What Grows Well With Strawberries

What Grows Well With Strawberries

Strawberries are the very epitome of summer, the taste, the look and nothing is as nice as picking a ripe strawberry from your own garden. Most of us have limited space, so companion planting is always going to be the best option. So let’s find out what grows well with strawberries.

What Are Strawberries?

what are strawberries

The fruit of the strawberry plant is probably one of the most recognised fruits in the world. They are grown in most temperate zones and are used to flavour many sweets, ices and shakes.

Their name is a misnomer, they are not actually berries at all. The strawberry is really an “aggregate fruit” according to the Stanford University Alumni magazine. I’ll let them explain it in their own words.

Strawberries and raspberries aren’t really berries in the botanical sense. They are derived from a single flower with more than one ovary, making them an aggregate fruit. True berries are simple fruits stemming from one flower with one ovary and typically have several seeds. 

Stanford Alumni magazine

This is just semantics however and for the purpose of this post irrelevant, a strawberry is a strawberry. A sweet, usually red fruit that grows through the summer time in the UK and are easily cultivated. They range in size from minute alpine strawberries (and if you can believe the advertisements on E-bay) up to the size of apples.

What Grows Well With Strawberries

Lets look at the plants that are beneficial to strawberries, either by protecting them from predatory insects or by attracting beneficial insects. In some cases companion plants can improve the health of the strawberry plants, and healthy plants mean better quality fruit.

Plants to grow with strawberries include:-

Borage And Strawberries

borage and strawberries
Borage will help to improve the health and pest resistance of your strawberry plants.

The herb borage is a great companion plant to grow with strawberries. It has long been known that borage improves the health of the plants growing in close proximity to it. It does this by increasing their resistance to pests and diseases.

Borage is one of a group of plants known as dynamic accumulator plants. Dynamic accumulators have deep roots that reach minerals and compounds in the soil that other plants cannot reach. These are shared with neighbouring plants which benefit from the extra nutrients.

Once borage flowers, it attracts many helpful pollinators including bees and hover flies. These pollinators will then be attracted to the strawberry plants flowers and assist in pollination. Borage will also repel many common butterflies and stop them from laying their eggs close by.

This will protect the strawberries from caterpillar damage.

Thyme And Strawberries

thyme and strawberries
Thyme will repel white fly and attract good pollinators to your strawberries.

Thyme is another herb that once in flower is very attractive to bees. Grow thyme in close proximity to strawberries and attract hundreds of pollinators to your strawberry plants. Thyme also repels white flies, and these can cause devastation to your strawberry plants.

White flies are related to the family of insects that include aphids and they feed in the same way. White flies and Aphids suck the sap from the host plants and eventually kill the plant. Grow thyme to repel these harmful pests from your strawberries.

Onions And Strawberries

Onions And Strawberries
Onions will repel many pests from your strawberries and strengthen them from disease.

Onions and other members of the Allium family, due to their strong aroma repel harmful insects including, mealy aphids, aphids, root aphids and white flies. Protecting your strawberries from these pests is imperative and growing alliums in companion to strawberries will definitely help.

Onions will also help to strengthen the strawberries against disease.

Lettuce And Strawberries

Lettuce And Strawberries
Lettuce can be used as a sacrificial crop to keep slugs away from your strawberries.

Lettuce is a good companion to strawberries for a number of reasons. Firstly the large leaves will prevent weed growth saving on water, nutrients and not allowing hiding places for slugs. Also slugs will be more attracted to the lettuces than the strawberries and so their sacrifice will benefit your fruit.

Spinach And Strawberries

Spinach And Strawberries
Spinach will inhibit weed growth from your strawberries.

Spinach is another broad leaf plant that will give good ground cover giving all the benefits of above. Plus both spinach and lettuce need a steady supply of water and whilst watering these plants you will be watering the strawberries as well. For fruit to become juicy it needs water so this is beneficial to all the companions.

Beans And Strawberries

Beans And Strawberries
Beans will allow your strawberries more nitrogen and give dappled shade and protection from birds.

Beans fix nitrogen in the air and so do not remove nitrogen from the soil giving your strawberry plants an added boost. They also provide dappled shade and as strawberries were originally a wood land crop this is beneficial to them. Never grow beans and alliums together as they are not good companions at all.

Caraway And Strawberries

Caraway And Strawberries
Caraway will attract beneficial insects to your strawberry bed.

Beneficial insects like parasitic wasps are attracted to caraway so it is another good companion plant for strawberries. It is a hard plant to establish but once it is growing you should have a steady supply. Caraway is a biennial herb so it takes 2 years to set seed and then the self seeded plants should continue to grow.

Do not try to move caraway as it doesn’t like it’s roots disturbed so sow seeds on site. It will grow to about 2 feet(60 cms) high and is quite an attractive plant. So it adds another element to your strawberry patch.

Asparagus And Strawberries

Asparagus And Strawberries
Growing Asparagus and strawberries together will save you space in your garden.

Asparagus has deep seated roots and strawberry roots are much shallower, for this reason they make excellent companion plants. If you do decide to grow strawberries with your asparagus don’t add onions, because asparagus and onions don’t get on.

Rhubarb And Strawberries

Rhubarb And Strawberries
The broad leaves of the Rhubarb plants will inhibit weed growth.

Another deep rooted plant, rhubarb and strawberries get on very well together. Rhubarb leaves protect the ripe strawberry fruit from birds, and also prevent weed growth, and both plants benefit from a mulch in late autumn.

What Grows Well With Strawberries Summary

Here’s a short video to summarise what grows well with strawberries.

Where Not To Grow Strawberries

Never grow strawberries in ground that has recently grown any of the following plants. Mint, Roses, Chrysanthemums, Melons, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Aubergines, Peppers, or chillies. All of the above plants can carry the fungi verticillium which can cause disease and death to strawberries.

What Not To Grow With Strawberries

Apart from raspberries which are susceptible to the same fungal diseases as strawberries, the only real problem here is brassicas, all brassicas including:-

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Calabrese
  • Spring Greens
  • Turnips
  • Swede
  • Kohl Rabi

These plants will not affect the strawberry plants, but the strawberries will definitely affect the brassicas. They give off a chemical through their roots that is seriously harmful to members of the brassica family. Keep strawberries away from brassicas at all costs.

Download The Free Strawberry Companion Plants PDF!

If you want to make sure you always get the most out of your Strawberry plants, make sure you download the free PDF below that outlines exactly which plants grow well with Strawberries, and which plants not to grow with Strawberries.

Download Now

For an in depth guide on growing strawberries in containers click here.

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