When growing your carrots, you should pick companion plants that grow well with them. If you pick right, you can prevent pests, among many other garden problems.
Read on to learn about great carrot companions.
Helpful Companion Plants for Carrots
There are many plants that can help them grow better. From improving the soil, repelling pests, or even forming protection for them.
They need to be able to push deep into the soil to reach their maximum growth.
Carrots also need at least 4-6 hours of sun a day, and the tops of the roots need to be kept underground until they’re ready to pick. If the top is exposed to the sun before it is ripe, the sunlight will cause it to run green and bitter.
With this in mind, let’s go over the best picks.
Tomatoes not only improve the flavor of carrots, but the α-tomatine they contain will repel certain insects. The only issue is that they can stunt growth slightly.
Beans and Peas
Bush and pole beans as well as peas. As legumes, they add nitrogen to the soil which improves growth. However, too much nitrogen can cause the roots to split and become hairy. Therefore, plant sparingly.
Chives improve flavor, making them sweeter. Just don’t put it near beans.
Onions are wonderful for repelling pests like rust flies, flea beetles, and aphids.
If left to flower, parsley attracts beneficial insects like hoverflies, which eat pests. Hoverflies are also wonderful pollinators.
If planted at the same time as carrots, radishes can help loosen the soil. They are picked sooner, so once they’re ripe you will get better soil for your carrots.
Lettuce grows well next to them. It helps keep down weeds and keeps the soil cool.
Mustard and Buckwheat
Brown mustard and buckwheat both can help prevent wireworms if you plant before your crop is in.
Catnip and Mint
Both plants help prevent flea beetles. The beetle larva is one of the many types that love munching on root vegetables.
Sage is another one where the scent helps repel pests. It doesn’t require much water either, so it will leave more for your carrots.
What Should You Not Plant Next to Carrots?
Be mindful that some plants can harm carrots if grown nearby. As a result, plan your garden carefully if you want to grow these in the same season.
- Potatoes compete for both space and nutrients, stunting both plants.
- Parsnips are in a similar situation. They take up phosphorus that carrots need to grow and take up underground space. They are also vulnerable to similar pests and diseases so you can create a hotbed for pests.
- Apiaceae is the family carrots are in. These include fennel, dill, coriander, and cumin. They will cross-pollinate, which can be a major issue if you’re seed-saving.
They grow from seeds and require loose, loamy soil to reach maximum growth. However, till deeply to ensure there aren’t any rocks, hard soil clumps, or anything similar.
If your soil is very hard or clay-based, you can make a raised bed at least 12 inches deep with proper organic soil to grow in.
Avoid planting seeds too close to give the roots room to grow. If you put them too close, thin them out after they germinate.
Additionally, ensure that your garden plot gets at least 4 hours of sun a day. Also, do not plant anything tall in the way of the light.
Care and Maintenance
After you plant your seeds, you’ll need to keep the soil very damp to make sure your seeds germinate properly. They take around 14 to 21 days to sprout, which means it can be a bit difficult to keep the soil at the right moisture level.
Some solutions to make this easier, particularly in hotter climates, include using mulch and deep watering before planting.
Also, try covering the row with a piece of wood like plywood. Pick it up regularly to check on the seeds, and remove it once germination starts.
Pests and Diseases
Like with all crops, there are plenty of diseases and pests to watch out for.
One of the worst diseases carrots can get is Aster Yellows. It causes yellowing of the leaves and will render your vegetable completely inedible.
The only way to prevent this is to keep the aster leafhopper insect that carries the disease from landing on your crops, which means growing them under row covers.
Other diseases and pests to watch for include:
- Rust fly larvae and weevil larvae. Both will tunnel into your root tuber.
- Bacterial soft rot. This soil-borne bacteria will eat parts of your carrots into mush.
- Alternaria Leaf blight. The most common type is caused by the Alternaria fungus. It causes yellow and sometimes dark brown spots on the leaves. You may also notice a shot-hole appearance.
- Parsley worms. These green caterpillars will eat through the leaves with typical caterpillar voraciousness.
- Nematodes. Both root-knot and needle nematodes can cause galls and malformed roots. Early planting can avoid them.
Practice proper garden hygiene, soil preparation, and picking the right neighbors to help repel pests.
Where to Buy Seeds?
Dedicated seed sites like those carry high-quality organic seeds and will likely have the most varieties available.
Now that you know what companions to grow with carrots, you’re all set for a delicious bounty of delicious treats. Just be sure to pick those that go well with them and avoid planting near the ones that are incompatible.