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10 Best Companion Plants For Blueberry & 10 To Keep Away

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Growing blueberries can be a delightful venture for any gardener, but achieving the best yield isn’t just about watering and waiting.

Companion planting, the practice of placing different crops in proximity for pest control, pollination, and providing habitat for beneficial creatures, can dramatically enhance your blueberry plants’ health and productivity.

In this article, we’ll explore the 10 best plants to grow alongside your blueberries and another 10 that should be kept at a distance.

Introduction to Companion Planting

Companion planting is a time-tested gardening approach rooted in the idea that certain plants can benefit each other when grown together.

For blueberries, choosing the right companions can help manage soil acidity, deter pests, and attract beneficial insects, all of which can contribute to a bountiful blueberry harvest.

10 Best Companion Plants for Blueberries

1. Thyme

Thyme is more than just a kitchen staple. This hardy herb repels pests and attracts pollinators with its fragrant flowers, making it an excellent companion for blueberry bushes.

Plant thyme around the perimeter of your blueberry patch to create a protective and attractive border.

2. Basil

Known for its strong aroma, basil naturally repels harmful insects such as mosquitoes and thrips, which can damage blueberry flowers and fruit.

Planting basil nearby can help keep these pests at bay while also adding a splash of greenery to your garden.

3. Pine Trees

Blueberries thrive in acidic soils, and pine needles are natural soil acidifiers. As pine needles decompose, they release acids, benefiting blueberries by helping maintain the soil pH levels they prefer. Plant pine trees strategically around your garden to provide both shade and soil conditioning.

4. Garlic

Garlic is a powerful deterrent for many pests, including deer and rabbits, which might find your blueberry bushes tempting.

Additionally, garlic helps to prevent fungal plant diseases, which can be a boon for keeping your blueberries healthy. Interplant garlic cloves among your bushes to ward off unwanted visitors and infections.

5. Borage

Borage not only attracts beneficial bees and insects for pollination but also adds trace minerals to the soil, which blueberries find favorable.

Its blue flowers are a beautiful complement to blueberry bushes, and it helps improve both the quantity and quality of the fruits produced.

6. Marigolds

These bright and cheerful flowers are not just pretty; they exude a substance that deters root nematodes—parasites that can seriously harm blueberry roots.

Planting marigolds around your blueberries can help protect their delicate root systems from these damaging pests.

7. Dill

Dill attracts wasps and other predatory insects that feed on common garden pests. These beneficial predators can help maintain a healthy balance in your blueberry garden, keeping pest populations under control without the need for chemical insecticides.

8. Azaleas

Azaleas can enhance the visual appeal of your garden while helping to maintain the acidic soil conditions that blueberries love.

Their bright blooms not only add color but also mimic the habitat conditions blueberries naturally prefer, encouraging better growth.

9. Buckwheat

Buckwheat grows quickly and can be used as a cover crop to improve soil health. It attracts beneficial insects such as hoverflies and parasitic wasps, which prey on common pests.

Plant buckwheat in patches around your blueberries to boost their environment without competing for nutrients.

10. Squash

Using squash as a ground cover can help maintain soil moisture levels and keep weeds at bay, reducing competition for nutrients.

The broad leaves of squash plants also help keep the soil cool and prevent the sun from scorching the blueberries’ sensitive roots.

10 Plants to Keep Away from Blueberries

While some plants are beneficial to blueberries, others can be detrimental. Certain species can attract pests, compete for nutrients, or even harm blueberries through chemical interference.

Here’s a list of ten plants you should keep at a distance from your blueberry bushes to ensure optimal health and productivity.

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes and blueberries do not make good neighbors. They are susceptible to similar pests and diseases, such as blight, which can easily spread from one plant to the other. To avoid cross-contamination, it’s best to plant tomatoes in a separate area of your garden.

2. Peppers

Like tomatoes, peppers are members of the nightshade family and share many of the same pests and diseases. These can transfer to blueberry bushes, jeopardizing the entire crop. Keep peppers well away from blueberries to protect both plants.

3. Eggplants

Another nightshade family member, eggplants can attract pests that also feast on blueberries. Keeping eggplants separated from blueberries reduces the risk of pest invasions and ensures that each plant can thrive without interference.

4. Potatoes

Potatoes are prone to blight and other soil-borne diseases that can devastate blueberry bushes. Planting potatoes in close proximity to blueberries can spell disaster for both crops due to shared pathogens.

5. Walnut Trees

Walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to many plants, including blueberries. The roots, leaves, and bark of walnut trees all contain juglone, and its presence in the soil can inhibit the growth and fruiting of blueberry plants.

6. Cabbage

Cabbage competes with blueberries for nutrients and water. This heavy feeder can deprive blueberries of essential resources, stunting their growth and reducing their fruit yield. Ensure that cabbage and other brassicas are planted in a different part of the garden.

7. Cauliflower

Similar to cabbage, cauliflower also competes aggressively for nutrients. Its large, expansive growth can overshadow smaller blueberry plants, limiting their sunlight exposure and nutrient absorption.

8. Sunflowers

While sunflowers are stunning and provide seeds for birds, they can attract birds that might also eat blueberries.

Additionally, their large roots and tall stalks can cast excessive shade over blueberry bushes, inhibiting their growth.

9. Fennel

Fennel has allelopathic properties, meaning it releases chemicals that can inhibit the growth of nearby plants, including blueberries. Its strong growth can also crowd out young blueberry plants, competing for light and space.

10. Beans

Beans, particularly pole beans, can compete with blueberries for soil nutrients. While some legumes can fix nitrogen in the soil—beneficial for many plants—beans might not be the best companions due to their high nutrient demands and potential to overshadow smaller blueberry plants.

Choosing the right companions for your blueberry bushes can lead to a healthier, more productive garden.

By understanding which plants to include and which to avoid, you can maximize your harvest and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Companion planting is not just about placing plants next to each other; it’s about creating a diverse ecosystem that supports the growth and health of all your garden’s inhabitants. Experiment with different combinations and observe how they interact. Happy gardening!

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