10 Companion Plants for Strawberries (with Pictures)
So, you have decided to try companion planting with your strawberries. Knowing which plants are beneficial and those that are not will make the process easier, and hopefully, your garden will be a remarkable success.
We have compiled a list of plants that will either add beauty to your garden or please your palate, but all 10 will be excellent companions for your strawberries.
The Top 10 Companion Plants for Strawberries
|Maximize garden space
It is best to place green leaf plants between the strawberry plants. The spinach plant will help to improve the soil by leaving a saponin in the soil. Saponin is an excellent companion plant for lessening the chance of bacterial and fungal plant disease. Spinach plants are not sensitive to the cold, easy-to-grow, and will not tower over your strawberry plants.
Spinach can be planted in the spring, so you can enjoy it in smoothies, cooking, and salads. So, you are maximizing the space in your garden bed while reducing the risk of bacterial and fungal disease to your strawberry plants.
|Maximize garden space
Lettuce is a cold-tolerant plant that works as a companion plant for strawberries. Since strawberries are bright red and can attract birds and other hungry pests, you can plant the lettuce so the leaves hide the red berries out of sight, and they do not get eaten.
Lettuce is also easy to grow and does not require a lot of nutrients and water so it will not starve the strawberries. It does not prevent or improve the growth of strawberries, however.
|Maximize crop yield and repels pests
Planting scallions with your strawberries provides another delicious addition to your garden and repels pests. They are thin plants that can be strategically placed in open spaces in your strawberry garden. They are also a desirable choice since they will not deprive the strawberries of water.
Although the smell of scallions is less pungent than onions, it helps to keep beetles and aphids away from your plants.
An added benefit of planting scallions with your strawberries is the delicious addition to your salad when you harvest the crop.
|Maximize crop yield and repels pests
Garlic can be planted with your strawberries in a double row with strawberries in between. The garlic smell will help to keep insects and birds away. Garlic is an excellent choice for preventing spider mites, deer, and rodents.
The plant is low to the ground and slim so it will not tower over the strawberry plant and prevent it from getting enough sunlight. In addition, you do not need to worry about the garlic hogging all the water.
|Provides shade from the hot sun and loosens soil
Rhubarb is an excellent choice for a companion plant in larger gardens with strawberries. The plant provides a bit of shade so they can stay cool on days with higher temperatures.
The large leaves on the rhubarb plant helps to lessen the spread of weeds in your strawberry garden. The tap roots grow downward and loosen up the soil so the strawberry plant can easily spread and grow.
The plant can grow up to four feet tall and wide and should be planted along the border of your garden, so it has space to grow, however.
|Maximize garden yield and space
Since strawberries and asparagus have similar needs, they make excellent companion plants. The plants love the sun and require soil that is well-drained. They do not like soggy roots.
Asparagus spears can be harvested in the early summer when the fruit on the strawberry plant is beginning to grow.
Asparagus plants are a perennial that will come up for up to 30 years. Plant them beneath the strawberries so they will be done fruiting when the asparagus begins to sprout. It is best to plant asparagus with strawberries that produce fruit in early June.
7. Sweet Alyssum
|Attracts pollinators and beneficial predators
Although sweet alyssum is a good companion plant for all garden plants, it is one of the best companions for strawberries. The plant offers protection from predators and attracts pollinators.
Studies have found that the plant offers pest protection by attracting green lacewings, which are lovers of strawberry pests and white alyssum. They are attracted to the flowers, and they eat more of the pests than any other predator.
The sweet alyssum also attracts bees and butterflies that will pollinate the strawberry flowers too.
8. French Marigold
|Repels rabbits, whiteflies, and root knot nematodes
Among others, the French marigold is a beautiful flower that makes an ideal companion for strawberries. The French marigold will do more than add beauty and color to your garden. They will also provide your strawberries with protection from pests above and below the ground.
