What To Plant With Garlic To Maximize Your Harvest | A Companion Planting Guide

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One popular crop for the self-sufficient gardener is garlic. Its pungent aroma and robust flavor make it a staple in many kitchens. But did you know that planting garlic alongside specific companion plants can improve its growth, flavor, and overall health? In this article, we’ll explore exactly what to plant with garlic the concept of garlic companion planting and reveal some ideal companion plants that will help you optimize your garlic harvest.

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The Benefits of Companion Planting

Companion planting is an age-old technique used by gardeners worldwide. By strategically pairing compatible plants, you can create a harmonious ecosystem within your garden. Garlic companion planting offers several advantages that can greatly benefit your homesteading efforts:

Pest Control

Certain companion plants naturally repel pests that may harm your garlic crop. For example, planting garlic alongside marigolds acts as a natural deterrent to aphids, nematodes, and even some types of harmful fungi.

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Enhanced Flavor

When garlic is grown near specific companion plants, it can acquire unique flavors and aromas. These flavors can elevate your culinary creations and make your garlic even more enjoyable.

Increased Yields

Companion plants can enhance soil fertility and attract beneficial insects like pollinators. This can lead to increased pollination rates, larger garlic bulbs, and higher overall yields.

Top Garlic Companion Plants

garlic companion plants

Allium Family: Leeks and Onions

The allium family, which includes leeks and onions, makes excellent companions for garlic. These plants share similar growth requirements and natural defenses against pests. Their aromatic properties can confuse pests and help keep them away from your garlic. Additionally, the root systems of alliums help break up the soil, improving drainage and aeration.

Legumes: Peas and Beans

Peas and beans are nitrogen-fixing plants that improve soil fertility. Garlic benefits from the nitrogen produced by legumes, resulting in healthier and larger bulbs. Planting peas or beans near garlic also creates vertical structure within your garden, which can provide shade and support for the garlic plants.

Herbs: Chamomile and Mint

Chamomile and mint are known for their pest-repellent properties. Planting these herbs near your garlic can deter aphids, beetles, and moths, reducing the risk of infestations. Mint, in particular, acts as a natural fungicide, protecting your garlic from fungal diseases.

Flowers: Marigolds and Nasturtiums

Marigolds and nasturtiums are vibrant, beautiful flowers that serve a dual purpose in the garden. Their strong scents help repel pests like aphids, whiteflies, and nematodes, protecting your garlic. Marigolds also produce a chemical that suppresses harmful soil-borne nematodes, reducing the risk of infestations.

Greens: Lettuce and Spinach

When grown together, garlic and leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce can have mutually beneficial effects on each other’s growth and health. Due to the spreading and leafy growth habit, leafy greens can provide shade and cool the soil, something garlic prefers. This spreading habit can also help with weed suppression and moisture retention. Additionally, leafy greens, especially after they have bolted, will attract beneficial insects that feed on pests of garlic.

garlic companion planting

Planting and Care Tips

Now that you know the ideal garlic companion plants, let’s explore some planting and care tips to maximize your harvest:

Proper Spacing

Ensure adequate spacing between your garlic and companion plants to avoid competition for nutrients and sunlight. As a general rule, maintain a distance of 6 to 8 inches between each plant.

Soil Preparation

Prior to planting, enrich your soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure. Garlic thrives in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 6 and 7.

Watering and Mulching

Garlic requires consistent moisture throughout its growing season. Water your plants regularly, aiming for about 1 inch of water per week. Applying a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, will help retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

Harvesting and Storage

Harvest garlic when the lower leaves turn yellow and dry. Carefully dig up the bulbs and let them cure in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area for 2-3 weeks. Once cured, store the bulbs in a cool, dark place with good airflow to prevent sprouting.

companion plant with garlic

Plants to Avoid Planting Next to Garlic

While companion planting can greatly benefit your garlic crop, it’s equally important to be aware of plants that should not be planted near garlic. Certain plants can hinder garlic’s growth, compete for resources, or attract pests that could harm your garlic. Here are some plants to avoid planting next to garlic:

Brassicas

Avoid planting members of the brassica family, such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, near garlic. These plants can inhibit the growth of garlic due to their high nutrient requirements and dense foliage. Additionally, garlic’s pungent aroma may adversely affect the flavor of brassicas.

Potatoes

Garlic and potatoes are both susceptible to similar diseases, such as late blight and certain fungal infections. Planting them together increases the risk of disease transmission and can result in reduced yields and compromised plant health.

Conclusion

By incorporating companion planting techniques into your garlic cultivation, you can enhance the health, flavor, and yield of your crop. Experiment with different companion plants and enjoy the benefits of a thriving garden. Remember, a well-planned garden not only provides delicious homegrown produce but also creates a harmonious ecosystem for all your homesteading endeavors. Happy gardening!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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