Last Updated on March 22, 2022
Would you love bigger crops of juicy, delicious strawberries? You can improve your strawberry harvest by growing some of the strawberry companion plants listed below alongside your strawberries. You’ll not only save space, you’ll also increase the quantity and quality of your strawberries. Here’s what to know about the best companion plants for strawberries.
BIGGER, BETTER CROPS WITH STRAWBERRY COMPANION PLANTS
Growing strawberries is always a deliciously rewarding garden pursuit, but it’s even better when you get a bountiful harvest of this antioxidant-rich sweet fruit, a perfect addition to the permaculture garden.
You can improve your harvest of strawberries by planting strawberry companion plants. Companion plants for strawberries not only benefit your yield, they also allow you to harvest the companion plants for even more produce from your garden.
Ready for oodles of juicy, flavorful strawberries plus yummy herbs and veggies? Below are 15 plants to consider growing as companions plants for strawberries.
This is a guest post written in conjunction with Elly Rey of BalconyGardenWeb.
WHAT IS COMPANION PLANTING?
Companion planting is a technique that places two or more plants next to each other for mutual benefits. It’s a savvy gardening strategy that improves fertility, protects your crops from pests, and fosters pollination for optimum growth.
Here’s a fun video that further explains how companion planting works if you want to know more about this popular garden hack.
WHY CONSIDER COMPANION PLANTING FOR STRAWBERRIES?
Companion planting for strawberries can offer many benefits:
- Improves yield
- Protects companion plants from growth-inhibiting pests and insects
- Controls the growth of weeds near the plants
- Nurtures the health and quality of your strawberry crops
- Saves garden space by growing additional plants in vacant spaces
- Promotes pollination
- Diversifies your garden
Interested in getting more out of your garden and enjoying huge crops of strawberries? Below are some of the best companion plants for strawberries.
WHERE TO BUY SEEDS FOR STRAWBERRY COMPANION PLANTS
Most garden centers carry seeds for strawberry companion plants, or you can order them online. High Mowing Seeds, Eden Brothers, Botanical Interests, Seeds Now, and True Leaf Market carry many of them. You can also find seeds of all kinds from growers on Etsy.
Do you have friends who buy fresh seed packets every year? Since most seed packets come with WAY more seeds than a home gardener needs, you might ask if you could have a few.
Also keep your eyes open for community seed exchanges and giveaways, another way to get strawberry companion plants for free.
BEST COMPANION PLANTS FOR STRAWBERRIES
1. Bush Beans
Growing beans with strawberries benefits your strawberry plants by attracting nitrogen-fixing bacteria to the soil. Also, some beetles that like to munch on the strawberries are repelled by bush beans. Plus beans of all sorts are delicious and nutritious, and they’re a great source of vegan protein.
Go with your favorite green bean, or try some unusual fresh-eating varieties like dragon’s tongue or beans for drying like calypso or speckled cranberry. (Then enjoy them in one of these amazing bean recipes!)
Like beans, peas are nitrogen fixers, so growing them with your strawberries feeds your strawberry plants while also supplying you with a tasty crop of garden-fresh peas. Peas are also a cool season vegetable, so you can get your peas planted earlier in the season than many of the other options on this list that need the soil to warm up before planting.
Borage is considered one of the best companion plants for strawberries. It attracts pollinators and repels pests that can harm strawberries, improving yields while protecting strawberries from damage. Some gardeners believe borage also enhances the flavor of strawberries. Borage is also a delicious and useful culinary herb. Here’s more on growing and using borage.
Catnip’s odor deters aphids and mites, which sometimes attack strawberry plants. Make sure you’re planting catnip, not catmint, and you can enjoy its benefits in herbal teas or give it to your cat. Here’s what to know about catnip vs catmint if you’re not sure.
Caraway is another herb that benefits your strawberries by attracting insects that can defend them from harmful pests. Wasps and flies that caraway attracts cannibalize insects that commonly munch on strawberries.
Beautiful lupin flowers do more than beautify the garden. Like beans and peas, lupin is a legume, which helps your strawberry plants by adding nitrogen to the soil. Lupin’s flowers also attract pollinators, helpful for boosting yields.
Spinach is a leafy green that produces saponins, which can benefit strawberries. The antifungal and antibacterial nature of spinach will help reduce the occurrence of disease. As spinach and strawberries root on different levels, they won’t compete for nutrients.
Strawberries and asparagus make the most of a perennial garden bed. They don’t root at the same depth and therefore don’t compete for nutrients. Here’s a great tutorial on planting asparagus and strawberries together from Joybilee Farm.
The powerful odor of garlic (and other alliums) helps deter pests, especially aphids and slugs. It may also keep away Japanese beetles. Here’s more on controlling Japanese beetles if you spot them in your garden.
Here’s more information about how to grow garlic.
In addition to their pest-deterring odor, chives can be used to fertilize strawberries as they are rich in potassium, calcium, and nitrogen. Just chop the leaves and drop them on the strawberry bed as a free strawberry fertilizer. Chives are easily grown from seed (see link above), but you can also often find a neighbor with plenty of chives to divide so you can get your starter chive plant for free. Here’s more on sources of free plants.
Onions’ pungent smell will discourage pests and you’ll get to harvest delicious onions. Other members of the allium family also work as companion plants for strawberries.
Thyme is a beautiful addition to the garden and can be used as both a culinary and medicinal herb. As a companion plant to strawberries, it deters worms while attracting hoverflies, which snack on harmful pests such as scale, aphids, caterpillars, and thrips.
Thyme is one of the many herbs that can tolerate shade. Here are 35 more herbs that grow in shade to consider if you have a shadier garden.
Getting to see beautiful marigold blooms while watching strawberries ripen is a treat in itself. If that wasn’t enough, their fragrance repels pests that harm strawberries. They’re also among the more than 150 flowers you can eat.
While it’s not clear that rhubarb directly benefits strawberry crops, they are often grown together to make the most of growing space and because they taste wonderful together in jam, sauce, and crisp, as well as an incredibly yummy homemade fruit leather.
Gardeners love to grow lettuce with strawberries as the leafy salad staple improves the productivity of delicious fruit. The large, wide and lush leaves of lettuce also protect the flavorful strawberries by hiding it from the sight of birds.
Best of all, lettuce is a fast-growing vegetable, so you can enjoy tasty homegrown lettuce while you wait for your strawberries to ripen.
What NOT to Plant Near Strawberries
Though many plants make excellent companion plants for strawberries, some don’t do well growing near strawberries. Some may actively harm the strawberry plants, and others may do poorly if planted too close to strawberries.
Here are some plants to avoid planting near your strawberries:
- Nightshades such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant
- Cole crops like cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collards, kale
What do you like to grow with your strawberries? Have you tried companion planting strawberries before?
Pin to save these strawberry companion plants for later!
Elly Rey is a content writer on BalconyGardenWeb.
Strawberry companion plants photo credits: skeeze, Pat_Photographies
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.