Usually, we don’t have the luxury of vast open fields to plant our favourite vegetables. Gardeners learn to make the most out of the little growing space they have. To enjoy a versatile harvest on their dinner table, they must have insight into what crops go well together and what must stay apart. Half the battle is knowing what to grow with carrots but we will cover all this including what to not grow with carrots.
If you’ve planned on planting carrots this growing season, it’s worth knowing which plants will it enjoy in the neighbourhood, and which plants will it mind. Growing desirable plants together is companion planting and is a widespread practice for most urban gardeners. When choosing from these companions take into account the amount of space you have. This is especially true if you are growing your carrots in containers.
Companion planting lets you make efficient use of your garden space and offer several other benefits. Carrot companion plants keep pests out of your garden, attract pollinators, promote healthy growth for all the plants, and also enhances the flavour of your harvest.
Companion Plants For Carrots
So which plants work well with carrots? There are many plant varieties suited for growing alongside carrots that offer all the different benefits of companion planting. Here’s a list of plants you can choose to grow successfully with carrots:
There’s a difference in opinion among gardeners as to whether or not tomatoes are good for carrots. Benefits like protection of low-growing carrots from the heat in the summers, flavour enhancement, and pest control go in favour of planting them together. However, there is one drawback, too, that’s worth mentioning. Tomatoes release nitrogen into the soil, which can lead to stunted growth of carrots. If you are growing tomatoes it’s worth checking out tomato companion plants.
Legumes encourage nitrogen-fixing in the soil that carrots are growing in. Making the soil organically richer for carrots to grow in, they help improve yield. However, make sure you trellis them to the north of the carrots so that their sunlight isn’t completely blocked.
Onions give off a pungent smell that helps in driving off pests. Carrot-seeking pests and carrot fly are some of the most common carrot pests that you won’t find if you’ve planted onions nearby.
Many herbs make good companions for carrot plants. Rosemary and sage give a strong smell to ward off carrot rust flies. Chives are also excellent partners. They don’t drive off the pests from your garden but also enhance the flavour of carrots.
Carrots love parsley too since it attracts pollinators, including hoverflies. Besides serving as excellent pollinators, the larvae of hoverflies feed on pests, which is another great plus for your carrot crop.
Chives help the carrots in multiple ways. They make your harvest more flavorful and also helps the carrots grow faster. They’ll also keep aphids, and carrot rust flies away from your garden. Do make sure that you don’t plant beans and chives closeby since it wouldn’t make the best combination.
Salad greens, such as lettuce, work really well for carrots. The benefit goes both ways, so it’s a healthy companionship for your salad greens too. Additionally, these greens keep the soil cool, preventing the growth of weeds in the surrounding soil. Of course, the biggest plus is you’ll have all the best vegetables plated together to go in your fresh salad bowl. Add tomatoes to the list, and fix yourself a garden-fresh salad bowl whenever you want to.
Radishes grow much more quickly than carrots. Most gardeners plant them around the same time as carrots. As radishes develop, they open up the soil, making it easier for carrot roots to develop. They’ll be ready for harvest before the carrots, leaving the soil loose for carrots to grow.
Leeks also belong to the allium family, just like onions. They deter pests like carrot rust flies and Japanese beetles. Returning the favour, carrots deter leek moths. Planting leeks and carrots together will mean both the crops are safe from pests and diseases.
Plants That Shouldn’t Be Grown With Carrots
Carrots don’t just have friends. They have some foes as well. These could either negatively impact each other’s growth or attract pests to your vegetable garden. Luckily, there aren’t as many enemies of carrots as there are friends. It will help to remember these few names so that you aren’t planting anything unsuitable in the carrot garden.
Carrots and potatoes shouldn’t grow in the same soil. They come in each other’s way, stunting the growth of both the vegetables. Not only do they fight for space, but also for nutrients. Both need phosphorus to grow. Planting them in the same soil will deplete it of phosphorous, making it scarce for both the vegetables.
Dill produces compounds that may stunt the growth of carrots. It’s best to plant them far away from your carrots
Cilantro affects carrots in just the same way as dill. The compounds it produces can harm the carrots. Plant them away from carrots
Parsnips require plenty of phosphorus to grow, just like carrots, making it short in the soil for both vegetables. Besides this, they’re also susceptible to the same pests and diseases as carrots. Keep them apart if you want to save your crop from an infestation.
Fennel attracts many kinds of pests and isn’t just harmful to carrots, but to many other vegetables as well. Plant it far away from your vegetable garden to draw the pests away from your vegetables.
What To Grow With Carrots – Conclusion
Strategic gardening, keeping in mind what goes well together and what doesn’t, helps you make the most out of your garden. Plant all the right vegetables with your carrots and steer clear of the foes, and you’ll secure yourself a rich, flavorful harvest.