Food

Garlic Companion Plants: Best Options to Grow Alongside Garlic

If you are Growing garlic you'll need to take into account what you want to grow with it this year - Here's our top companion plant ideas

Are you planning out your veggie garden for the coming growing season? There are so many options for tasty vegetables, herbs, and fruits that it’s challenging to settle on the right ingredients for planting in your garden this summer.

Garlic will always remain a firm favorite for planting. We don’t know about you, but we love the gorgeous scent of garlic sautéing away in the saucepan. The aroma of crushing fresh cloves is exhilarating, and it’s a must-have if you’re a fan of Italian cooking.

Garlic contains the antioxidants quercetin, kaempferol, and allicin. These potent compounds have beneficial effects on the body, helping to limit bacterial growth in the gut while promoting biome health. Growing it in the garden also adds useful features to your veggie patch, acting as a natural pest repellant.

Growing garlic is relatively easy. However, it’s not like you’re planting an entire garden of the bulbous herb, and you’ll need to take into account what you want to grow with it this year. This post gives you a few ideas for companion plants to add alongside your garlic in your veggie patch.

Why Do I Need to Companion Plant in My Vegetable Garden?

Companion planting is a great way to get the most out of your garden this summer. If you had problems with pests or diseases last year, adding companion plants to this year’s crop is a great way to mitigate the effects of these problems.

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Here are the top benefits of growing companion plants around your garlic this summer.

Natural Pest Repellant

If you had problems with pests in your veggie crop last year, planting the right companions to your garlic can help you eliminate infestations this season.

Some plants have special properties that drive away insects and deer, preventing them from ruining your harvest.

Garlic itself acts as an excellent pest repellant. The allicin in the cloves emits a pungent odor that drives away deer and other bugs from your crop.

Fungal Repellent

The sulfurous compounds in garlic act as a natural fungal repellant. These naturally occurring compounds in garlic can prevent pathogens from overwintering in the ground from the previous growing season.

Ground Cover

Planting ground covers like cloves or microgreens around your veggie patch help to limit evaporation while returning vital nutrients to the soil.

Oregano and true French sorrel are excellent examples of tasty herbs that complement your garlic crop and the other plants in your veggie garden.

Best Companion Plants to Grow Alongside Garlic

Here is our list of the best companion plants for your garden. Make sure you read to the end. We’ll discuss other companions that you need to avoid when planting your vegetable crop this season.

Chamomile

This herb makes an excellent herbal tea. As a potent “nervine” agent, Chamomile creates sensations of calmness and serenity.

The tall white flowers with their characteristic yellow bee are perfect for companion planting with your garlic this summer.

If you feel like adding some color and a beautiful subtle scent to the garden, try planting Matricaria chamomilla.

This species of chamomile enhances the flavor of your garlic, improving the aromatic profile of the bulbous herb while reducing that garlic smell around the veggie patch.

Cabbage

Cabbage is another staple in many vegetable gardens. However, it’s also one of the most affected veggies when it comes to pests and diseases.

Many cabbage gardens end up with severe infestations of cabbage loopers, moths, and worms, as well as diamondback moths and spider mites.

You might not see all the damage right away, and before you know it, your entire crop is useless. Planting garlic around your cabbages is a great way to deter these pests from infesting your crop.

These bugs hate the scent of the allium and sulfurous compounds in the garlic, and they’ll stay far away from your cabbage. The garlic also helps to deter moose and deer that love feasting on your cabbage.

Peppers

Garlic and peppers go hand in hand like skin and gloves. Garlic acts as an excellent deterrent for keeping pests away from your peppers, and it also prevents soil-borne pathogens from infecting your plants.

Some common diseases affecting peppers include phytophthora blight, verticillium wilt, and white mold or powdery mildew.

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You can plant hot peppers like jalapeños and habaneros next to your garlic and benefit from the sulfurous protection of the bulbous herb for your chilies.

As a bonus, both the peppers and garlic finish at around the same time. Harvest them and make some delicious salsa with your homegrown tomatoes this growing season.

