Companion planting is a practice that’s been used in gardening since the dawn of agriculture. Simply put, companion planting is growing plants near other plants that benefit each other in various ways. Some companion plants help deter insects and other pests from their vulnerable companions. Other companion plants can reduce the risk of fungal, bacterial and viral infections. Companion plants can also improve the flavor, taste, scent, beauty and growth of other plants. Potato plants have many beneficial companions. Continue reading to learn what to plant with potatoes.
Companion Planting with Potatoes
While there are good beneficial companion plants for potatoes, there are also plants that can cause disease and growth problems. Before planting potatoes, keep the following in mind:
- Raspberry, tomato, cucumber, squash and pumpkin are more susceptible to developing blight if planted with potatoes.
- Carrots, asparagus, fennel, turnip, onions and sunflowers can stunt the growth and development of potato tubers.
- Potato plants also should not be planted in the same spot where eggplant, tomatoes and anything in the nightshade family has previously been planted.
There are, however, many beneficial potato plant companions.
- Plant cabbage, corn and beans around potato hills to improve their growth and taste.
- Growing horseradish as a companion plant for potatoes is said to make potatoes resistant to diseases.
- Lettuce and spinach is often planted between rows of potatoes to save room in the garden and because they do not compete for nutrients.
- Chamomile, basil, yarrow, parsley and thyme are herbal companion plants for potatoes that improve their growth and flavor, while also attracting beneficial insects to the garden.
- Petunias and alyssum also attract beneficial insects to potato plants.
What to Plant with Potatoes to Keep Bugs Away
While I’ve already mentioned plants that attract good bugs near potatoes, there are also several potato plant companions that deter bad bugs.
- Lamium improves potato flavor, encourages its growth and deters harmful insects.
- Sage keeps flea beetles away.
- Nasturtium, coriander, tansy and catmint planted around potato plants deter potato beetles.
- Green beans also deter potato beetles and add nitrogen to the soil; in return, the potato plants deter the Mexican beetle from eating the green beans.
- The old farmer’s favorite, marigolds, deter harmful pests from potato plants and also protects them from viral and bacterial diseases.