The flowers have a scent that strawberry pests will avoid. The plant also provides protection from underground root knot nematodes since they contain a natural pesticide that spreads in the soil and repels them. The flower is also known to repel rabbits and whiteflies.
Planting the marigolds in the corner of the bed or between the strawberry plants will repel pests and add color to your garden without the risk of interfering with the growth and sunlight for your strawberries.
|Improves the flavor of the strawberries, prevents disease, and attracts predators and pollinators
If you want a companion plant for your strawberries that will attract predatory insects, like parasitic wasps, you may want to add borage to your garden. The plant will also protect your strawberries from worm attacks and attract bees and butterflies. The butterflies and bees will enjoy the nectar from the borage and carry it over to the strawberry flowers to aid in pollination.
The improved strawberry flavor and planting borage as a companion plant may be linked to the ability of borage to bring micronutrients from the soil to the strawberries, which will make the fruit taste better.
The borage should be planted on the border of your garden since it can grow into a big plant. Plant it one to three feet away from your strawberries so there is room to grow without invading your strawberries’ space.
10. Creeping Thyme
|Aids in moisture, suppresses weeds, keeps fruit off the ground, repels pests, retains moisture, and acts like mulch
Creeping thyme will not only add beauty to your garden, but it may also add flavor to your strawberries. It is considered a “living mulch.” As it grows and travels below the strawberry plants, it acts as a weed barrier and a cushion for the fruit to lay on.
The creeping vine provides a soil cover and has a fragrance that repels pests. The thyme leaves form a layer on the ground that inhibits weed growth, keeps the fruit from rotting on the ground and prevents attacks by slugs.
The creeping vine, not the bush, should be planted every six inches in your garden bed so it can cover the soil and prevent weeds.
5 Types of Plants That Are Not Good Companions for Strawberries
While there are plants that make good companions for strawberries, there are others that may be harmful and should not be planted with strawberries. These bad companions can cause the plants to produce less fruit and fruit with no flavor at all. In some instances, they can kill your strawberry plants.
Here is a list of plants you may want to avoid if you have strawberries in your garden.
|Prevents growth, hinders germination, and robs fruit of flavor
Since fennel has a strong scent, it is an excellent pest repellant. Unfortunately, it is not a good companion to any plant, and it is known to prevent growth and germination of seeds. It can also rob your fruit of flavor.
|Hinders growth and competes for nutrition
Brassicas include plants like broccoli, cabbages, collard greens, and cauliflower, among others. Strawberries and brassica-type plants compete for nutrition and hinder one another during the growing process.
|Shared diseases, competes for space and nutrients
Since strawberries are part of the rose family, their soil needs are similar, and they are susceptible to the same diseases. Roses can also invade the strawberry plants’ space and rob them of its nutrients.
The same holds true if you plant melons with strawberries.
Photosynthesis is necessary for plants to grow and produce fruit. Since sunflowers are tall and will block the sunlight from your strawberry plants, it can hinder the process and result in less fruit.
Although sunflowers can block the sun in a negative way, it can also provide your strawberries with shade on days when the temperature is extremely high.
If you decide to plant sunflowers around your strawberry plants, place them according to where and when the sun hits your garden.
5. Sacrifice Plants
|Pests will feed on fruit
Unfortunately, humans are the only ones that find strawberries to be a delicious treat. There are also many pests like aphids and other insects that prefer the taste of strawberries over other flavorful plants in the nightshade family and may feed on your strawberries.
These potentially harmful plants include eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, and red clover.
Shared diseases are always a concern when you are companion planting. While nightshades are known for attracting pests, they can also spread verticillium wilt to your strawberry plants.
These plants include mint, okra, melons, gooseberries, chrysanthemums, and stone fruits like peaches, apricots, and cherries.
We hope you have learned a thing or two about companion planting. Not only do plants have good companions, but they have enemies too. Knowing which ones are good and the ones are not can make all the difference in the healthy growth, yield, and flavor of your strawberries.
Featured Image Credit: oli2020, Pixabay