Rue

One of the issues affecting growing garlic in your veggie garden is the onion fly. These pesky critters lay eggs at the base of your garlic, infesting the bulbs with maggots that ruin your harvest.

The onion fly is a few pests that don’t have any problem with the allium and other sulfurous compounds found in garlic and onions.

You can counter the onion fly and its ruinous effects on your yard by planting rue. Ruta graveolens is a natural deterrent to the onion fly.

Planting it around your garlic or onion patch helps drive insects away, preventing infestation of your crop. Rue also keeps the traditional housefly out of your veggie patch and away from your home.

Roses

While it’s not a vegetable, growing roses is a popular choice with many gardeners. You might hear some gardeners refer to garlic as the “stinking rose.”

Planting it around your rose bushes is a great way to deter pests from eating the flowers and buds of the plant. However, the scent of the garlic might also detract from the delicious aroma of the roses.

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So, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth your while to plant garlic around your rose garden. It’s a trade-off that requires careful decision-making.

Spinach

This leafy green is a staple in many vegetable gardens. A fresh batch of roasted spinach with grass-feed garlic butter is a divine addition to any dish.

The allium in the garlic helps to keep leaf-eating bugs and pathogens away from your spinach. However, make sure you plant the garlic at least 12 to 18-inches away from the spinach.

Since the allium in the garlic is potent, planting it a decent distance from your spinach provides plenty of protection for your crop.

However, the spinach leaves also prevent burning in your garlic tops during the strong sunlight hours of the day.

As a result, both spinach and garlic have a beneficial relationship where they help enhance the health of both plants.

Since you’re harvesting the spinach regularly during the peak of the season, you’ll need to plant succession plants every two to four weeks to keep your garlic protected.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family. The tomato plant has a reputation for being a heavy feeder, and it pulls iron and nitrogen out of the soil at a rapid rate.

Many gardeners seem to think they can’t plant anything around their tomato bushes, and in most cases, they’re right.

However, garlic is one of the few companion plants for tomatoes that do well around the nightshade. Garlic doesn’t compete for iron in the ground, and sulfurous compounds in the bulbs deter tomato pests like spider mites.

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Planting your garlic in-between your tomato plants is a great way to take advantage of the sulfurous compounds in the bulbs.

We recommend planting your garlic around a month before sowing your tomato plant seeds. This strategy gives the garlic a head start.

By the time you’re planting the tomatoes, the garlic is hardy and established. The herb leeches its sulfurous protection into the ground and air around your seedlings.

Fruit Trees

If you have fruit trees like lemon, oranges, nectarines, and apples, planting garlic around the foot of the tree is an excellent companion choice.

The allium in the garlic cloves prevents many pests from climbing up the fruit tree to infest the fruit and leaves.

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The natural antibacterial and antifungal properties of garlic protect your fruit trees against pests like Japanese beetles, spider mites, scale, and more.

If you live in an area where deer or moose feed on your fruit trees, planting garlic around the foot of the trees deters these animals from munching on your orchard.

What Companions Should I Avoid Planting with My Garlic?

While the above plants and vegetables are all excellent additions to grow alongside your garlic, there are a few plants you should avoid as companions.

Some of the vegetable that competes for the same nutrients as you garlic include the following.

  • Sage
  • Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Peas
  • Parsley

These veggies compete for the same nutrients as garlic, and they are heavier feeders than the bulbous herb. As a result, your garlic doesn’t get the nutrition it needs, and the cloves turn woody.

It’s also important to note that if you’re focusing on growing bean crops, keep your garlic on the other side of the veggie patch. The garlic inhibits the growth stage of your beans, limiting the yield of the crop at harvest time.

Hollie is a life-long gardener, having started helping her Dad work on their yard when she was just 5. Since then she has gone on to develop a passion for growing vegetables & fruit in her garden. She has an affinity with nature and loves to share her knowledge gained over a lifetime with readers online. Hollie has written for a number of publications and is now the resident garden blogger here at GardenBeast. Contact her at hollie@gardenbeast.com or follow on twitter https://twitter.com/greenholliec

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