“Are there any companion plants to help strawberries grow and produce better? Or to keep bugs away from them?” Question from Amber of West Plains, Missouri
Answer: The true effectiveness of companion plants to ward off pests is argued. That’s because insect pests can detect their host plants from great distances, and/or they overwinter near host plants from year to year. So, if your strawberries are not covered with a deterring companion plant, there is a good chance they will not be protected. Either way, there are some strong-smelling plants that may be helpful, while also bringing herbal and floral benefits to your strawberry patch and garden. Just be sure that you don’t plant tall plants too close to your strawberries. You do not want them competing for sunlight! And, don’t forget to amend your beds with Black Gold Garden Compost Blend, which is OMRI Listed for organic gardening.
Marigolds: Plant small French marigold varieties around your strawberries–the prettier the better.
Basil: I like mini bush basil. Plant them alongside your strawberries and harvest as needed. The two even taste great together.
Rosemary: Shorter or trailing rosemaries may also provide some benefit.
Sage: The strong leaves of sage ward off certain insects and may benefit your strawberries.
Thyme: Most any thyme variety would be the perfect complement to your strawberries. I would recommend lemon thyme, which is believed to deter more insect pests.
I also suggest you consider some of the smaller lemon-scented herbs listed in this article.
As far as helping strawberries grow better, legumes provide the soil with added nitrogen, which may help strawberries develop more lush foliage. Click here to read more about garden legumes.
Black Gold Horticulturist