Companion planting is a gardening technique that involves growing certain plants together for mutual benefits such as pest control, improved soil fertility, and better crop yield.
Among the vegetables that can benefit from this practice are beets, which are valued for both their edible roots and nutrient-rich greens. By pairing beets with compatible plants, gardeners can enhance the health, flavor, and productivity of their crop.
It’s essential, however, to consider each plant’s specific growth requirements and avoid pairing beets with plants that could hinder their growth, such as pole beans or fennel.
By carefully selecting the right companion plants, gardeners can achieve a thriving, vibrant garden with bountiful beets and a harmonious balance of plant life.
Benefits of Companion Planting for Beets
One of the primary benefits of companion planting is the enrichment of soil with the necessary nutrients, particularly nitrogen. Certain companion plants, such as legumes, can fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil, providing a vital nutrient for the growth of beets.
This nitrogen-rich soil helps in maintaining the health and productivity of the beets, while also benefiting other plants growing in the vicinity.
Companion planting can also serve as an effective, organic pest control method. Interspersing beets with plants like alliums (such as garlic, onions, and chives) can repel harmful pests like aphids, slugs, and beetles.
These strong-smelling plants deter pests from attacking the beets and reduce the need for chemical pesticides.
Shade and Moisture Regulation
Certain companion plants can also provide shade and regulate moisture for beets. For example, taller plants like corn or sunflowers can create a microclimate that offers protection from harsh sun and helps maintain soil moisture.
This shade and moisture regulation aids in providing optimum growing conditions for beets, especially during hot and dry weather conditions.
Attracting Pollinators and Beneficial Insects
Companion planting is also useful for attracting pollinators like bees and other beneficial insects to the garden. Flowers such as marigolds and nasturtiums, when planted alongside beets, can draw in a diverse range of pollinators and beneficial insects.
These insects not only contribute to the pollination of the beets, but they also help in controlling pests by preying on them.
Best Companions for Beets
1. Vegetables and Greens
Beets thrive when they are close to other cool-season vegetables and greens, such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and radishes. These plants have similar growing requirements, making them compatible companions in the garden
Planting them together saves growing space, especially when growing beets in containers or small gardens. Additionally, intercropping with leafy greens can provide shade for beets, which can be beneficial during hot weather.
These plants deter harmful insects, like aphids, and can enhance the flavor of beets. Additionally, Alliums have a shallow root system, allowing beets’ deeper roots to coexist without competing for nutrients.
This compatibility makes them excellent companion plants. Planting Brassicas and beets together can also help maximize the use of space within a vegetable garden.
Legumes, such as peas and bush beans, are good beet companions. These plants fix nitrogen in the soil, promoting healthier growth for beets. However, note that pole beans should not be planted near beets, as they can inhibit their growth.
Companion Flowers and Herbs for Beets
Marigolds are popular for companion planting with beets, as they can ward off pests like beetles and nematodes. These flowers are known to attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, which are natural predators of aphids and other pests that can damage a beet crop.
Additionally, marigolds can aid in maintaining a healthy soil environment and deter certain harmful insects like Japanese beetles.
Nasturtiums are another excellent flower to grow alongside your beets. They are known to repel a variety of pests, including moths and aphids. The flowers provide a safe haven for insects such as hoverflies and ladybugs, which feed on the aphids that can damage beet plants.
They also serve as a trap crop for caterpillars that could harm leafy greens, making them a valuable addition to your vegetable garden.
7. Hyssop, Mint, Catnip, and Thyme
Hyssop, mint, catnip, and thyme are fragrant herbs that offer numerous benefits when grown with beets. Their strong scents can help to deter beet pests while attracting beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and wasps.
The allium family, Brassica family, and spinach can also benefit from being grown near these aromatic herbs.
8. Rosemary, Lavender, and Sweet Alyssum
Rosemary, lavender, and sweet alyssum are three more herb options for companion planting with beets. These herbs promote the growth of root vegetables like beets by attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Furthermore, their presence in the garden can deter pests that feast on leafy greens. The pleasant aroma emitted by rosemary and lavender can discourage certain insects, while sweet alyssum flowers can draw in beneficial insects like hoverflies and ladybugs.
Plants to Avoid Growing With Beets
Field Mustard and Invasive Brassica Greens
Planting beets near field mustard and other invasive Brassica greens can be detrimental to beet growth. These plants are closely related, and they could compete for nutrients and water in the soil.
Additionally, pests and diseases that affect Brassica family plants can easily spread to beet greens, causing potential damage to your crop. To ensure healthy beet growth, it is best to avoid placing these plants in close proximity.
Corn, Melons, and Cucumbers
Corn can also negatively affect beets when planted nearby. Corn has a high nutrient demand and can deplete the soil of essential nutrients required for healthy beet growth.
Additionally, corn is susceptible to certain diseases and pests that could also affect beets. It is recommended to keep these plants separated in your garden for optimal growth.
Similarly, melons and cucumbers can compete with beets for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Both melons and cucumbers have extensive root systems and large leaves that can overshadow beets, limiting their access to sunlight.
To ensure the best growth for both beets and these plants, maintain a safe distance between the two.
Deer-Attracting Plants: Dill, Coriander, and Chamomile
If deer are a concern in your garden, you might want to avoid planting dill, coriander, and chamomile near your beets. These plants are known to attract deer, which could lead them to your beets as well, potentially causing damage to your crop.
To reduce the risk of deer-related damage, keep these plants separate from your beets and consider implementing other deer deterrents in your garden.
Remember that proper plant spacing and thoughtful companion plant selection are key factors in maintaining a successful garden. By avoiding certain plant pairings, you can ensure healthier and more productive beet crops.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to plant with beets?
Beets can benefit from a variety of companion plants in the garden. Some of the top companion plants for beets include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bush beans, cabbage, catnip, cauliflower, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, marigolds, onions, radishes, sorrel, spinach, and garlic.
Best veggies near beets?
The most beneficial vegetables to grow near beets are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bush beans, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, onions, radishes, sorrel, and spinach. These plants help improve soil health, provide natural pest control, and enhance mutual growth.
Can peas grow with beets?
Yes, peas can grow with beets. Although peas are not specifically listed as one of the top companion plants for beets, they are generally compatible with most other vegetables. Peas can enrich the soil around them by helping to fix nitrogen, which can be beneficial for beets.
Should tomatoes pair with beets?
Tomatoes can be grown near beets, but they are not considered an ideal companion plant. While they don’t negatively affect beet growth, tomatoes can compete for nutrients and sunlight. It might be better to choose one of the more highly recommended companion plants for beets mentioned above.
What follows beets in a garden?
Rotating crops is essential for maintaining healthy soil. After harvesting beets, consider planting crops from a different botanical family like peas, beans, or squash. This creates a more diverse environment, helping to break up pest and disease cycles, as well as replenishing nutrients depleted by the beets.
Do potatoes and beets mix well?
It is generally advised to avoid planting potatoes near beets. Both crops prefer similar growing conditions and may end up competing for the same nutrients, which can hinder overall growth. Instead, opt for one of the many other recommended companion plants for beets.
Wrapping up Companion Plants for Beets
Beets thrive when planted with compatible companions that offer various advantages, such as attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, and providing essential nutrients.
Some of the best companion plants for beets include alliums (onions and garlic), bush beans, lettuce, radishes, and strong-scented herbs. Planting these companions near beets not only promotes healthier growth, but also maximizes garden space and improves the overall garden ecosystem.Next, check out the 13 Companion Plants for Broccoli!