Companion planting is a great way to get the most out of all the plants in your garden. And every year, more gardeners are catching on to the incredible benefits of planting garlic as a tasty way to protect and enhance their harvest.
Read on to learn all about the best companion plants for garlic–as well as a few you should never pair it with!
Fruits That Are Great Companion Plants for Garlic
Most fruit trees make fantastic companion plants for garlic. When garlic is planted near the roots of fruit trees, the sulfur emitted by the growing garlic acts as a natural inoculant against many types of fungal infections in trees.
Apple trees are also great companion plants for garlic as it can help protect them from apple scab. Garlic can also protect peach trees from leaf curl.
Nightshade Varieties (Tomatoes, Eggplants, and Peppers).
The best practice is to plant garlic around the border of your nightshade area. This will help deter spider mites and aphids from overtaking your plants. In some cases, garlic can also help improve the flavor profile of your nightshades–especially tomatoes.
Being that nightshades are happier in hot weather than garlic is, one great method for companion planting them is actually to stagger them. You can do this by overwintering garlic, then harvesting it in the late spring and planting your nightshades in the vacant garlic spots.
This will continue to help deter pests as well as helping your nightshade plants reap the soil benefits of being companion plants for garlic.
Vegetables That Are Great Companion Plants for Garlic
Garlic and beetroots make fast friends because they are both cool weather lovers. However, beets tend to derive their nutrients from soil at a deeper level than garlic, making them ideal companions in the garden.
In addition, garlic aids the growth of beetroot by preventing certain types of fungus from infecting the beets. The strong smell of garlic can also deter gophers and moles, as well as enhancing the flavor of the beetroot itself.
Gardeners have varying opinions about whether beetroots are good companion plants for garlic. While many have experienced the benefits listed above, others find beets planted near garlic tend to yellow and dry up. If this is a concern to you, you can start with minimal companion planting of your garlic and beetroot until you’re certain how they interact together in your garden bed.
Spinach is another great, cold hardy companion plant for garlic. Particularly in the spring and the fall, these plants will absolutely thrive together! In addition to the aid garlic offers in repelling garden pests and enhancing the flavor profile of your spinach, the spinach is also helpful to the garlic in turn.
Because spinach is a low grower that keeps close to the ground, it can help reduce the occurrence of weeds in your garden. This will help your garlic thrive!
Kale is a notorious victim of aphids–which can be a real downer for your harvest. However, this is what makes kale one of the best companion plants for garlic! The aroma of garlic is a natural deterrent to these insects.
You can plant garlic in a row around or alongside your kale, or plant the bulb right in your kale patch. This will help boost the soil and chase those pesky insects away!
Cabbage has quite a reputation for the many insects it may fall victim to during its spring and summer growing season. The good news is, garlic is a natural deterrent for all of these pests! And, since garlic comes ripe around the same time in summer as cabbage does, this is another reason cabbage is one of the most favored companion plants for garlic.
It should be noted that, similar to beetroot, there is some controversy as to the overall compatibility of cabbage and garlic. However, it’s worth a try to see how they fare together in your garden–and whether this can help solve your pest problem.
What goes together better than potatoes and garlic? Turns out, not a lot–and that goes for the garden bed as well as your favorite potato dish! In studies, the sulfur emitted by growing garlic has been shown to reduce potato blight at a higher rate than a commercial fungicide!
This is in addition to the pest-controlling odor garlic emits, which can deter many of the common destroyers of potato crops. For best results, try planting garlic around each of your potato mounds.
Kohlrabi is a lesser known member of the cabbage family, but is still one of the best companion plants for garlic. Kohlrabi benefits greatly from the deterrent properties of the garlic odor emanated by the growing plant.
In addition, kohlrabi’s naturally milder flavor profile often gets a worthwhile kick from companion planting with garlic.
In terms of companion plants, it doesn’t get much better than carrots and garlic. Carrot serves as a natural deterrent to many garlic pests, while garlic helps drive off the notorious carrot rust fly. But in addition to this, they are also both cold hardy growers with a similar harvest style, making them ideal to plant, grow, and harvest together.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Both broccoli and cauliflower make great companion plants for garlic. The difference in their growing habits and nutrient depth makes them ideal for sharing space in the garden. In addition, the presence of garlic growth early and during the season will help deter many types of pests from your broccoli and cauliflower harvest.
Flowers and Herbs That Are Great Companion Plants for Garlic
Dill and garlic play excellently together both in and out of the garden. This herb both gives and receives a flavor boost from garlic, as well as enjoying protection from pests deterred by the scent of growing garlic.
Unlikely though it may seem, roses are excellent companion plants for garlic. They benefit from a vast reduction of pests when planted near garlic, from mites and pests to even black spots.
Chamomile is another great companion plant for garlic due to the flavor boost it provides for garlic bulbs. However, another benefit to planting chamomile near garlic is that it can help mask the potent smell of growing garlic–which some gardeners might prefer!
Marigolds and Geraniums
Marigolds and geraniums both benefit greatly as companion plants for garlic. Many of the common pests of these flower varieties, from insects to deer and small mammals, are easily deterred by the strong aroma of garlic.
What Are the Worst Companion Plants for Garlic?
Although the presence of garlic can be a deterrent to several common strawberry plant pests, there is a noteable reduction of size and number of strawberries a plant produces when grown in close proximity to garlic.
Garlic and asparagus will notoriously compete for space with their shallow root systems, with asparagus often on the losing end. In addition, garlic can stunt asparagus growth, while garlic planted near asparagus can take on the asapargus’s more pungent flavor.
The garlic root system will stunt the growth of all sorts of beans and legumes, including pole bean, climbing bean, broad bean, and bush bean varieties.
Parsley and Sage
Because garlic and parsley draw most of the same nutrients from the soil at relatively the same depth, planting them near one another will hinder the crops from both. Sage and garlic suffer from the same incompatibility.
Other Alliums (Leeks, Onions, etc.)
Garlic is a member of the allium family, like onions and leeks. Like many plants, bunching too many of the same family too close together can risk the destruction of an entire crop by the same diseases or pests. In this case, the greatest risks are onion maggots, which will descend on clusters of alliums and have an absolute buffet.
Wrapping Up Companion Plants for Garlic
Excited to plot out your planting season with the best companion plants for garlic? Check out our vegetable recipes page for some ideas on how to put your bountiful garlic harvest to good use!
- About the Author
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Renee Dugan is a lifelong writer, professional editor, and lover of all things nature, gardening and the big outdoors.
A Midwest girl who’s been in the garden since she could first hold a hand trowel, Renee’s love of growing things has bloomed into a passion for healthy living, holistic lifestyle, and knowing where our food comes from.
Now a mother and maturing gardener herself, Renee is passionate about channeling everything she knows and continues to learn about gardening into lessons for her son and others. Her excitement for sharing this knowledge is only superseded by her excitement about being able to finally grow her own citrus plants in pots.
Renee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org