The Best Garlic Companion Plants For Your Garden

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Improve your harvests with garlic companion plants, essential allies that improve yields and reduce pests. This article is for gardeners of all levels, explaining how these partnerships deter pests and promote healthier growth in your garden. Adding companion plants to your garlic beds can enhance biodiversity and yield while reducing the need for synthetic pesticides.

A single bulb of garlic on a white background.

This article will introduce you to the benefits of companion planting for garlic and how garlic can benefit your garden. Companion plants are helpful allies that can improve your harvest in various ways, whether you grow garlic in pots or in your garden. By pairing garlic with compatible plants, you can deter pests and promote healthier growth, which is beneficial to gardeners of all levels. Moreover, you can cultivate a more eco-friendly and sustainable garden by reducing the use of synthetic pesticides.

Table of Contents

    Beneficial Companions

    Garlic is a member of the allium family, and has a strong, pungent scent which is a natural deterrent for unwanted pests. This makes garlic a great addition to the garden, but what does garlic get out of the deal? Read on to learn which plants will help garlic the most, and what benefits they will bring to each other.

    Fruit Trees

    Garlic is a great companion plant for around and under fruit trees. The strong scent wards off insect pests, helping to organically control aphids, borers, and mites from fruit trees like peach and apple trees.

    It is also suggested that tree roots absorb sulfur produced by the garlic plants, making the tree much more resistant to fungal diseases, molds, and blackspot fungi. In addition, planting garlic under apple trees will help protect the fruit from apple scab. 

    Polycultures and integrated fruit tree gardening are fascinating topics. Plant guilds and permaculture systems are a boon to ALL fruit trees and can help us reduce the use of chemicals in our orchards (and gardens!).

    Nightshades

    Garlic spray is a great way to help protect tomato plants and potatoes from fungal infections like late blight.  It will also help ward off insect pests like aphids and red spider mites. It’s a great way to use excess or damaged garlic from your harvest!

    Garlic planted as tomato, pepper, potato, or eggplant companion plants can help prevent diseases like verticillium wilt and leaf curl.

    Bright ripe peppers grown in the garden with garlic.

    Brassicas

    Garlic repels cabbage pests such as cabbage moths, diamondback moths, and cabbage worms.

    Interplanting garlic around your brassicas (turnip, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, and broccoli) can help keep rabbits out of the garden and away from your crops.

    Strawberries

    Strawberry companion plants work extremely well interplanted with garlic. Sp spider mites can be reduced by up to 50% when planted in double rows near strawberry plants.

    Planting garlic in your strawberry bed will also help prevent gray mold from forming. 

    Garlic companion planted with strawberries in a garden bed.

    Beets

    Beet companion plants are another great pairing with garlic.

    Growing garlic with your beets will improve their flavor. 

    Another benefit of growing garlic and beets is that garlic releases sulfur into the soil as it grows. Sulfur is a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal that helps reduce many diseases that plague the garden. 

    Cultivars to try: My most recent find is the cultivar “Chioggia.”  It is such a strong performer with a strong, sweet flavor. It’s an excellent addition to any vegetable garden; they make lovely pickled beets

    Carrots 

    Like beets, carrots are another great teammate for garlic. Their relationship is symbiotic: Carrots will help deter insect pests that feed on garlic, and garlic will help repel the pesky carrot fly.

    Spinach 

    Try spinach with garlic if you have trouble keeping the soil moist. Spinach creates a living mulch around the garlic plants as it grows helping shade the soil and, in turn, choke out weeds and help retain moisture.

     

    Images of the listed vegetable garlic companion plants.

    Chamomile 

    Growing garlic in your herb garden will help it stay pest-free, but what does the garlic get out of it? Chamomile! Grow chamomile with garlic to improve the taste of the garlic.  The flowers also help attract beneficial insects like hoverflies and parasitic wasps, which help deal with pests.

    Roses

    Garlic is one of the best companion plants for roses!

    Due to its strong odor, garlic will help deter pests from the plants, like aphids and Japanese beetles. But garlic has another trick up its sleeve when it comes to pests. The garlic bulbs will add sulfur to the soil, which the roses will take up. The sulfur will make the roses less tasty to pests.

    The sulfur-producing garlic is also anti-fungal and antibacterial and will help keep fungal diseases at bay.

    And best of all, garlic is said to increase the scent of your roses!

    Pink roses growing in the garden. The image is used to show what type of flowers work as companion plants for garlic in the garden.

