By choosing companion plants that grow well with carrots, you can prevent certain pests and diseases, among many other garden problems.
Read on to learn what to plant with carrots.
Good Companion Plants for Carrots
There are many plants that grow well with carrots. These may improve the soil, repel pests, or even form protection for them.
Here are the best plants to grow with carrots.
Tomatoes not only improve the flavor of carrots, but the α-tomatine they contain will repel certain insects . Tomatoes will also provide shade to keep carrots cool.
See also: best companion plants for tomatoes.
Beans and Peas
Beans and peas add nitrogen to the soil which improves the growth of carrots. However, too much nitrogen can cause the roots to split and become hairy, so plant these companions sparingly.
Chives improve flavor, making carrots sweeter. Just don’t put them near beans. Chives will also deter certain pests like aphids.
Onions are wonderful for repelling pests like carrot 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. Moreover, they are harvested sooner, so once they mature, you will get better soil for your carrots.
Lettuce grows well next to carrots. 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 them before your carrot crop is in.
Catnip and Mint
Both plants help prevent flea beetles. Flea beetle larvae are one of the many pests that love feeding on root vegetables.
Sage is another plant that helps repel carrot flies. Moreover, it doesn’t require much water, so it will leave more moisture for your carrots.
What NOT to Plant Next to Carrots
Be mindful that some plants can harm carrots if grown nearby. As a result, carefully plan your garden for the best outcome.
- 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, as well as underground space. They are also vulnerable to similar pests and diseases, making it more difficult to control pests and diseases.
- Apiaceae is the family that carrots are in . Other plants in this family include fennel, dill, coriander, and cumin. These plants may cross-pollinate, which can be a major issue if you’re seed-saving.
Plant carrot seeds 1/2 inch deep. The plants also need at least 4-6 hours of sun a day. However, keep the top of the roots covered until they’re ready for harvest. If the top is exposed to the sun, it will cause it to have a green color.
Carrot plants also require loose, loamy soil to reach maximum growth. However, till deeply to ensure there aren’t any rocks, hard soil clumps, or any obstacle before planting.
Moreover, 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.
Also, avoid planting seeds too close to give the roots room to grow. If too close, thin out the seedlings about 1 inch apart after they germinate.
Care and Maintenance
After you plant your seeds, keep the soil damp to ensure the seeds germinate properly. However, they take around 14 to 21 days to sprout, which means it may be a bit difficult to keep the soil at the right moisture level at all times.
Some solutions to make this easier, particularly in hotter climates, include using mulch and deep watering before planting.
Pests and Diseases
As with all crops, there are plenty of diseases and insect pests to watch out for.
One of the most common diseases of carrots is the Aster Yellows . It causes yellowing of the leaves and will render your vegetable completely inedible.
The main way to escape it is to prevent the aster leafhopper insect that carries the disease from landing on your plants. This means growing crops under row covers.
Other pests and diseases that affect carrots include:
- Bacterial soft rot. Causes decay that consumes the core of the carrot.
- Alternaria Leaf blight. This disease is caused by 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 carrot leaves with typical caterpillar voraciousness.
- Root-knot nematodes. These nematodes cause hairy, twisted, and malformed roots. Crop rotation can avoid them.
- Rust fly maggots and carrot weevil larvae. Both pests will tunnel through the roots of your carrots.
To prevent or control these garden problems, prepare the soil well and choose the right plant companions 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 better harvest. Just be sure to pick the ones that grow well with them and avoid planting near bad companion crops.