Curious about strawberry companion plants? Read on!
Companion planting has long been used by many gardeners to expand the variation of plants in their gardens and reap its many benefits.
In this process, plants are strategically placed in companionship with others so they both can mutually benefit their neighbors. This can also help in increasing the attractiveness of your garden.
If you even plan to plant a garden then put in serious consideration to execute strawberry companion planting too.
Strawberries, just like any other plant, are highly susceptible to unwanted pests and insects. These juicy fruits can be very rewarding to grow in your garden, which is suggested by many people.
However, it is crucial to be aware of the know-how, that is, when to grow them, how to grow them, and which plants can act as the best strawberry companion plants.
COMPANION PLANTING: BENEFITS AND DOWNSIDES
Just like there are two sides to a coin, every planting action has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here we discuss a few for companion planting.
- Planting more than one plant can better utilize your space
- Plants that grow higher can provide shade to others
- Many companion plants help with the betterment of soil quality by adding nutrients
- Attracts certain beneficial insects
- Repels and protects from harmful insects and pests
- Makes your garden look attractive
- Companion planting is not backed with any scientific proof; biologists are not sure if and how it works. The knowledge available is only because of practical application and experience over the years.
- Extensive knowledge of the compatibility of plants is required or they might harm each other when planted in a close proximity.
STRAWBERRY COMPANION PLANTS: WHAT TO PLANT
- Scientific name: Borago officinalis
- Edible leaves and flowers
- Medicinal herb
Topping the list, Borage is one of the best strawberry companion plants. Mainly used for culinary purposes, they are also known to enhance the flavor of strawberries when planted in companionship with them. With their attractive colors, they attract several pollinators and also defend the plant against any harmful pests or insects.
Certain predatory insects like the praying mantis and predatory wasps are often drawn to Borage. However, they feed on other insects that might spoil the strawberries.
Overall, Borage as a strawberry companion plant provides it with three additional benefits – better taste, better pollination, and deterring harmful insects and pests.
- Scientific name: Asparagus Officinalis
- Used as a spring vegetable when young
- Antioxidant properties with many other health benefits
Asparagus and strawberry are ideal companions if you like keeping a range of plants at once. Being a succulent, not only are they easy to care for, but also provide several health benefits. They can both be grown after the last frost.
It does not even suck up too many nutrients from the soil when planted with strawberry, due to different planes of rooting. Thus, ideally, you get two varieties of plants without costing your soil too much strain.
3. Bush Beans
- Scientific name: Phaseolus vulgaris
- Easy to grow
- Effectively lowers blood-sugar levels
Bush beans are legumes, and just like any other, they can fix your soil. Legumes are known for fixing the nitrogen levels in the soil, thus improving the soil quality.
When planted as strawberry companion plants, beans (in general) can thus help the strawberry plant close to it and boost the fruit yields. They also work to prevent garden beetles and other pests from feeding on your strawberries.
- Scientific name: Tagetes
- Grown easily even in bad conditions
- Vibrant colors like bright yellow, orange, and rusty-red
Marigolds in itself look extremely vibrant and beautiful to the eye. Besides aesthetically fitting in with strawberries, they enhance the visual experience of the entire garden too.
Additionally, marigolds are known to deter root-knot nematodes by producing a toxic chemical. This in turn also helps the strawberry plant steer clear of the nematode threat which can substantially damage its roots.
These amazing sunny blooms also emit a strong fragrance, enough to keep pests away.
5. Onions and Garlic
- Scientific names: Allium cepa and Allium sativum, respectively
- Adds unique nutrients to your food
- Excellent sources of various vitamins
Since they both belong to the Allium family, their most distinctive feature includes a bulb-like top. However, in complete contrast to Marigolds, they make amazing strawberry companion plants due to their bad smell.
The pungent smell they emit can repulse almost all kinds of pests, including marauders, thus saving your fresh strawberries from being ruined.
- Scientific name: Spinacia oleracea
- Leaves can be consumed fresh or after canning, freezing, or dehydration
- Provides exceptional nutritional value
Similar to Asparagus, Spinach grows on a different soil level too, thus eliminating the cause of rendering the soil deficient of nutrients. A notable feature is its antifungal and antibacterial nature. This can drastically reduce the chances of any kind of disease.
The leafy structure helps keep the birds away while the saponins present in the plant naturally help with repelling pests. Growing spinach as a strawberry companion also enhances the quality of both the plants.
Other than the 6 plants stated above, here is a list of some other strawberry companion plants. They incorporate similar traits and tactics to benefit the strawberry plant.
- Herbs – Dill, fennel, coriander, and sage
STRAWBERRY COMPANION PLANTS: WHAT NOT TO PLANT
Specific plants can either ruin your strawberry patch or end up getting ruined by them.
- Cabbage Family
The members of the cabbage family will end up getting destroyed if planted close to your strawberry patch. This family includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, and collard greens among others.
Strawberries can impair the growth of these cabbage family members; thus, it is crucial to avoid planting them in companionship.
- Sensitive to Verticillium
To name a few, plants like potatoes, melons, okra, roses, chrysanthemums, peppers, tomatoes, should not be planted with strawberries. These plants make strawberries sensitive to a disease called verticillium, thus making them detrimental for your strawberry patch.
A healthy strawberry plant (left) vs. when infected with verticillium (right)
Remember to not grow your strawberries where these were previously planted as well. The soil might still contain properties in enough concentration to ruin your patch. Wait for a minimum period of 5 years to grow your strawberries in the same area.
Besides reaping benefits from other plants, strawberries also give back to their companion plants by preventing the growth of weeds. If you are planning to grow them in your own yard, be sure to know when and how to grow strawberries for the best yields. Even if they do not require any complicated gardening tools, they will still require a high-quality fertilizer.
To conclude, besides the above-mentioned benefits and drawbacks, we are still unaware of how certain plants would react with strawberries.
Thus, it is advised to stay cautious in case you are expecting financial returns. But if you like experimenting, use the hit and trial method to see what may or may not work as a strawberry companion plant!