Are you planting garlic or planning to? If the answer is yes, consider planting garlic with other plants. This practice is called companion planting, which benefits not just garlic but also the other plants. And when it comes to garlic, there are plenty of garlic companion plants that you can plant.
Here, we will tell you about some plants that can grow together with garlic. First, we explain what companion planting is briefly and its benefits. Then, we will describe the companion plants and how beneficial companion planting with garlic. We preserve the last section for some growing tips to help you. Alright, let’s get started.
- 1 What Exactly Is Companion Planting?
- 2 Companion Planting Benefits
- 3 Garlic Companion Plants: Strawberry
- 4 Garlic Companion Plants: Spinach
- 5 Garlic Companion Plants: Cabbage
- 6 Garlic Companion Plants: Pepper
- 7 Garlic Companion Plants: Oats
- 8 Garlic Companion Plants: Roses
- 9 Garlic Companion Plants: Chamomile
- 10 Growing Tips
What Exactly Is Companion Planting?
Before we get to garlic companion plants, it is a good idea to get to know about companion planting is. So, what is it? It is the practice of planting different species adjacent to another, which is done to benefits both of the species. One species may acts as pest-repellent, while the other improves the soil nutrients, for example.
Allium sativum, better known as garlic, happens to be a very great companion plant. It can grow with various other plants, as you will know shortly. Not only garlic gets along well with many other plants, but companion planting garlic with another plant also benefits both of the plants, another reason why companion planting is a great gardening practice.
By companion planting, you are essentially creating a balanced garden ecosystem. Within this balanced ecosystem, not only lush growth but also a better flavor of the produce is encouraged. It is not a surprise if companion planting is commonly practiced by organic farmers as well as gardeners who avoid using heavy-duty chemicals.
Companion Planting Benefits
Does companion planting have benefits? Yes. Companion planting has many benefits, in fact. These benefits include repelling pests, attracting beneficial insects, improve the nutrients of the soil, improve the growth rate of the plants, improve the taste of produce, ground cover, and serve as markers, among others. We describe each of these benefits below.
1. Repelling pests
Many kinds of pests can damage plants in the garden. For example, cabbage moths, carrot flies, Mexican bean beetles, cucumber beetles, cabbage worms, even animals as big as deer and moose can be pests, too. These are all unwanted guests that can damage plants. Companion planting can repel pests, without the need of using chemicals.
2. Attracting beneficial insects
On the flip side, companion planting can also attract beneficial insects. Some vegetable plants need pollinators like ladybugs and bugs to pollinate them. Companion planting can encourage these beneficial insects to visit the garden and pollinate. If your crops need to be pollinated by insects, companion planting is the way to do attract them naturally.
3. Improve the nutrients of the soil
When we grow plants, they eat up the nutrients from the soil. As a result, gardeners must renew the nutrients at the end of the season. Fortunately, there are companion plants that can help do the job. Plants like pole beans and bush beans rejuvenate important nutrients, such as nitrogen, back into the soil.
Improve the growth rate of the plants or the taste of their produce
Some companion plants help to encourage the growth of other plants by releasing certain chemicals. Some other companion plants even affect the produce of other plants, too. Thus, companion planting improves not only the growth rate of other plants but also the taste of their produce as well.
4. Ground cover
Some plants, like spinach, spread low across the ground. In a way, these plants provide ground cover over the soil. As the soil is covered, the temperature is cooler. Of course, this helps the other plants who need cooler temperatures and protection from the sun. In some cases, the ground cover plant can suppress weeds, too.
5. Serve as markers
Not all plants grow quickly. Some plants grow slowly. This can make it difficult when it comes to telling where the planting rows are. Here, companion planting is very useful. Planting fast-growing plants alongside slow-growing ones will make it easy to tell where the rows are as the fast-growing plants serve as markers.
Garlic Companion Plants: Strawberry
What? Strawberry is one of garlic companion plants? Yes. Although the two seem like an unlikely pair, they surprisingly go along well. It is a common practice for Russian gardeners. When you growing garlic and strawberry together, the number of spider mites, which is a common pest for strawberry, decreases significantly.
How significant is the effect? A study by researchers in Brazil found that when garlic plants were planted between strawberries, the number of spider mites reduced by 44% to 65%. That’s a very significant effect. Not to mention it is all-natural, with no heavy-duty chemicals involved. The unlikely pair does go along well.
To grow them together, you can choose either to plant garlic in a double row spacing with large space in-between then plant strawberry in the middle or fill the openings of strawberry planting beds with garlic.
Garlic Companion Plants: Spinach
Planting for winter garden? Or perhaps looking for a plant as ground cover for garlic? Look no farther than spinach as your garlic companion plants. Firstly, spinach is similar to garlic when it comes to winter hardiness. Not many vegetables have winter hardiness like garlic. Spinach among the few that do have it, making it a natural partner for garlic.
Secondly, spinach provides a ground cover when planted together with garlic. This keeps the soil temperature cool as well as protects the garlic from the sun. Spinach also does an amazing job in suppressing weeds, especially when garlic is most active during its growing season. These are why spinach is an awesome companion plant for garlic.
