Strawberries need nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and other elements to develop and bear fruit. It quickly depletes the soil, and after two or three years the harvest volume decreases noticeably. The soil becomes dense and infertile, the risk of pests or fungus increases. Therefore, when growing strawberries, it is advisable to plant companion plants nearby.
Companion plants for strawberries
With the help of a deep and branched root system, comfrey and a related cucumber plant accumulate nutrients in the leaves in great concentration. It is enough to crush the green mass, dry it and use it as mulch on the bed to transfer the stored potassium, calcium and magnesium to the soil. These plants propagate by self-seeding and do not require care at all. Besides, they attract insect pollinators and scare away some pests. Strawberries growing next to them have increased resistance to diseases, improved taste and aroma of berries.
Onions and garlic have similar properties. Cutting chives after flowering will help maintain a neat appearance, and the cut greens will come in handy for mulching. It can be planted directly among strawberry bushes: the pungent smell will deter slugs, mites and other pests. The neighborhood with garlic reduces the likelihood of fungal diseases: phytophthorosis (one of the most dangerous enemies of strawberries), gray rot, white rot and others.
Beans, peas, and other members of the family loosen the soil and saturate it with nitrogen. In southern regions, it is possible to plant in such a way that strawberries receive diffused light and do not suffer from the scorching sun. However, legumes increase soil acidity, and weeds actively grow around them: by choosing such a companion be prepared for more frequent weeding and application of alkaline fertilizers as needed.
Essential oils of spicy herbs – basil, coriander, thyme, anise, tarragon – do not like many pests, and root parsley will protect the crop from the invasion of slugs. Greens are undemanding for nutrients, so strawberries get along well with lettuce, sorrel, spinach, but, as with legumes, you should take care of proper planting, so it does not suffer from lack of light.
If the bed is adjacent to a flower bed, strawberries will especially favor irises and tulips: next to them the harvest of berries is richer, and the cold season passes with the least losses. Neighborhood with clematis, peonies, jasmine, nasturtium, fern, rhododendron, delphinium will also have a positive effect. With the protection from pests perfectly cope Velvet flowers – they protect plantings from nematodes, weevil, moths, onion flies and other pests. Also, these flowers prevent the development of fusarium, to which strawberries are vulnerable.
Trees and shrubs
Company for strawberries is rare, but, as long as the shade does not obscure the plantings, acceptable. Spruce, pine, buckthorn and grapes have a positive effect on the quality and quantity of the crop.
What not to plant strawberries with
The most undesirable predecessors and neighbors are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cucumber. They not only consume the same nutrients from the soil, but are also carriers of phytophthora, destructive to the delicate root system of strawberries. The fungus that causes it persists in the soil for up to 10 years, so if the disease is detected, you should stop growing crops that are susceptible to it.
Topinambur strongly depletes the soil, and the husk of sunflower seeds is even poisonous – it is undesirable to plant it near any beds.
Do not wait for a good crop of strawberries in the neighborhood with cabbage or raspberries. The first pretends to the same nutrients and requires more frequent watering, the second dries out the soil and gives shade. Symbiosis with horseradish and clove representatives will not work either, and at the foot of the birch the strawberries may refuse to bear fruit at all.