Mad About Berries

Jostaberry Companion Plants

Jostaberries are a cross between black currants and gooseberries, inheriting traits from both parent plants to create a large, dark-colored, and flavorful berry.

They are known for their hardiness and resistance to pests and diseases, making them a relatively easy and rewarding fruit to cultivate.

Published: September 27, 2023.

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The berries are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, offering a variety of health benefits.

Jostaberries can be used similarly to black currants and gooseberries in cooking and baking, and they make delicious jams, jellies, and syrups. Additionally, they are also enjoyed fresh or can be incorporated into beverages, desserts, and other culinary delights.

Jostaberries thrive in climates with cold winters and cool summers, as they require a chilling period to produce fruit.

They prefer a location with full sun to partial shade and well-drained, moisture-retentive, fertile soil with a pH level of around 6 to 6.5. While they can tolerate some shade, a sunny spot will encourage higher fruit yields.

Jostaberries benefit from a consistent supply of water, especially during dry periods, but they are also somewhat drought-resistant once established.

They are relatively hardy plants but may require protection from strong winds and late frosts, which can damage the blossoms and reduce fruit production.

Mulching can help maintain soil moisture and suppress weeds. Regular pruning is also recommended to maintain plant health and optimize yield.

Jostaberry companion plants can be grown in the same soil patch where jostaberries are grown, or if their soil, water, and fertilizer requirements don't match, such companion plants can be grown in pots and containers placed near jostaberry plants.

Most Popular Jostaberry Companion Plants

The following list shows some of the most popular jostaberry companion plants. You probably already have some of them in garden, and if not, be sure to plant them, not just because of jostaberries, but because of other plants and biodiversity in your garden.

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Nasturtiums
  • Marigolds
  • Borage
  • Comfrey
  • Yarrow
  • Tansy
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Wormwood

As one can see, jostaberries like very similar neighbors just like other berries.

Garlic

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Garlic is considered a good companion plant for jostaberries for several reasons.

Firstly, garlic has natural fungicidal and pesticidal properties that can help protect jostaberries from various pests and diseases.

The strong scent of garlic can deter pests like aphids and spider mites, which are potential threats to jostaberry plants.

Secondly, garlic can enhance the growth and flavor of nearby plants by accumulating sulfur in the soil, which acts as a natural fungicide.

Additionally, interplanting garlic with jostaberries can help in optimizing garden space and improving biodiversity, which contributes to a healthier and more balanced garden ecosystem.

Lastly, companion planting with garlic can reduce the need for chemical pesticides, making the garden more environmentally friendly.

Marigold

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Marigolds are a beneficial companion plant for jostaberries because they possess natural insect-repelling properties.

The strong scent of marigolds can deter various pests, such as aphids and nematodes, which can pose a threat to jostaberries.

The presence of marigolds in the garden can help attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings, which feed on harmful pests, thus aiding in biological pest control.

Additionally, marigolds contribute to the overall biodiversity in the garden, which fosters a healthier and more balanced ecosystem. Their vibrant flowers also add aesthetic value to the garden and can attract pollinators, which are essential for fruit production in jostaberries.

Yarrow

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Yarrow attracts beneficial insects such as ladybugs, parasitoid wasps, and hoverflies, which feed on common pests, thus helping in natural pest control.

Additionally, yarrow is known for its deep roots, which can help in accumulating nutrients from the subsoil, potentially benefiting neighboring plants like jostaberries by enhancing the soil nutrient content.

Also, yarrows can improve soil structure and water retention, creating a more favorable growing environment for the jostaberries.

Lastly, its drought-resistant nature and low maintenance make yarrow an easy and advantageous addition to a jostaberry patch, promoting biodiversity and overall garden health.

Thyme

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Thyme is an advantageous companion plant for jostaberries primarily due to its aromatic nature, which serves as a pest deterrent.

