Find out what to plant garlic next to — and grow the best vegetables!
To grow garlic, you need fertile well-drained soil, plenty of moisture, lots of sun and a good winter (cold, but not too soggy) to spur the bulbs into action. If you have these things sorted, great!
By getting good at growing garlic, you could be helping lots of other vegetables too. This is because garlic makes an ideal companion for many other plants. We’ll talk more about the best garlic companion plants below.
What are companion plants?
Companion planting is when you grow plants next to each other that benefit one another. Usually, this is done for three reasons – to improve the soil, to attract pollinators, and to keep pests off.
You may have heard about companion plants a lot more lately, with the growing interest in organic gardening. It’s not a new way of growing; organic fans have been doing it for years. Companion planting works, and it often means you don’t need to get chemicals involved to deal with pests.
With garlic, it’s usually the pest-repelling properties that make it an ideal neighbor for many other plants
How does garlic help other plants?
You know how pungent garlic is? Well, it turns out this is one of its most valued attributes when it comes to garden pests.
Aphids hate the smell of garlic and will not go near it. This goes for many other insects that might want to snack on your veggies too: spider mites, gnats, beetles, snails and caterpillars. As well as deterring insect pests, garlic is known to put off other nibblers including rodents.
The other great thing is that garlic stores sulfur in its bulbs, which works as a natural fungicide. This stops the spread of diseases in your soil. You may have seen homemade remedies for fungal diseases made from garlic powder or oil. As we’ll see below, planting garlic works really well; you can also make garlic water to use as a spray.
Best Companion Plants for Garlic
We’ve pulled together a list of the best companion plants for garlic here. Choose some friends for your garlic from this list; it’ll help you to grow that bumper crop.
Garlic can help to keep spider mites away from your tomatoes. If you grow a spring crop of garlic early in the year, about a month before your tomatoes, they will be ready to harvest together.
Garlic’s power to dispel fungal diseases is one of the reasons why peppers benefit from being grown close to this super-powered plant. As with tomatoes, spring-planted garlic can be joined by peppers as the weather warms up. Soil-borne diseases like white mold should cease to be a problem.
Potatoes are often happiest growing on their own, but garlic is one of the plants they will happily share a space with. Potatoes, tomatoes and peppers are all of the nightshade family and benefit from the anti-fungal properties garlic bring to the soil.
The anti-fungal properties of garlic make it a great companion for fruit trees. As a natural fungicide, it will prevent leaf curl in peach trees and apple scab in apple trees. Aphids, Japanese beetles and mites are not fans of garlic either.
Growing garlic near fruit trees will put off much larger nibblers too – even deer that might be partial to the bark of young trees.
Garlic is an excellent choice to plant close to brassicas such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and kohlrabi because it repels common cabbage pests. Cabbage loopers, diamondback moths, cabbage moths and worms will all be turned off.
If your carrots suffer from carrot root fly, growing garlic next to them could solve the problem by putting them off. Garlic and carrots work together really well as companion plants.
Many gardeners believe that the flavor of beetroot is improved when garlic is grown next to it. Beets will also be helped by garlic’s anti-fungal powers.
Some other garlic companion plants include eggplant and dill. But what about plants that don’t like growing near garlic?
Plants that Don’t Make Good Companions for Garlic
Garlic has lots of friends, but peas and beans are not thought to be two of them. Garlic may stop your peas and beans from growing properly, so avoid putting these together. It’s also thought that asparagus, parsley and sage don’t make good bedfellows with garlic.
Other Garlic Companion Plants
Aside from the vegetable patch, garlic has an excellent effect on roses. If you plant 3 or 4 garlic cloves around each rose bush you will find the garlic stops all sorts of pests from destroying your flowers.
The garlic cloves release sulphur into the soil around them; this is absorbed by the rose. Aphids, snails, caterpillars and other bugs will all be put off visiting.
Companion plants that help garlic
This calming herb is thought to improve the flavor of garlic grown next to it.
A row of rue next to your onions and garlic can help to keep off onion flies. Both flies and maggots hate this strong-smelling herb.
Choosing a spinach variety with a height and spread of 9 inches maximum will give groundcover around your garlic plants without overshadowing them. This helps to keep weeds at bay. Lettuce and arugula or rocket work in the same way.
Garlic Companion Plants Can Look Fab
We’ve covered some of the best garlic companion plants here. Hopefully, it’s inspired you to have a think about how you could incorporate different plants into your vegetable garden.
A little bit of thought about the design will help to get your crops thriving. Consider the heights and shapes of different plants and combine those that look good together, as well as being excellent companion plants. That way you get a bountiful crop and your backyard will look fabulous too!