Most of the time, potatoes get a bad rap as terrible companion plants. Instead, let’s take a positive spin and find the best potato companion plants for your garden!
Potatoes have a tendency to grow like crazy! They take very little to get started and keep going.
Even if you don’t know when to harvest potatoes, you may still end up with adorable and delicious baby potatoes to eat!
But first, you have to plant them! So let’s figure out the best bets for potato companion planting in your garden (or more likely, grow bag)!
Why are potatoes bad companion plants?
Potatoes aren’t always bad companion plants. As members of the nightshade family, potatoes can suffer from the same diseases and issues as other popular crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Potatoes can stunt the growth of other crops or make it more likely for them to develop bacterial or fungal diseases like blight. Also, digging up potatoes can disturb the roots of other long-season crops.
What are some good companion plants for potatoes?
Some good potato planting companions may include brassicas like cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli. Herbs like parsley, thyme, and chamomile also work great as potato planting companions.
What should you not plant near potatoes?
Avoid planting other members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers) near potatoes as this makes diseases more likely for these crops. Raspberries, cucumbers, pumpkins, and other squash plants also don’t like growing near potatoes for the same reason.
Some of the other worst companions for potatoes include asparagus, carrots, onions, turnips, and fennel. Sunflowers are also believed to stunt their growth.
Vegetable Companion Plants for Potatoes
When planning your vegetable garden, consider these successful vegetable companion plants for potatoes.
- Beans – Beans add nitrogen back to the soil. They may also improve the flavor of potatoes. Green beans may also help repel potato beetles while potatoes repay the favor fending off Mexican beetles.
- Broccoli – With shallow roots and cool growing season, broccoli works well as a planting companion to potatoes.
- Cabbage – Cabbage may also improve the flavor or potatoes grown nearby.
- Cauliflower – Shallow roots make cauliflower a fine companion to potatoes.
- Corn – Corn may enhance growth for potatoes while also improving the flavor.
- Horseradish – Another root vegetable, horseradish can offer some disease resistance properties for potatoes.
- Kale – Roots closer to the surface can make kale and potatoes a good plant pairing.
- Kohlrabi – Likewise, the shallow roots of kohlrabi work well with the deeper-growing potatoes.
- Leeks – Another plant with shallow roots, leeks bring nutrients up from different parts of the soil than potatoes, making them good companions.
- Lettuce – Lettuce grows pretty quickly and bolts when it gets warm. You’ll likely harvest all the lettuce before the potatoes are ready to pick. Also, the shallow roots let these crops grow nicely together.
- Spinach – Another cool crop like lettuce, spinach should be a good crop to grow with potatoes. This type of companion planting makes the most of your garden space.
Companion Herbs for Potatoes
When in doubt, grow some herbs and potatoes together. Companion planting potatoes with herbs may improve the flavor of potatoes as well as the growth. Some herbs may even deter pest insects like potato beetles and flea beetles.
- Coriander / Cilantro
Beneficial insects may also find their way to your veggie garden when planting potatoes with herbs.
Flowering herbs also have a knack for attracting pollinators, which could benefit other companion crops!
Flowers to Plant Near Potatoes
If you want a little color near your potato patch, try plantingflowers alongside potatoes. You can attract good guy insects to the garden, helping to keep pest populations at bay.
Choosing the Best Potato Companion Plants
Growing potatoes is so easy! In fact, I’ve almost got them growing right now from a shelf in my pantry – whoops!
My biggest tip for choosing the best companion plants for potatoes is to think about what your family likes to eat. Whenever you can grow more of THAT, it’s a huge win!
Consider the list I’ve shared above and see what works for you.
Do you have any other suggestions or questions about potato companion plants? Definitely share your thoughts and we can chat in the comments!