Planting spinach and garlic together is a bit tricky, though. Since spinach serves as ground cover for garlic and eventually has to be harvested, you need to plant them succession it with two to four weeks intervals. This way, garlic will stay protected with groundcover spinach provide even if spinach is harvested.
Garlic Companion Plants: Cabbage
If you are planting cabbage, adding garlic into the garden will be very beneficial. One of the benefits of companion plants is repelling pests. And that is exactly what garlic does so very effectively Common cabbage pests, like diamondback moths, cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, and cabbage moths, are repelled by garlic.
Planting cabbage in the open is especially risky. Not only cabbage is vulnerable to the pests we mentioned earlier, but cabbage is also vulnerable to animals like squirrels, rabbits, deer, and even moose. These animals like cabbage. If garlic is planted all over the garden, these pests will be repelled, thus not eating cabbage.
Another reason why planting cabbage and garlic together is that they make great ingredients together. That’s right. They pair so well not only in the garden but in the kitchen, too. Stir fry cabbage with garlic is delicious. So it is fried cabbage. So, why not grow them together and cook a dish using them later after harvest?
Garlic Companion Plants: Pepper
Pepper is another example of garlic companion plants. Unlike the previous plants, the benefit of planting pepper and garlic is a bit different. According to a study in China, when garlic and pepper were planted together, the soil was invigorated due to garlic feeding beneficial microbes on the soil with substances from its roots.
The plants were not planted randomly, however. The garlic was planted in a triple row while the peppers were planted outside of the garlic. Another benefit of this pairing is that garlic protects growing peppers from predators and pests. Garlic, when planted together with peppers, turns out to be beneficial for peppers and the soil.
If you are going to plant garlic with peppers, you need to keep in mind that peppers eventually need space to grow. As such, timing is very important. Let’s say you plant garlic in a triple row. First, you plant garlic in the fall, harvest the garlic in early summer as green garlic, and then plant peppers in the opening.
Garlic Companion Plants: Oats
Yes, oat too is among the best garlic companion plants. How oat benefits garlic is interesting. We all know how beneficial mulching is for crops. Mulching helps to maintain moisture level, protects against erosion, and suppress winter weeds. For best growth, garlic needs to be mulched around. This is where oat comes to the rescue.
Depending on where you live, oats can be planted as a fall cover crop. The plants will grow to at least ankle-high and then collapse and die due to the incoming cold weather as winter approaches. These collapsed oat plants form a mulch, which protects garlic planting bed from erosion and suppress winter weeds.
Garlic Companion Plants: Roses
Previously we tell you about vegetables as garlic companion plants. What about flowers? Do they make good companion plants? Apparently so. Garlic is known as “stinking rose” but it turns out the sweet-smelling roses get along well with the stinking rose. Here’s the reason why: rose pests dislike garlic.
So if you are planting your favorite roses in the garden, you can protect them by planting garlic cloves around the roses. Grow them together and watch as rose pests like snails, ants, spider mats, and blackspot fungi don’t get close to your favorite flowers. Now you can enjoy the flowers as you like.
Garlic Companion Plants: Chamomile
The last example of garlic companion plants is chamomile. Chamomile is a herb that exudes such a sweet, pleasant aroma. Why is it a good companion plant for garlic? Well, chamomile not only makes the garden smells pleasant, but it improves the taste of the garlic, too. If you are growing garlic as your main crop in the garden, plant chamomile alongside them.
To improve the flavor of garlic, you need to plant chamomile next to it. Keep in mind to give proper space so both can grow well together. Chamomile, similar to garlic, is a natural remedy for various diseases. It is commonly used to help relieve nausea, stomach cramps, and indigestion. Having them in your garden is surely beneficial.
1. Proper spacing
While garlic companion plants mentioned above get along well with garlic, that doesn’t mean you can just plant them randomly. Proper spacing is needed. Make sure that garlic and the other plants have enough space to grow and don’t get too crowded. This includes even if they are meant to be grown close.
2. Plant diversely, reap diverse benefits
When you are planting different plants, you essentially create a diverse ecosystem. Companion planting with garlic companion plants not only benefits garlic, the other plants, and beneficial insects but also the garden as a whole. As the vegetables are varied, the ecosystem is healthier and more balanced. So, don’t be afraid to plant diversely.
3. Mix foliage types
When you are companion planting, you don’t have to put your entire focus on practicality. While you are waiting for the plants to grow and the harvest, why not make your garden more beautiful? How? By mixing foliage types. The lush foliage of spinach mixes well with garlic especially if planted closely, for example.
4. Grow harvest buddies
When you are planting multiple vegetables in your garden, you might have to harvest them at different times. This doesn’t have to be so, of course. You can choose the garlic companion plants and time the planting so the garlic and the companion plants can be harvested at the same time. It makes harvesting easier and undoubtedly more fun.
5. Know how the relationships between plants
If you want to grow two different species together, you need to make sure that the two species have a good relationship with one another. Some plants don’t get along with other plants while some others get along well or better, support each other. The above garlic companion plants are either benefit garlic, benefitted by garlic, or both.
Companion planting is a great gardening practice. There are many benefits of companion planting, including repelling pests, attracting beneficial insects, and improve soil nutrients, among others. And garlic happens to be one of those plants that are compatible with various other plants. So, what do you think? Which garlic companion plants that you would like to grow?