Potatoes present a unique difficulty for garden planning, as many plants grow well in proximity to them, but there are also a group of other plants that you should avoid planting near them. Companion planting ideas will help you figure out how to organize your garden and where to plant potatoes without having to use a lot of heavy-duty chemical pesticides.
Potato companion planting is the technique of planting different species of other plants close together based on how well they complement one another.
Potato companion plants can be good companions for a variety of reasons, and when planning a garden, the gardener may prefer to stress one cause above others.
The best companion plants for potatoes can vary, and in this guide, you can learn all you need about good companion planting tactics. (Learn How to Sprout Potatoes)
What Should You Not Plant with Potatoes?
When you are growing potatoes, it’s good to know the best potato companion planting plants as it can save many failed crops. Here you can see what you shouldn’t plant with potatoes, and also what is suitable.
Good Companions for Potatoes
When looking at what to plant with potatoes, you’ll see these are deep-rooted vegetables, and what vegetables grow well with potatoes are those shallow rooting and have different growth habits, which grows well with potatoes.
Shallow-rooted vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, and radishes are good for filling spaces between potato plants.
Since potatoes are harvested late in the season, early-season vegetables, which are harvested well before you need to mess around in your garden to keep up with the potatoes, are the best for planting around the potato mounds as they won’t fight for the same nutrients or garden space.
- parsley, and thyme
Here, these are said to enhance the flavor of potato tubers, and in addition, they can help lure beneficial insects and deter pests. Cabbage and corn can help with the growth of potatoes and, doing so, also increases the flavor of tubers.
Green beans and other legumes help boost nitrogen in the soil and are good companion plants for most vegetables. Plant potatoes with garlic, and beans and you’ll find potatoes repel the Mexican bean beetle, yet the beans repel Colorado potato beetles.
Horseradish is claimed to make potatoes disease-resistant, while petunias and alyssum attract beneficial insects, which eat potato-eating insects. Tansy, coriander, and catnip are others who are shown to repel the Colorado potato beetle infestations. (Learn How To Plant Seed Potatoes in a Garden)
Poor Companion Plants for Potatoes
Companion planting works in both ways; while there are many potato companion plants you see above, there are as many that shouldn’t be together.
Potatoes are nightshade family plants, yet they shouldn’t be grown in the vegetable patch as other nightshade plants. It’s much preferable to plant potatoes in the same soil where nightshade plants have grown before, although you need to wait two years before doing so.
- Cucumbers – inhibit seed germination and have the cucumber beetles.
Can Potatoes Be Planted Near Tomatoes?
If you think of companion planting potatoes and tomatoes, it should be avoided. They are both members of the same family, and they face some of the same diseases.
Don’t plant tomatoes in soil that has previously seeded potatoes, peppers, or plant eggplants.
Tomatoes and potatoes absorb nutrients and moisture in the top two feet of soil and fight against each other even if potatoes are root crops. Besides, they can face the same insect, pests, and other plants illnesses.
Can You Plant Potatoes and Garlic Together?
When you want to know what to plant with potatoes in raised beds, planting potatoes and onions often comes to mind. There is nothing wrong with planting onions and potatoes, yet countless other crops deserve their place.
Here are some other things you can find rather than companion planting potatoes and onions.
- Horseradish: A perennial root vegetable can increase the disease resistance of your potato plants. It is supposed to repel the potato bug, potato beetles, aphids, cabbage moths, and cabbage worms.
- Garlic: Planting garlic in your potato bed can give you a better result than can you plant onions next to potatoes. Garlic can repel certain pests because of the pungent aroma and acts as a natural pest control against harmful insects.
- Peas: Peas have no smell, so can I plant peas and potatoes together? Peas and potatoes companion planting helps deliver nitrogen to the soil. Besides, peas are known to reduce infestations of Colorado potato beetles and repel Mexican bean beetles.
- Corn: Here, you have an excellent companion plant for potatoes.
- Spinach: Spinach or other leafy greens are fantastic potato companion plants. They help optimize space and don’t need many nutrients because of their shallow roots. In addition, they create a great ground cover for your young potato plants and retain soil moisture.
Some aromatic herbs could make good companions for potatoes as they repel harmful pests and have shallow root systems.
What vegetables should not be planted next to each other?
Gardeners do everything they can to keep their plants happy and healthy, but certain plants just don’t go together, regardless of how well you care for them. No matter what you do, plant the wrong plants in the same soil, or have plants that attract potato bugs. (Learn How to Harvest and Store Potatoes)
It isn’t much you can do to protect potatoes or any other plants that grow alongside potatoes, as they can fall to the same issues in your vegetable garden.
Plants requiring unique environmental needs may be in direct conflict with major nutrients and resources, or one may attract insects that destroy the other while others attract beneficial insects to help each other.
Because soil types impact which plants should not be planted together, determining plant incompatibility can be a guess and check the issue.
For plants that should not be grown together, there are a few fundamental guidelines to avoid. First, make sure that all of your garden plants are around the same size and demand the same amount of light as they seek their own food.
Planting tall plants near bush beans, for example, is a bad idea since the tomatoes will shade out the beans.
When planting taller and shorter plants together, make sure the shorter plants are placed far enough apart and facing the light during the day. Many gardeners overcome this problem by planting the smallest plants in their own row along the garden’s edge or using them as a border plant.
You can see, there is much to know about what can I plant with potatoes or what not to plant next to potatoes. However, there are many good companions that offers lots of ground cover near potatoes.
Plants that require a lot of water, as well as fertilizer, will bring a lot of agony to those who despise water. Unless they are very competing, it’s always a good idea to plant things with comparable nutritional and water needs together.
Spacing them extra wide and providing enough fertilizer and water for both types of plants can typically compensate.
Last but not least, there are allelopathic plants. Allelopathic plants have the power to obstruct the critical systems of competing plants chemically.
Although most of these plants are weeds, allelopathic compounds have been found in a variety of landscape and crop plants. Plant scientists are using these discoveries to design better weed control approaches for farms and gardens alike.
Plants Not To Be Planted Together
Here is a list of crops that should be spaced apart from each other, yet it doesn’t mean what to plant next to potatoes won’t appear on this list.
Black walnuts have long interfered with garden plants such as eggplants, tomatoes, and corn.
When planting broccoli, you need good crop rotation as there is a residue left in your garden. Other crops such as alfalfa show a type of allelopathy that interferes with their own seed germination. (Learn the Best Way to Grow Sweet Potatoes)
Garlic and onions grow with potatoes, yet do not add them to your garden when you have an area growing beans and peas.
Other incompatibilities in plants can comprise:
- Mint and onions where you have asparagus growing
- Pole beans and mustard close to your garden patch full of beets
- Anise and dill that grows next to carrots
Also, ensure that you don’t plant anything here close to your potato mounds:
- Squash or tomatoes
- Anything from the cabbage family when you are growing strawberries.