Last Updated on 08/05/2023 by Barney
Benefits of Garlic companion planting
Wondering what to plant with garlic? The natural fungicide and pest deterring properties of garlic benefits are immense. As such it is by far one of the best companion plants in the garden and makes an exceptionally good bed fellow when ‘growing your own’.
You will reap the rewards when it comes to Companion planting with these pungent plants amongst your vegetables, fruit trees and roses .
As well as being a natural fungicide the pungent Garlic’y’ aroma also deters common garden pests.
Allow the garlic plants to flower and you’ll also have the perfect pollinator for all those beneficial insects on your vegetable plot.
Not stopping there, make a garlic wash or spray to keep slugs off your lettuce, spinach , prized hostas and other garden plants. A garlic spray is also particularly effective when dealing with spider mites in the greenhouse (and house plants) and on strawberries.
My Top 11 Companion plants for garlic.
1. Brassicas (Cabbage,Kale,Cauliflower, Turnip, Raddish, Brocolli, Collard Greens, Bok Choy)
When I consider the shear number of pests & diseases that affect this veg group I am amazed that any reaches the dinnerplate.
Garlic makes a good companion plant for all of the above. It’s aroma confuses and deters most insect pests such as Japanese beetles, cabbage worms & cabbage loopers.
Scientific research has shown that when you plant garlic with peppers it greatly improves soil fertility and has shown to increase soil nutrient levels.
Also deterring many pests that predate on young peppers garlic proves it is a real eco-friendly solution.
If you live in the milder parts of the UK where growing aubergines outside is an option then, as above companion planting with garlic bulbs will help in deterring many common garden pests that predate on these crops.
Plant garlic between rows of spinach to maximise your growing space. When companion planting garlic & spinach together in alternate rows the leaves from the spinach will smoother any weed growth allowing your garlic plants to grow without competition from weeds.
You will be ready to harvest Spring planted garlic bulbs at around the same time as your first crop of tomatoes so they make a great companion plant.
Planting garlic around your tomato plants will help deter aphids which, en-mass can lead to your plants developing deformed leaves.
Flowering garlic will attract pollinators around your potato plants and help to deter aphids. The main reason I plant garlic alongside potatoes is I often have a small space between the rows where most vegetables are unsuitable.
With it’s vertical foliage and shallow roots garlic is a perfect crop that will be ready for harvesting before uprooting the spuds.
Used as a companion plant garlic has shown to be effective at keeping one of the biggest enemies of strawberry plants at bay, spider mites!
These microscopic invaders do untold damage to the foliage of strawberry plants.
Once the foliage is too far gone and failing the plant has no means to draw energy from the sun. Thus, poor yields of the sumptuous sweet, red goodness.
Garlic, when planted 4-6″ away from strawberries will become a natural defense barrier. No more reaching for insecticides.
It is fair to say roses do have their own set of problems when it comes to pests and diseases. Despite the fungal diseases (black spot) and attacks from common rose pests such as aphids and greenfly , we absolutely love roses.
The pungent aroma of a few growing garlic plants growing around your rose bush should be enough to deter aphids and greenfly.
Garlic also produces and releases sulphur which is also very good with the fight against blackspot.
You can also harvest the garlic bulbs once they have exhausted themselves and the garlic stems are starting to die back. Use them in cooking or make your own garlic spray.
A homemade garlic spray is also very effective at deterring pests and predators from all your vegetable crops and other plants such as Hostas.
Vegetable gardening can at times sound a bit gross and carrots are no exception when you consider one the the biggest enemies of the humble carrot is the carrot fly.
The carrot fly, attracted by the smell of carrots will lay eggs which then turn into maggots. Make no doubt, these will make their way to those long orangey pieces of goodness and gorge themselves.
If you want to go the whole hog consider companion planting garlic in amongst your carrots and make a garlic spray to drench your plants with.
The pungent aroma will confuse the carrot flies making it hard for them to find & land on your crops.
10. Rue & Chamomile
I’ve been waxing lyrical about the many benefits companion planting garlic has on various vegetables and plants however planting chamomile with garlic happen to benefit garlic.
Onion maggots are one of the very few pests that can occur when you grow garlic and rue is a natural deterrent.
Its strong odour confuses the onion flies, sending them to another area to lay their eggs
Planting Chamomile as companion plants with garlic is also said to improve the flavour of the garlic bulb.
I’ll admit I have never tried this but may give it a bash.
11. Fruit trees
Fruit trees such as apple trees, peach trees and nectarines make a good choice of companion plants for garlic will benefit from being underplanted with garlic.
Apple scab and peach leaf curl are fungal infections that can affect most fruit crops. With garlic having anti-fungal properties it will not do any harm to give underplanting a go.
Plant garlic – The Quick Guide
Garlic enjoys the same horticultural conditions as nearly all vegetables, full sun and a free draining soil.
Plant garlic in early spring for a late summer harvest.
Prepare the soil by digging in a multi purpose peat free compost.
Break apart the garlic bulb into the individual garlic cloves and plant them around 3cm deep, 10cm apart.
Cover with soil and water well.
Harvest when the foliage has turned yellow.
You can find an in-depth article on planting & growing garlic here.
What not to plant with garlic
Not everything makes good companion plants for garlic. Don’t plant garlic next to any of the following:
It has been shown when companion planting any of the above with garlic it will stunt their growth.
Considering they are both from the same family it might seem logical to plant onions and garlic together. Don’t do this as there is a higher chance of attracting onion maggots.
It’s A Wrap
So there we have it. Garlic deters pests and can help prevent fungal infections that affect many vegetable crops and other plants. It really does make one of the best companion plants.
Garlic is an upright crop and can be squeezed into beds with very little space and needs next to no on-going maintenance. Go on, give it a go, it could be the organic method of controlling all those garden nasties you’ve been looking for.