ground elderberry, grass, etc.
The Mexican Marigold releases toxic chemicals from its roots that harm these perennial weeds, thus keeping the strawberries safe. So why not envision the beauty of marigolds alongside your strawberries?
Beans such as bush beans also make it to the list of best companion plants for strawberries. Beans act as nutritious friends for strawberries, and their nutty flavor shall surely lure you towards planting them in your garden.
You can consider beans as natural fertilizer producers as they attract and host nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil. The nitrogen-fixing bacterias benefit the strawberry plants. Besides, you can also expect beans to repel beetles that harm your strawberry plants.
So beans can be an effective companion plant for your strawberries.
Caraway is a companion plant for many fruits. It is because it has attractive capabilities for wasps and parasitic flies. You might wonder what good can be wasps and parasitic flies. They are harmful to humans anyways.
However, these wasps and flies are considered good insects that act as vicarious eaters for cutworms, grubs, scale, caterpillars, beetles, and pests. So cannibalizing insects that feed on your strawberries is an easy job with caraway herbs.
5. Spinach and Lettuce
Spinach, lettuce, and strawberries are the best trio you can have in your garden. The three plants grow well together and increase each other’s productivity to a great extent.
The leafy nature of spinach and lettuce effectively hides the ripe berries of your strawberry plants from hungry and predatory birds, so only you can eat your juicy strawberries.
Spinach and strawberries also go well with nutritional balance by growing their roots on different levels. So they do not compete for nutrients. Besides, you get a natural antifungal and antibacterial friend for your strawberry plants with spinach and prevent many harmful diseases from invading your strawberries. Lettuce also improves the quality of strawberries.
Asparagus also behaves like a good friend to strawberries as they grow after the last frost. They are the most compatible neighbors as they do not root at the same depth and spread in different ways. In this way, they do not fight for space or nutrients.
So asparagus can be on your shopping list if you are looking for a good neighbor for your strawberries.
Numerous herbs go well with strawberry plants. Some popular ones are Dill, fennel, coriander, mint, sage, catnip, etc. They not only repel slugs and pests harmful to strawberries but also attract insects, promoting the growth of strawberries.
However, you must ensure that you plant the herbs, especially mint, in plant containers as they grow aggressively. It might affect the growing space for your strawberries.
Lupins are legumes that attract and host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. It benefits the strawberry plants and others in its vicinity by making the soil more fertile.
Besides, lupins are also great attractions for good insects and pollinators, such as honeybees. So lupins may be the key to making your strawberry plants flourish.
Thyme is a herbal plant that acts as a great companion for your strawberry plants. It serves as a point of attraction for hoverflies.
Hoverflies are syrphid flies that feed on insects that harm strawberry plants, such as scale, aphids, caterpillars, and thrips with soft bodies. It also keeps worms away from strawberry plants and prevents them from destroying your garden.
So thyme can be an excellent choice for companion planting strawberries.
10. Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions belonging to the allium family are among the most chosen companion plants for strawberries. They come with a pungent smell that is effective against marauders that feast on the juicy berries of your strawberry plants.
The pungent smell also keeps away pests, parasites, and caterpillars from affecting the growing season of strawberries.
Strawberry rhubarb pie is famous throughout the world. So why not build a garden of the two, so you need not wait for trying your favorite recipe anytime? They act as the best companions as they are perennial and grow at the same time of the year.
Rhubarb provides numerous health benefits to strawberries that make them worthy of planting in your garden.
Chives are one of the best companions for strawberry plants because of their fertilizing action on strawberries. They act as excellent mulch for your strawberry garden and work the best when sprinkled over the strawberry plants. You can do it by trimming them after the flowering season.
Besides, chives also discourage slugs from affecting strawberries through their strong scent. So getting chives for your strawberry garden will not mean any harm.
Sage and strawberries grow well together by nurturing each other. Sage is a herbal plant used as a companion plant for strawberries by many gardeners. It keeps strawberry plants healthy by protecting them against many harmful pests that inhibit the growth of Strawberries.
So sage can serve the purpose of your companion planting for strawberries.
Catnips are great saviors for strawberry patches. Growing catnip four to six feet along the strawberry rows can prove effective as its aromatic odor can help prevent aphids and cabbage loopers from damaging the strawberry plants.
Hence, you can plant catnip to avail of its beneficial properties.
Bad Companions to Avoid Planting Near Strawberries
In the previous section, we listed some of the companion plants for strawberries, In this section of the article, find some of the plants you should avoid planting near strawberries.
We understand that if you are thinking of going for a kitchen garden, then there are some plants that you need to mandate. Kale, for sure, is one of them, and with the health benefits, who would not want to grow it in the garden? But to ensure that your kale and strawberry plants grow harmoniously, you must keep them from growing nearby.
Ensure you keep your strawberry plants far away from the kale plants. Many do not know, but Kales is a part of the brassica family, so they do not go well with the growth of the strawberry. You will see that even if you take much care, the quality of the kale will not be up to the mark, and it can even die.
The next plant that we are going to talk about today, which you cannot choose to grow with the strawberry, is none other than cauliflower. Why so? Strawberries and cauliflowers are easy to maintain, so planting them together might be a good idea.
However, we have already mentioned that the family of kale and cauliflower belongs to a family known as brassica. The nature of this family is that they do not go well with elements like strawberries. You will notice that there are a lot of different kinds of insects that tend to come near the strawberry. If there are cauliflower plantations nearby, they will eat up the cauliflowers as well.
If we go by the companion planting rule, broccoli and strawberry are a combination you shouldn’t go for. We cannot deny that broccoli is an extremely friendly plantation, and you should not mind growing it next to most plants. However, when discussing plants like strawberry, it is essential to understand that strawberry is a complete feeder.
What does this mean? It means that strawberries will end up absorbing all the nutrients in the soil and leaving nothing for the broccoli plants to absorb. Consequently, you will notice that the growing broccoli could be better in quality and will perish in a few months.
4. Bok Choy
Reading the name of the plant itself, you might have guessed right. Bok Choy is also a member of the brassica family, so you need to ensure you do not plant it next to strawberry. If you are growing the two plants in the small garden, make sure that you plant them several feet away from each other. In this case, the Bok Choy will end up losing all the growth, and not only that, there is a high chance that it can die as well.
And finally, the last plant that you should not be certainly growing next to strawberries is none other than cabbage. One of the primary reasons behind this is that cab strawberry hinders the growing process and has many destructive characteristics.
You will notice that no matter where the strawberry plant is growing will attract many bugs, and these can completely ruin the cabbage plant forever. Not only that, the nature of the strawberry plant is such that it inserts, taking up all the nutrients from the soil; hence, it is usually imperative to grow it separately.
We always suggest that fertilizing the strawberries once a year is the right thing to do, and you can do this during the final harvest. Many people refrain from fertilizing strawberries during spring because it can be detrimental.
You need to understand that you can grow strawberries in tiny spaces as well; however, the depth should be promising. The depth of the root space should be at least 10 to 12 feet to sustain healthy growth.
Planting strawberries only 6 inches apart can be difficult, especially during the growing season. The ideal thing to do here is a mixture that plants the strawberries at least 10 to 12 inches apart.
If you have a four-into-eight raised bed, the ideal calculation for an entire season is around 4 to 5 plants per square foot.
Strawberries are one of the best delicacies globally, and many gardeners love planting them in their gardens. However, you can provide the best care for your strawberry plants by planting them with other plants.
Companion plants are effective against many harmful insects and attract beneficial insects. So through the above-provided list of companion plants for strawberries, you can have a peaceful garden free of worries.