When planning your vegetable garden, it’s always a great idea to think about pests and common fungal diseases that impact the plants you’re going to be growing.
I love strawberries, so I’ll be planting some of them around my veggie garden to add some color and a good mid-morning snack when I’m out there.
Are you supposed to be planting strawberries all in one area? Do you interweave them with plants that attract beneficial insects? It can be quite confusing, so I did some research to see what grows well with them so I plant strawberries in a smart way.
Common Problems Pests That Impact a Strawberry Plant
Companion planting is a two-way street. Plant A helps Plant B, and/or Plant B helps Plant A.
Because of that, I like to start with the problems that strawberries have, and that will help us understand which herbs or plants will help strawberries. These are the main culprits of much strawberry plant damage.
1. Strawberry Root Weevils
Plants that repel Weevils
Plants that repel slugs:
- Black-Eyed Susan
3. Spider Mites
If you’re a new gardener and haven’t encountered spider mites on strawberries yet, you will soon enough. These are quite frustrating as they can hide pretty well among your plants and under the leaves, but as their group grows, they can quickly damage the plants.
Plants that Repel Spider Mites
The Best Strawberry Companion Plants
Here are some of the best companions for a strawberry plant to help you encounter less trouble in your own garden.
Asparagus and strawberries are great companion plants in a garden. While they have a long touted history of helping each other, it’s wise to plant asparagus a little deeper if you’re growing them near strawberries so they use up nutrients from different layers of the soil.
Beans, especially bush beans, and strawberries help each other out in the garden as well. Bush beans release a chemical that repels pests like beetles and weevils.
Strawberries help beans by attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs and other pollinators with their blossoms.
A study was done that showed you can increase the number of strawberries you get by 35% and 32% larger strawberries yield by weight just by planting them near borage plants. Talk about an epic companion plant for strawberries!
Borage attracts beneficial insects and pollinators to help keep those strawberry flowers pollinated.
Chives give off a strong scent and help keep away different pests like beetles and.
Dill helps bring beneficial insects around your berries.
Can also help keep animals from eating your strawberry plants. Garlic helps prevent spider mites from taking over your plants.
Another member of the allium family that will help keep pests away from your strawberries.
Lettuce serves a few purposes in this companion planting relationship. Because lettuce is so leafy and takes up quite a bit of space, it can end up hiding the strawberries from the birds, which is great. Birds love strawberries so it can be hard to keep them out of the garden.
Secondarily, they both are known to help each other grow well, whether it be what they do to the soil, or keeping pests out – they’re a great pair along with spinach.
Onions are great companions for strawberries. Their stronger scent can help keep pests away, including rabbits and deer.
Peas help with providing natural fertilizers and fixing the soil of bad bacteria.
Rhubarb doesn’t compete with your strawberries, uses up different nutrients and minerals in the soil, and they usually get harvested around similar time frames, making them good companion plants.
Just another one of the great herb companion plants you can grow next to your strawberries. They help repel slugs too!
Related: The 8 Best Sage Companion Plants [& What NOT to Plant Nearby]
Planting sage around the border of your strawberry patch will help smother weeds and provide ground cover so your soil doesn’t dry out too quickly and you can water less frequently on hot days.
What NOT to Plant With Strawberries
Strawberries are very prone to something called verticillium wilt. It’s also common in plants like
- Other nightshades
- Cabbage family
- Brussels Sprouts
- Collard greens
Because all of these plants are susceptible to this disease, you don’t want to plant any of them with your strawberries. The disease can last in the soil for around 3 years, and even the winter frost won’t kill it.
Make sure you’re growing your nightshades and cabbages in separate places every year or two to help reduce the chance of this destroying your crop.
What is Companion Planting?
Companion planting in my eyes is figuring out which plants and herbs to put near each other in the garden (and which to keep far apart) based on the insects they attract, as well as the soil conditions they promote.
A plant that generally grows well in sandy soil won’t do as well next to a plant that needs a ton of nutrients and quality potting soil. Some plants in the garden like extra sunlight, while some do well with some shade.
What Are the Benefits of Companion Planting?
Organic Pest Control
Companion planting is a good way to control garden pests in an organic way. By planting an herb that repels asparagus beetles, a common hindrance to asparagus plants, you’re able to better control that beetle population and have a more bountiful asparagus harvest.
Attracting Beneficial Insects
Strawberries help attract beneficial insects and pollinators, such as bees and butterflies to your garden with their beautiful flowers. These can help other companion plants grow larger and stronger.
Why Companion Planting Matters
Companion planting strawberries can make growing strawberries so much easier and give you a more bountiful harvest. Some companions help make more juicy berries, while other plants in your strawberry bed will keep pests and animals at bay.