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Potatoes are an fantastic cash crop, so I plant them every year. You can fill a wheelbarrow from each row if you do potatoes right. They may become even more fruitful thanks to companion planting.
As a matter of fact, this staple carbohydrate-rich vegetable may be enhanced. Potatoes are particularly good at accepting companion planting.
Potatoes are a great crop to begin with because they aren’t something you may have experimented with before, so we’ll explore how to do it.
Good Companion Plants to Grow With Potatoes
Potatoes work well in polyculture, which is when you put a variety of plants in your garden. Companion planting can help you produce a tremendous yield.
Since they have shallow root systems, plants in this family, which include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and broccoli, work well with potatoes. The two plants won’t compete for nutrients because potatoes have a deep, tuberous root system.
When it comes to alkaline soil, brassicas may prefer it over potatoes, which prefer slightly acidic soil. Mulching the potato rows with pine bark was the solution to this problem.
Greedy potatoes swallow up nitrogen in the earth, which legumes replace. Both the amount and quality of potato harvests are improved as a result. Potatoes, on the other hand, repel pests like the Mexican bean beetle.
- Black-eyed peas
- Fava beans
Peanuts might be used as a companion plant, too. They, too, need soil pH and nutrients to grow, much like potatoes.
Just make sure they’re far enough apart so that one doesn’t overlap the other.
Corn protects the potato plants from the sun because it is shallow rooted. Plant while being aware of where the sun goes throughout your garden, just don’t let it suck all of the sunlight away.
The potato tubers’ flavor may be improved by cooking with corn, which allows for a more efficient garden. You know how long it takes to grow corn, and how sweet it becomes once it’s done. Potatoes are about the same length as this, so they’re a good match. Make sure both crops get enough food.
They’re also crops that you can harvest in small amounts and leave behind. This is perfect for a quick supper.
Horseradish is a fantastic companion to potato plants, although it is not a typical selection in home gardens. Horseradish repels the infamous Colorado potato beetle, and it is claimed to improve the flavor of potatoes.
By strengthening the overall resistance of potato plants, horseradish may also help them deal with other diseases.
Other insects that harm potatoes and are repelled by horseradish include:
- Blister beetles
- Some species of caterpillars
If you leave any of the roots in the ground, horseradish will regrow quickly. Put the horseradish in pots between the potato rows that are in the ground to ensure that it grows properly alongside the potatoes.
Like basil on tomato plants, cilantro is a classic match for potatoes. It would be cilantro if I only ever grew one herb near potatoes. Ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and hoverflies are among the beneficial insects that flock to the potato patch.
The Colorado potato beetle is consumed by these beneficial insects.
Cilantro also repels the following pests:
- Spider mites
- Some moth and fly species
This is a root-based crop that draws nutrients from a different depth in the earth than potatoes. You can also harvest a couple of potatoes and a leek and have a meal if you like them together in different preparations. Anyone a fan of Leek and Potato Soup?
To attract pests away from the potatoes, plant nasturtiums as a companion plant but position them far distant. This technique is known as trap cropping. Rather of the potato plants, aphids and potato beetles prefer nasturtiums, so they want to get them there.
If you’re growing nasturtiums, try placing them in pots and collecting the seeds in the autumn from the earth or they’ll spread fast and take over your whole garden.
In front of potatoes, chives make a nice border. They thrive in the shade provided by taller potato plants, which have shallow roots. A baked potato and butter go wonderfully with them.
You should try growing lettuce and potatoes together for the first time. It can fit between the potato rows and has a shallow root system. For one, or pick and return lettuce types, this will work.
By making your potato crop more earthy, this aromatic herb is said to enhance its flavor. If you let thyme go to flower, sage attracts a slew of bees. Thyme repels flea beetles.
Lots of holes in potato plant leaves are eaten by flea beetles. Plant sage as close to your potato rows as possible to repel flea beetles.
Hoverflies are drawn to parsley. They devour a variety of insects that may harm potato plants. Potatoes are also claimed to taste better with parsley. Is it worth a shot?
Chamomile isn’t just for potatoes, so plant it in your vegetable garden. It has a powerful aroma that repels insects, but beneficial insects prefer it. Place chamomile near potatoes in the garden. You also get a tough plant that you may utilize to make herbal tea as a bonus.
Basil can accompany you on a potato hunt, among other things. Aphids, whitefly, and other beetles are among the pests that it repels. Pollinators and butterflies are also drawn to the garden.
Peas may help shade potato plants if they are properly supported. Your potatoes won’t be able to mature in time if they get too tall. Nitrogen is also added to the soil by peas.
Marigolds are despised by potato beetles, so place them close to the potato rows or even in the space between the rows if you have enough room.
Vegetables and flowers are sometimes combined by gardeners. When you only have a limited area to cultivate, this is especially true. Since they’re both delicious and beneficial for repelling insects, marigolds perform double duty.
Because of their long, spreading roots, yarrow encourages the soil’s condition. Potatoes are said to gain flavor from growing them nearby as a companion plant. Beneficial insects are also attracted to them.
Petunias attract beneficial insects and pollinators without interfering with the growth of the potatoes.
Planting potatoes with this flower is one of my favorites. They function as a colorful groundcover, preventing weeds from growing and maintaining the soil moist. I’ve found that Alyssum responds well to potato liquid fertilizer, and it attracts beneficial wasps that prey on garden pests.
Clover helps to address nitrogen shortages in the soil. It’s a fantastic groundcover that keeps weeds at bay and retains moisture in the soil.
Plants to Avoid Planting With Potatoes
Let’s now look at the plants you should avoid after looking at those that are good potato companions.
Potatoes are stunted by onions. onions should be at least four rows distant from potatoes in the same garden.
The growth of potato tubers is hampered when fennel matures. Swallowtail butterflies like to eat fennel as well. The caterpillars from those eggs will migrate to the potato plant after laying their eggs on the fennel.
Because cucumbers are vulnerable to blight, they should be kept away from potatoes. Since cucumbers are such hungry plants, they will compete with potatoes for nutrients.
Blight in the potato patch can be exacerbated by raspberries.
When planted together, both pumpkins and potatoes will be harmed and fail to grow. You don’t want failed crops months in the making. Given the length of time it takes for both pumpkins and potatoes to grow, you don’t. Keep these vegetables at least a foot apart from one another.
Both potatoes and zucchini need a lot of nutrients, so they’ll fight for them. Keep them at a safe distance from each other.
Sunflowers are a favorite of honey bees and bumble bees. Sunflowers can harm potatoes if they are planted too closely, so any gardener should strive to attract them to the garden.
Don’t plant them close together. Overlaid with at least two rows of sunflowers, Sunflowers emit terpenes and phenolic compounds into the soil, which may make potatoes tiny or misshapen.
If you’re unsure or have a limited area to plant, keep them separated; otherwise, give them enough room but keep them close.
5 Tips for Companion Panting With Potatoes
- Use seed potatoes from a trustworthy source. Because of poor seed potato health, potato diseases can spread quickly through the soil and air, so you don’t want to affect your whole garden.
- Potatoes benefit from the shade provided by these plant companions, which keeps the soil moist. Potatoes thrive in damp soil with readily available nutrients, being heavy feeders.
- Comfrey fertilizer should be used in a liquid form. Most other plants like potatoes, as do most potatoes.
- With potatoes, try to grow a variety of different companion plants. When they’re on their own, they produce a significantly better harvest.
- Potatoes need rich, well-rotted manure and compost to thrive, so provide them with plenty of it. Potatoes are prevented from absorbing all of their neighbors’ nutrients.