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10 Helpful Companion Plants For Strawberries & 5 To Keep Away

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Companion planting is a time-honored garden strategy that involves placing certain plants in close proximity to each other to enhance growth, repel pests, or increase fruit yield. Strawberries, with their delicate blooms and juicy fruits, particularly benefit from the right neighbors.

This guide will help you choose the best companion plants to support your strawberry patch, as well as which plants to avoid to ensure your strawberries thrive.

10 Beneficial Companion Plants for Strawberries

1. Borage: Enhances Strawberry Flavor and Attracts Pollinators

Borage is an excellent companion for strawberries. Not only does it improve the overall flavor of the strawberries, but its bright blue flowers are adept at attracting pollinators such as bees to your garden.

Additionally, borage helps to deter pests while being a source of trace minerals, which are beneficial for the growth of strawberry plants.

Plant borage around the perimeter of your strawberry beds to create a natural and beneficial border.

2. Bush Beans: Fix Nitrogen to Aid Strawberry Growth

Bush beans are known for their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil, which then becomes readily available for neighboring plants like strawberries, which thrive in rich soil.

The proximity of bush beans can lead to more robust strawberry plants. When planting, ensure that beans are spaced sufficiently from strawberries to avoid overcrowding and competition for light.

3. Garlic: Acts as a Natural Pest Repellent

Garlic is invaluable in any strawberry field due to its strong scent, which naturally repels many pests that target strawberries, including aphids and mites.

Planting garlic around the edges or interspersed between rows of strawberries can protect the delicate fruits from pest invasions. Additionally, garlic can enhance the flavor of strawberries growing nearby.

4. Onions: Additional Pest Control Measures

Like garlic, onions also serve as a strong deterrent against pests, providing an additional layer of protection for strawberries.

The pungent smell of onions is especially effective against ants and some fungal diseases, which can affect strawberry plants. Space onions throughout the strawberry beds to create a protective barrier against invaders.

5. Spinach: Provides Shade and Root Companionship

Spinach and strawberries make excellent garden companions. Planting spinach in your strawberry patch can help keep the ground moist and weed-free.

The spinach provides light shade, which helps keep the soil temperature stable, thereby benefiting the strawberries during hot days. Moreover, spinach has shallow roots and tends not to compete with strawberries for nutrients.

6. Thyme: Creates a Pest-Resistant Environment

Thyme is another herb that’s beneficial for strawberries due to its ability to repel pests. Planting thyme around your strawberries can help keep away worms and beetles.

The creeping nature of thyme makes it an excellent ground cover, helping to prevent weeds and maintain soil moisture.

7. Sage: Deters Deer and Large Pests

Sage can be planted around the perimeter of your strawberry beds to deter deer and other large pests from feasting on your plants.

Its strong aromatic properties make sage an effective natural repellent. Additionally, sage flowers attract beneficial insects that help control pests.

8. Marigolds: Colorful Pest Deterrents and Soil Health Promoters

Marigolds are not only cheerful and decorative but also incredibly effective at repelling nematodes, aphids, and other pests that might target strawberry plants.

The roots of marigolds emit a substance that can kill nematodes and other soil-borne pests, improving the overall health of the soil.

Interplanting marigolds among your strawberries can also add a splash of color to your garden while protecting your fruits.

9. Lettuce: Maximizes Garden Space and Mutual Benefits

Lettuce is a fantastic companion for strawberries due to its low-growing habit, which helps in maximizing garden space utilization.

When planted adjacent to strawberries, lettuce acts as a living mulch, reducing weed growth and maintaining soil moisture without competing aggressively for nutrients.

The cool, moist environment created by lettuce is ideal for strawberry plants, especially during warmer weather.

Furthermore, the rapid growth cycle of lettuce ensures that it can be harvested before it imposes any significant competition for space or nutrients.

10. Caraway: Attracts Beneficial Insects

Caraway is another excellent companion for strawberry plants, not only for its ability to attract beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps and ladybugs but also for its potential in enhancing soil health.

These insects help control pest populations that could otherwise damage strawberry plants. Caraway, with its deep root system, can help break up heavy soils, improving soil structure for the strawberry roots.

Plant caraway at the border of your strawberry patches to maximize its benefits without overcrowding.

5 Plants to Keep Away from Strawberries

While certain plants can significantly enhance the growth and fruiting of strawberries, others can pose risks and hinder their development. Here are five plants you should keep away from your strawberry beds:

1. Cabbage: Competes for Space and Nutrients

Cabbage and its relatives (including broccoli and cauliflower) are heavy feeders and can deplete the soil of essential nutrients that strawberries need to thrive.

The large leaves of cabbage also shade the ground excessively, which can inhibit the growth of strawberry plants.

Keeping these plants in separate areas of your garden prevents competition and ensures that both your strawberries and cabbage can grow without hindrance.

2. Potatoes: Increase Risk of Fungal Diseases

Potatoes can increase the risk of fungal diseases like Verticillium wilt, which can also affect strawberries.

Both strawberries and potatoes are susceptible to this soil-borne pathogen, and planting them together can facilitate the spread of the disease. It is best to practice crop rotation and keep these two apart to avoid cross-contamination.

3. Cauliflower: Poses Similar Risks as Cabbage

Like cabbage, cauliflower competes intensely for nutrients and can overshadow smaller strawberry plants.

Its substantial nutrient and space requirements can impede the growth and fruit production of strawberries.

Keeping cauliflower away from strawberries ensures that both plants have sufficient resources to thrive.

4. Fennel: Inhibits Growth

Fennel secretes a substance from its roots that can inhibit the growth of nearby plants, including strawberries.

This allelopathic effect makes fennel a poor companion for most garden vegetables and particularly detrimental to sensitive plants like strawberries.

It is wise to plant fennel in a separate part of the garden or in containers to prevent it from impacting other plants.

5. Walnut Trees: Cause Juglone Toxicity

Walnut trees, including black walnuts, secrete a chemical known as juglone through their roots, which is toxic to many plant species, such as strawberries.

The presence of walnut trees can lead to the wilting and eventual death of strawberry plants due to juglone toxicity. To avoid this, ensure that strawberries are planted well away from the drip line of walnut trees.

By carefully selecting companion plants for your strawberries, you can enhance not only their health and productivity but also the overall biodiversity of your garden.

Companion planting leads to a more sustainable gardening practice, encouraging natural solutions to pest control and nutrient supply.

Conversely, being aware of which plants to keep away from strawberries ensures the vigor and yield of your precious crops. Embrace these practices to enjoy bountiful harvests and a beautiful, thriving garden.

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