Companion planting with strawberries
Every gardener should try this companion planting combination. Strawberries are just the best! Try companion planting strawberries with taller plants like for example fava beans.
I know a lot of you who follow Sara's Kitchen Garden want to know more about companion planting. Vegetables with other vegetables, vegetables and flowers, flowers and berries and vegetables. Etcetera.
I'm a big fan of companion planting and I wanted to share a few of my best tips with you now that it's summer. These are some of my favorite combinations. Check out my suggestions for companion planting with strawberries below!
Strawberries along the edges
I made this bed in 2015 when I was pregnant with Loa. I can feel quite ill when I'm pregnant and I realized that I needed to make the space slightly smaller to be able to keep up.
So, I decided to move all of my strawberries from another bed. I divided the strawberry plants and made a large bed with six rows up by the stone wall. The plants I didn't manage to fit there were instead planted in the outer edges of another bed. My plan was to start companion planting strawberries along the edges and put other vegetables in the middle.
Companion planting strawberries and parsnip
I decided to sow two rows of parsnip in the middle of the bed, the spring after I planted the strawberries. I didn't fertilize or mulch the bed beforehand. Strawberries do need fertilizer though (in the form of mulch in my garden), but only after they have been harvested. The leaves will grow too large if you fertilize before you harvest. That's why I decided to wait.
The parsnips grew really nicely in this bed, and we got plenty of vegetables throughout fall and winter.
Newly planted strawberries don't actually produce a very large harvest during their first year. The plants are still quite small by then. We got a few berries for the kids, but not much more.
Cut and prune
I cut the strawberries and removed the runners, simply because I want a tidy bed without too many plants.
Companion planting with fava beans
I sowed fava beans in the bed with the strawberries (you can read more about this in the article How to: Growing fava beans. I made three rows with a few beans in every hole, so I'm growing them pretty close together. The fava beans are flowering now and they smell absolutely wonderful!
I put a nice layer of grass clippings around the beans this year so I wouldn't have to remove so many weeds. The strawberry plants look nice and healthy and there are plenty of berries on them too! I propagated them myself. Watch this clip to learn more about how it's done: Propagating strawberries.
This combination is great! It helps me limit the growing space while also providing my family with high-quality food. The season has only just begun but my kids have already harvested 1.5 gallons (around 6 liters) of berries. It's wonderful!
Companion planting with strawberries – Tips
- Remember that the strawberries grow quite bushy, so leave some space between your sowings.
- Be careful with the strawberry roots, don't dig too close to the plants.
- Use vegetables that don't need a lot of fertilizer early in the season, for example, beans and peas.
- Choose companion plants that don't grow too close to the strawberries, taller plants are a great option.
There's plenty to do in the garden during summer, but this project doesn't need that much maintenance. Cutting the plants after harvest and pruning them in spring is really all you need to do. I think it's great! The plan is to plant strawberries along the edges of a bed in every quarter in my garden. That would mean a lot more strawberries, a smaller space to deal with during summer and plenty of pretty combinations of plants. The strawberry plants create a beautiful green frame around the plants growing in the bed.