The strong scent of thyme can repel a variety of pests, such as aphids and whiteflies, which can be harmful to jostaberries.

Additionally, thyme attracts beneficial insects like bees, which are essential for pollination, and predatory insects like ladybugs that feed on harmful pests.

Thyme is a low-growing plant and acts as a ground cover, helping to suppress weeds and maintain soil moisture, which benefits the growth of jostaberries.

Also, thyme is hardy and drought-resistant, making it an easy-to-maintain companion that contributes to a healthier and more balanced garden ecosystem.

Sage

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Due to its aromatic properties, sage helps in deterring a variety of pests such as aphids and spider mites that could potentially harm jostaberries.

The strong scent of sage can also mask the aroma of jostaberries, making it harder for pests to locate the plants.

Furthermore, sage attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, which aid in pollination, thereby contributing to better fruit yield.

Additionally, sage is a hardy and drought-tolerant plant, requiring minimal maintenance, and its presence can enhance biodiversity and promote a balanced and healthy garden ecosystem around jostaberries.

Lavender

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Lavender is considered a good companion plant for jostaberries due to its aromatic nature, which helps repel pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and various species of ants that might otherwise harm the jostaberry plants.

The strong fragrance of lavender can also mask the scent of jostaberries, making it more challenging for pests to locate them.

Additionally, lavender attracts a host of beneficial insects, including bees, butterflies, and ladybugs, which aid in pollination and control of harmful pests, respectively.

This can contribute to increased jostaberry yields and a healthier garden ecosystem. Also, lavender is drought-resistant and requires minimal maintenance, making it a practical choice for companion planting.

Plants That Should Not be Planted With Jostaberries

Although jostaberries are very tolerant plants and may benefit from certain neighbors, there are also plants that should not be planted near jostaberries.

  • Tomatoes: Both jostaberries and tomatoes are susceptible to similar pests and diseases, increasing the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Potatoes: Like tomatoes, potatoes share susceptibility to similar pests and diseases as jostaberries, leading to heightened risks of infestation and disease.
  • Hydrangeas: Hydrangeas and jostaberries have differing pH level requirements; hydrangeas may alter soil pH to their liking, which might not be suitable for jostaberries.
  • Raspberries: Raspberries and jostaberries can be prone to similar diseases, such as Verticillium wilt, and could cross-contaminate each other.
  • Blackberries: Similar to raspberries, blackberries may harbor pests and diseases that could easily spread to jostaberries.
  • Blueberries: Blueberries require acidic soil, which might not be conducive to the growth of jostaberries that prefer soil pH around 6 to 6.5.
  • Peppers: Like tomatoes, peppers are in the nightshade family and share susceptibility to similar pests and diseases as jostaberries.
  • Eggplants: Being a member of the nightshade family, eggplants may harbor pests and diseases that could be harmful to jostaberries.
  • Pine Trees: Pine trees can acidify the soil, which may be detrimental to the growth of jostaberries, which prefer a neutral to slightly acidic soil pH.
  • Walnut Trees: Walnut trees release juglone, a chemical that can be toxic to many plants, potentially including jostaberries.

Remember that this list is not final, and local conditions, varietal differences, and cultivation practices can influence the compatibility of different plants.

It's always a good idea to observe the specific needs and behaviors of plants in your particular garden and adjust accordingly.


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Few Final Words

Selecting the right companion plants for jostaberries can significantly enhance their growth, yield, and overall health.

Beneficial companions such as garlic, marigold, yarrow, thyme, sage, and lavender can deter pests, attract beneficial insects, improve soil health, and contribute to a balanced garden ecosystem.

However, it’s equally important to avoid planting jostaberries near species like tomatoes, potatoes, and certain fruits and trees that share susceptibility to pests and diseases or have incompatible soil requirements.

Through thoughtful planning and understanding of the specific needs and relationships between plants, gardeners can optimize the success of jostaberries and create a thriving and harmonious garden environment.



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