    Nasturtiums

    Grow nasturtiums to add colorful blooms that help to attract beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and hoverflies.

    Nasturtium companion plants and vines also work as a groundcover, providing shade to the soil and helping to prevent moisture loss around the garlic patch.

    Lavender

    Lavender companion plants are excellent for garlic due to their strong aroma, which helps deter common pests like aphids, mosquitoes, and moths. Additionally, lavender attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies, promoting pollination and overall garden health.

    Lavender flowers growing in a field.

    Marigolds

    Marigold companion plants will attract helpful insects like parasitic wasps and ladybugs, which will help take care of aphids. Marigolds can repel insects and kill soil-borne pests, making them one of my all-time favorite flowers for the vegetable garden.

    Turning the marigold flowers into the soil at the end of the season helps kill pests like root-knot nematodes. Be sure to use Mexican or French marigolds if your intent is pest control.

    Images of the listed flower garlic companion plants.

    What Not to Plant With Garlic

    Very few plants will cause issues if planted near your garlic, but legumes and garlic do not play well together.

    Legumes

    All legumes make poor companions for garlic. For example, pole beans, bush beans, runner beans, and peanuts will grow poorly if planted side by side with garlic.

    Why can’t you plant garlic with beans? Legumes rely on a symbiotic relationship with bacteria called rhizobia to create nitrogen to feed their roots. The antibacterial nature of garlic can kill the rhizobia, which cuts off the food supply to the legume plant, stunting its growth.

    Beautiful purple red garlic on a rustic cutting board .

    Expert Tips

    • Understand Compatibility: Research and understand which plants are compatible with garlic. Consider factors like growth habits, nutrient requirements, and pest-repelling properties to ensure harmonious pairings.
    • Explore Flowering Companions: Consider planting flowering companions like marigolds and lavender to add color and diversity to your garden while deterring harmful pests. The vibrant blooms of these flowers attract pollinators and beneficial insects, contributing to a healthier garden ecosystem.
    • Practice Succession Planting: Implement succession planting techniques by intercropping fast-maturing vegetables like lettuce and spinach between garlic rows. This maximizes space utilization, optimizes soil health, and allows for continuous harvests throughout the growing season.
    • Monitor Plant Health: Regularly monitor the health and growth of companion plants to ensure they are not competing with garlic for resources. Adjust spacing and planting arrangements as needed to maintain optimal growing conditions for all plants involved.
    • Rotate Crops Annually: Practice crop rotation to prevent the buildup of soil-borne diseases and pests. Rotate garlic with unrelated crops in subsequent growing seasons to maintain soil fertility and minimize the risk of pest infestations and nutrient depletion.

    FAQs

    How far apart should I plant garlic and its companion plants?

    Spacing requirements vary depending on the specific companion plants and garlic varieties. Generally, aim for at least 6-12 inches between garlic cloves and companion plants to allow for proper airflow and nutrient uptake.

    Are there any plants that should not be planted with garlic?

    Avoid planting garlic near beans and peas, as they can inhibit each other’s growth. Additionally, steer clear of plants with aggressive root systems that may compete with garlic for nutrients and water.

    Will companion plants affect the flavor of garlic?

    Companion plants like herbs and flowers can enhance the flavor of garlic by imparting subtle aromatic notes. However, strong-flavored companions like onions and chives may influence the taste of garlic, so consider flavor compatibility when planning your garden.

    How do I deal with pests when companion planting with garlic?

    Companion planting helps deter pests naturally, but occasional pest outbreaks may occur. Implement cultural practices like crop rotation, companion planting diversity, and manual removal of pests to minimize damage without resorting to chemical interventions.

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    Final Thoughts

    Companion planting with garlic opens possibilities for gardeners seeking natural, sustainable solutions. By strategically pairing garlic with compatible plants like fruit trees, cabbage, roses and marigolds, gardeners can deter pests, improve soil quality, and enhance overall garden health. Embracing companion planting techniques not only reduces the need for synthetic pesticides but also creates a sense of balance in your garden. Happy planting!

    Author: Laura Kennedy

    Writer & Owner of Little Yellow Wheelbarrow

    Laura is a highly skilled gardener and fervent flower enthusiast. Despite her playful battle with plant spacing guidelines, Laura’s work inspires gardeners to create thriving, beautiful spaces that reflect both creativity and sustainability.

    Editor’s Note: This post was originally published February 27, 2022. It was updated on February 21, 2024, to improve readability and add Expert Tips and FAQs.

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