Mad About Berries

Garlic Companion Plants

Garlic, with its robust aroma and distinctive flavor, is more than just a kitchen staple - it's also a powerful ally in the garden.

Planting garlic alongside certain companions can benefit both garlic and its neighbors, enhancing growth, improving health, and even deterring pests.

Published: March 28, 2024.

planting garlic

Benefits of Companion Planting with Garlic

Garlic is known for its natural pest-repellent properties, thanks to its strong scent that many pests find off-putting.

This characteristic makes it an excellent companion for a variety of plants, providing a form of natural pest control that reduces the need for chemical interventions.

Furthermore, garlic can improve the flavor of certain vegetables and even deter common garden pests like aphids, Japanese beetles, and spider mites.

Best Companion Plants for Garlic

Here is the list of plants that benefit from being planted near garlic and vice versa:

  • Fruit Trees: Garlic can be beneficial when planted at the base of fruit trees. Its ability to repel pests like borers and aphids helps protect the trees without the need for chemical pesticides. Additionally, garlic may help prevent fungal diseases that commonly affect fruit trees.
  • Tomatoes: The pairing of garlic and tomatoes is well-regarded, both in the kitchen and in the garden. Garlic deters spider mites and can improve the growth and flavor of tomato plants. Planting garlic around the perimeter of your tomato beds can create a protective barrier against pests.
  • Peppers: Similar to tomatoes, peppers also benefit from garlic's pest-repellent properties. Garlic helps ward off aphids and other pests that might be drawn to pepper plants, promoting healthier growth.
  • Cabbage Family (Brassicas): Plants in the cabbage family, such as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts, are often plagued by pests like loopers and moths. Garlic acts as a deterrent for these pests, offering protection to these vegetables and improving overall yield.
  • Carrots: Garlic can help repel carrot flies, which are common pests that affect carrot crops. The strong scent of garlic masks the scent of the carrots, making it harder for the flies to locate their target.
  • Roses: Not limited to the vegetable garden, garlic is also a valuable companion for roses. Planting garlic around rose bushes can help prevent fungal diseases and deter pests like aphids, enhancing the health and longevity of the roses.

garlic plants

Garlic, while beneficial to many plants in the garden, also receives advantages when paired with specific companions. Here’s a concise list of plants that benefit garlic and the reasons why:

  • Chamomile: Known for its ability to improve the flavor of nearby plants, chamomile can enhance the taste of garlic when grown in proximity. Chamomile is also believed to boost plant growth and health, potentially benefiting the garlic bulbs themselves.
  • Yarrow: This herb attracts beneficial insects, including pollinators and predatory wasps, which can help control pests that might otherwise target garlic. By enhancing the biological diversity around garlic, yarrow contributes to a more balanced and healthy garden ecosystem.
  • Rue: While rue should be planted with caution due to its strong properties, it can act as a potent deterrent against certain pests and animals that might be inclined to disturb garlic plants. Its strong aroma is believed to complement garlic’s own pest-repellent abilities.
  • Summer Savory: Planting summer savory near garlic can improve the overall growth and health of the garlic plants. Summer savory is said to repel bean beetles and improve the flavor and growth of a wide range of plants, including garlic.
  • Marigolds: The strong scent of marigolds can help mask the garlic smell, confusing pests and acting as an additional layer of protection. Marigolds are well-regarded for their ability to deter soil nematodes and other pests, offering a protective barrier to garlic and enhancing soil health.
  • Nasturtiums: These vibrant flowers are not only visually appealing but also serve as a trap crop for aphids, drawing these pests away from garlic and other vulnerable plants. Nasturtiums can be planted along the borders of garlic beds to provide a colorful and effective pest defense.

Incorporating these companion plants into your garlic garden can lead to a healthier, more productive crop. Each of these companions brings unique benefits that can enhance garlic's growth, flavor, and protection from pests, creating a more resilient and thriving garden environment.

Plants to Avoid Planting Near Garlic

While garlic is a friend to many in the garden, there are a few plants that should be kept apart from it:

  • Beans and Peas: Legumes such as beans and peas do not fare well when planted close to garlic. Garlic can inhibit the growth of these plants, likely due to allelopathic compounds that affect the legumes' ability to grow.
  • Asparagus: Garlic may interfere with the growth of asparagus. It's best to keep these plants in separate areas of the garden to ensure both can thrive.
  • Sage and Parsley: These herbs might be affected negatively by the proximity to garlic. It's observed that garlic can stunt the growth of certain herbs, so it's prudent to plant them at a distance.
  • Strawberries: While not often discussed, planting garlic near strawberries can sometimes be problematic. Garlic could attract pests that also enjoy strawberries or potentially compete with strawberries for nutrients in the soil, although this is less commonly reported compared to its effects on legumes and certain other plants.

While garlic is an asset in the garden for its pest repellent properties and more, it's important to consider its placement carefully. Avoid planting garlic near beans, peas, asparagus, sage, parsley, and possibly strawberries to prevent any negative interactions that could affect your garden's harmony and productivity.

garlic bulbs drying

Implementing Garlic Companion Planting

Implementing garlic companion planting effectively requires understanding the synergies between garlic and other plants, as well as planning your garden layout to maximize these beneficial relationships. Here are detailed steps and considerations to help you integrate garlic into your garden ecosystem successfully.

Understand Garlic's Growth Cycle

First, familiarize yourself with garlic's growth requirements and cycle. Garlic is typically planted in the fall in many climates, allowing it to establish roots before the ground freezes. It remains dormant over winter and resumes growth in early spring. Understanding this cycle helps timing the planting of companion plants to ensure they benefit from garlic’s presence during their own critical growth periods.

Choose Compatible Companion Plants

Select plants that will benefit from being near garlic, considering the pest repellent properties and the potential for improved growth and flavor. Some of the best companions include tomatoes, peppers, brassicas (such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale), and carrots. These plants can benefit from garlic’s ability to deter common pests like aphids, spider mites, and certain beetles.

Plan Your Garden Layout

Design your garden with companion planting in mind. Place garlic strategically around or near plants that it benefits. For example, encircle a tomato or pepper bed with garlic to create a natural pest deterrent barrier. Alternatively, intersperse garlic cloves among rows of carrots or brassicas to provide more direct protection against pests.

Consider Timing and Spacing

For the best results, ensure that the timing of your garlic planting aligns with the needs of its companions. If you're planting garlic in the fall, consider how its spring growth will coincide with the planting and growth of spring and summer crops. Garlic should be spaced adequately from its companions to prevent competition for nutrients and water - usually, a few inches to a foot away from the base of other plants, depending on the species.

Implement Companion Planting Practices

In addition to physical planting, companion planting with garlic includes practices like crop rotation and intercropping. Rotate garlic and its companions in your garden layout from year to year to prevent soil-borne diseases and optimize nutrient use. Intercropping, or planting garlic among different crops, can maximize garden space and enhance biodiversity, which contributes to overall garden health.

Monitor and Adjust

Observe how your plants respond to the companion planting arrangement. You might find that some plants thrive more than others or that certain adjustments are needed, such as altering spacing or incorporating additional companion species for better pest control or growth enhancement.

Maintain Garden Health

Good companion planting goes hand in hand with overall garden care practices, including proper watering, mulching, and organic fertilization. Healthy plants are more resilient and can better benefit from the advantages of companion planting.

Implementing garlic companion planting can enrich your garden, leading to healthier plants and a more productive harvest. Companion planting with garlic not only leverages its pest-repellent properties but also encourages a diverse and balanced ecosystem in your garden space.


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