Who doesn’t love a juicy strawberry? The only thing that could make it taste better is if you grew it yourself! Growing strawberries requires patience if you want a good yield because you shouldn’t harvest your first year.
To ensure healthy yields in the future, you have to pluck the blossoms the first year. The following year, you’ll have more strawberries than you know what to do with!
While you’re being patient and waiting, you may as well plant items around your strawberry patch that will support the plants and deter pests. That’s where companion planting with strawberries comes in!
In this post, you’ll learn about the many different plants that support strawberry plants and help give you the best yield when the time finally comes!
Companion Planting to Deter Pests
One of the top reasons people plant companion plants in their garden is to help deter pests from the vegetables they’ve cared for to ensure the best possible harvest.
Instead of using powders or sprays from big box stores, did you know there are certain varieties of vegetables and herbs that you can plant close together to deter plants and increase your harvest? If it sounds too good to be true, continue reading to learn how companion planting works!
Planting different kinds of lettuce provides shade for your strawberry plants and also helps to camouflage the red berries from birds as they fly over, looking for their next snack.
There are many varieties of lettuce, this may be fun to experiment with and see what you enjoy growing most.
Sage plants are very aromatic and will help to deter predators by hiding the smell of the berries. Sage can be dried and used in soups through the winter as well!
Catnip contains a natural insect repellent that deters strawberry aphids and spider mites. Aphids are harmful to strawberry plants because they suck the juices from the berry.
Chrysanthemums contain a natural insect repellent called pyrethrin. This compound repels ants, spider mites, and the backyard gardener’s worst enemy – Japanese beetles!
Marigolds have large round flowers that come in many colors of orange and yellow. They are excellent deterrents for rabbits and deer who enjoy snacking on strawberries.
Lupine is a unique flower that isn’t mentioned nearly enough in the gardening world. They come in many colors and help deter birds that spot your strawberries while flying overhead. They also attract beneficial pollinators and boost nitrogen in the soil.
Companion Planting to Attract Pollinators
Pollinators are important for any flower or vegetable garden. The better the pollination rate, the larger harvest you’ll have. It’s important to plant things that attract pollinators in and around your plants. Companion planting comes in handy when you’re researching different flowers to plant throughout your vegetable garden. An added bonus is the beautiful pops of color that these plants provide!
Bees and other pollinators can’t resist a bright, beautiful poppy. They’re tall and flow around in the wind, which helps to catch the pollinator’s attention. Poppies will add a fun dimension to your garden.
Borage is a beautiful plant with periwinkle-colored flowers that pollinators love! It’s been shown that borage can also support and boost the growth of many plants, including strawberries. Planting borage close to your strawberry plant can aid in increasing your harvest when that time comes.
Keep in mind that borage is known to self-seed rapidly, meaning if you allow this flower to go to seed, chances are it will come back next year in other areas of the garden.
Yarrow comes in many colors, which pollinators can’t pass up. It can also add lots of color to your garden. Yarrow also attracts other beneficial insects like wasps, ladybugs, and lacewings. These predatory insects take out aphids and other pests that can harm your strawberry plants.
Rhubarb and strawberries are not only the perfect match in pie, but they do well together in the garden as companion plants too!
Rhubarb has a deep taproot that loosens the soil for strawberry roots to grow easier. Their large leaves provide shade on hot days so that the strawberries don’t burn up from the sun.
Rhubarb is a perennial, an important factor to keep in mind when planting, as rhubarb can grow up to four feet wide and tall!
Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators love the smell of the chive flowers. Their tall stems with round purple flowers on top are easy for important pollinators to spot, making this a favorite for backyard gardens!
If you garden with hopes of preserving, you’ll likely be planting dill. Not only is dill vital in many preservation recipes, but it also can benefit your strawberries by attracting important insects like hoverflies.
Companion Planting to Support Strawberries
There are many ways that strawberry plants can be supported by other plants and vice versa. Whether enhancing soil, creating natural mulch, or preserving moisture, when gardening, every little bit of support you can provide for your plants should be sought out. Continue reading to see how different plants can help in different ways.
Phacelia makes the perfect companion plant and conversation starter! This unique flower looks like it just stepped out of a Dr. Seuss book with its curvy features and feather-like petals.
Phacelia has deep fibrous roots that dig 30 inches or more below the strawberry plant. Their roots accumulate excess nitrogen while loosening soil and adding organic matter to richen the soil.
You may be surprised to see this common weed on the list of companion plants for strawberries. Did you know that purslane has many positive attributes? Strawberries are very salt-sensitive plants, and purslane helps to soak up the salt to enhance the growth of the strawberry plant.
Purslane is also an excellent creeping ground cover that can suppress weeds. For more information on this beneficial weed, take a look at our post about Purslane.
15. Crimson Clover
Natural mulch suppresses the growth of weeds which is one of the many things that planting crimson clover can do for your strawberry plants. Along with the beautiful shades of red that it adds to the garden, it also enhances soil structure by boosting nitrogen levels and loosening the soil so that the roots of the strawberry plants can grow easier.
16. Beans and Peas
Nitrogen is important in soil because it encourages the growth of your plants. When companion planting pole beans or peas near your strawberry plants, you’re adding extra nitrogen to the soil, which should help to produce a healthy harvest.
Plant pole beans on unusual items to create a unique trellis in your garden for a fun aesthetic perk.
Thyme is a slow-growing plant that attracts syrphid flies that enjoy snacking on aphids. If you’ve got an aphid problem, thyme may be a solution.
Because thyme is slow-growing, it can be an excellent natural mulch to plant in your strawberry patch. Thyme can help preserve soil moisture, prevent erosion, and aid in keeping weeds in check.
Companion Planting to Maximize Garden Space
Most home gardeners want to plant more varieties of plants than they have room for. Because of this, maximizing garden space is critical. Companion planting is a skill that you can expand on every year. As the years go on, you’ll learn what works best for you and how to best maximize the space you have.
Asparagus is a great companion plant for strawberries as they require similar growing standards. Their root systems are completely different, so they won’t interfere with one another.
Lastly, strawberries grow close to the ground, and asparagus grows tall; you won’t have to search for either one when ready to harvest.
What Not to Companion Plant with Strawberries
Some plant varieties can be harmful to your strawberry plants. Doing a lot of research before deciding what to plant is important. The wrong thing could be detrimental to your crop. Continue reading to learn about some of the plants that you shouldn’t companion plant with strawberries.
Plants in the Nightshade family, such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant, should not be planted near your strawberry patch. These varieties have been known to spread fungal disease to strawberries.
Cauliflower, broccoli, and kohlrabi are all some of the varieties in the Brassica family that would compete with your strawberry plants for nutrients that are in the soil.
Wrapping Up Companion Plants for Strawberries
Now that you have studied and know what grows best in companion planting with strawberries, it’s time to get your hands dirty – one of the best parts of gardening! As you decide what to plant with your strawberries, remember that strawberries are perennial.
Not only will they come back every year, but they’ll shoot “runners” out and begin to expand and grow into other parts of the garden. You’ll need to consider this when thinking about planting other perennials near your strawberry patch.
Fruit is a unique addition to many backyard gardens. If you’re interested in discovering more about what to grow in your garden, take a look at our Fruit Page for a list of varieties and tips on growing and harvesting. Happy gardening!