For years, I have planted in rows - a row of this next to a row of that. This is the first year that I’m trying my hand at companion planting in beds. Even with the raised beds, I would usually dedicate one for asparagus, one for blackberries, etc. Having the good luck to have a couple of onion sets to plant one day while Jennifer was visiting, I am now a firm believer in companion planting. I had just planted strawberries in a raised bed and she pointed to it and said that we should plant the onions in with them. Realizing that I’m not too old to learn a new trick, I agreed to give it a try.
Wow, look at those happy plants! Honestly, I’ve struggled to keep strawberries happy in the past. The leaves have stayed small and the berries have also. I’ve had very few runners and by mid-summer they had just given up. If these plants were any more enthused about growing right now, they’d be taking over the other beds as well. The onions are doing super too. They really do like each other! The onions will keep the bugs away from the strawberries. There are other plants, such as borage and thyme, that will do that as well, but that’s not what I had on hand.
It is early in the year and the weather has been cool, but I have high hopes of keeping these plants healthy throughout the summer. Next year, I’ll make sure to plant some friends in with them again and maybe I’ll finally get a strawberry patch going.
Companion planting might not work for every plant, or every person. That’s ok. If you haven’t tried it yet, you might be surprised at the difference it makes in your garden. There are loads of online references to plants that like and dislike each other. Just be careful what you put together and give it a try!