9 Root Veggies That Make Great Companion Plants


Vegetable garden.

Companion planting is a great gardening technique favored by many seasoned gardeners.

With companion planting, different plant species are strategically grown near each other in order to achieve certain benefits. These can include deterring pests as well as improving plant and soil health.

By carefully selecting and arranging plant combinations, gardeners can create a more balanced and productive garden environment. This helps reduce the need for synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

But, just as there are combinations that promote growth, there are also ones that diminish growth.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few root veggies to start you on your companion planting journey. And, we’ll also explore companion planting benefits and considerations.

Let’s dive in!

9 Root Vegetables to Use as Companion Plants

Companion planting is based on the idea that certain plants have the ability to enhance another plant’s growth and health. 

Let’s take a look at 9 root veggies and the plants they’re good companions for, and ones they’re not so good for!

1. Carrots 

Carrots are a tasty treat and a favorite of many gardeners. 

Plant carrots near:

  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Rosemary
  • Tomatoes

Plant carrots away from:

  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Parsnips

2. Radishes

Radishes are quick, easy to grow root vegetables.  

Plant radishes near:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Lettuce
  • Kale

Plant radishes away from:

3. Beets 

Beets are a cool-season crop that is both nutritious and delicious!

Plant beets near:

  • Cabbage
  • Bush beans
  • Garlic
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce
  • Onions

Plant beets away from: 

  • Pole beans
  • Chard
  • Fennel
  • Field Mustard

4. Turnips 

Turnips are a quick-growing and another root veggie that prefers cooler weather.

Plant turnips near:

  • garlic
  • beans
  • Peas
  • basil
  • radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

Plant turnips away from:

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Horseradish
  • Beets
  • Fennel

5. Scallions

Scallions, or green onions, are easy-to-grow, versatile veggies. 

Plant scallions near:

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Dill
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Pepper
  • Potato
  • Tomato

Plant scallions away from:

  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Sage
  • asparagus

6. Garlic 

Garlic is a great companion plant because it has a strong scent and can deter many insects.  

Plant garlic near:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

Plant garlic away from:

  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Melon

7. Onions 

Onions are not only tasty and good for you, but they can protect against garden insects.  

Plant onions near:

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Plant onions away from:

  • Garlic
  • Mint 
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Peas

8. Potatoes

Who doesn’t like digging for potatoes? It’s like digging for buried treasure! 

Plant potatoes near:

  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Peas

Plant potatoes away from:

  • Cucumbers
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Kohlrabi
  • Melons

9. Celeriac

The weird-looking vegetable is sometimes called celery root or knob celery. 

Plant celeriac near:

  • Brassicas
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce

Plant celeriac away from:

  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Fennel
  • Potatoes
  • Celery

Benefits of Companion Planting

1. Deter Pests: 

Companion planting often creates a natural defense system by placing plants that deter certain pests near those that attract them. For instance, the aroma of marigolds can keep aphids away from plants that attract aphids.

2. Attract Beneficial Bugs: 

Plants not only ward off insects but they can also call in reinforcements. Some plants act as beacons for beneficial insects like pollinators and predators. Pollinators like bees and butterflies are essential for plant reproduction, while predator bugs like ladybugs feast on harmful pests.

3. Provide Natural Shade: 

By strategically planting taller, bushier plants next to smaller, sun-sensitive ones, you provide your plants with natural shade. This helps prevent overheating and sunburn and promotes healthy growth for all.

4. Improve Soil: 

Certain plants encourage and improve nutrient availability, benefitting the surrounding plants.

5. Improve Plant Health: 

As some plants take up specific substances from the soil, they can alter the soil’s biochemistry to favor nearby plants. 

6. Natural Support: 

You can create living trellises and supports by pairing climbing plants with taller plants like corn or sunflowers. This maximizes space and increases structural stability.

7. Suppress Weeds: 

Companion planting can help suppress pesky weeds. Ground-hugging plants placed between taller plants act as a living mulch, covering the soil surface and crowding out unwanted weeds. This saves you time and effort from weeding.

Things to Consider When Companion Planting

1. Spacing: 

Give your garden inhabitants enough room to flourish. Proper spacing prevents overcrowding, enabling air circulation and sunlight penetration for optimal growth.

2. Watering: 

Recognize individual plants have different thirst levels. Some plants may have higher water needs than others, so ensure companion plants have similar watering needs. Otherwise, you chance over or underwatering one of the companions.

3. Light Requirements: 

Pair sun-loving, taller veggies with those that appreciate a bit of shade or partial sun.

4. Nutrition: 

Cater to various appetites. Pair heavy feeders with lighter feeders. Also, ensure your plants aren’t competing for the same nutrients.  For example, if one plant needs more nitrogen, his companion should draw in nitrogen from the environment.

5. Make Sure the Combinations Work: 

Choose compatible companions. Match plants with complementary growth habits and needs. Aim to prevent scenarios where one plant outpaces the other, competes for resources, or attracts insects harmful to its partner.

Final Thoughts

Companion planting is a fantastic gardening technique favored by many seasoned gardeners.  

And one, you should definitely consider.

By carefully pairing your root vegetables with compatible companions, you’ll encourage diversity, good soil, and a healthy crop.

Want to learn more about root veggies? Take a look at my article that answers some of your top root veggie questions.

And if you enjoyed this article on root vegetable companion planting, feel free to share it.

Angela

Hi! My name is Angela Carr. I started this site to share my love for plants and gardening. My aim is to provide my readers with easy tips and tricks on plant care, fun facts, and encouragement for the new plant owner or anyone questioning the colour of their thumb!

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