Growing raspberries in our backyard garden is an amazing experience! This year I’m delighted to be growing yellow raspberries as well as red raspberries for my girls (and me!). I decided to plant the berries in different spaces, though, so I quickly got to thinking about raspberry companion plants and what to plant with raspberries.
This is partly because I want the benefits of companion planting, but more because I had lots of plant starts and needed more space!
Isn’t the challenge always finding a home for all the plants and seedlings?! I hope one day I will truly feel that I actually have enough gardening space… But, for now, I am jamming little plants in wherever I can find a home!
Let’s look into some great raspberry companion plants so you’ll have a better idea of what to plant with raspberries in your own garden!
Do raspberries like acidic soil?
Yes, raspberries like acidic soil that is in the range of 5.5 to 6.5 soil pH, according to Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. You can test your soil to check the pH and amend the soil with acidifier and berry fertilizers designed for this purpose as needed.
By the way, here’s our post on other plants that like acidic soil!
What can you not plant next to raspberries?
Avoid planting raspberry bushes near potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and other nightshades that may spread verticillium wilt and blight. Also, do not plant raspberries near other berry crops that could spread fungal diseases that live in the soil.
I had wanted to grow raspberries and strawberries together in a raised bed, but cannot find conclusive information from a reputable source on this. For this reason, I have not yet tried this pairing.
Top Raspberry Companion Plants
Some flowers, herbs, and vegetables grow well as raspberry companion plants. Here are a few ideas to consider for what to plant next to raspberries.
For Food, Tea, and Medicinal Uses
- Legumes – Some common legumes include beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts. Beans and other legumes often return nutrients back to the soil, making them ideal companions.
- Garlic – Plant garlic in the fall to harvest in the summer. Its pungent scent helps to keep pests away. (BTW – You might also like these other garlic companion plants!)
- Leeks – Also in the Allium family, leeks also work well as a raspberry companion plant. These onion-like plants boast a strong aroma to help deter Japanese beetles and other pests.
- Onions – Onions grow nicely under and alongside raspberries. Like their cousins in the Allium family, onions also provide helpful pest control as a natural insecticide.
- Chives – Likewise, chives join the ranks of garlic, leeks, and onions as natural pest deterrents and a good choice for what to plant next to raspberries.
- Chamomile – The delicate daisy-like flowers of chamomile look just lovely in the raspberry patch. Believed to offer antibacterial and antifungal properties, chamomile is a helpful companion plant for raspberry bushes.
- Lavender – Growing lavender with raspberries adds a lovely fragrance to the air, attracting pollinators. Lavender also helps to keep deer and rabbits away.
- Chervil – Chervil repels slugs and aphids, making it a fine companion plant in the garden. A shade-lover, plant chervil under raspberry bushes to enjoy a bit of shielding from the sun.
- Yarrow – Yarrow can help to ward off aphids and harlequin beetles, among other pests. The gorgeous flowers attract pollinators to your garden as well.
- Turnips – Turnips don’t just repel kids at the dinner table; they’re also great at repelling the harlequin beetle! Consider pungent turnips as a raspberry companion plant.
For a Pretty Pop of Color
- Nasturtium – Another known beneficial companion plant, nasturtiums offer some pest control properties as well. Plant nasturtiums near raspberries for a lovely pop of color and a fighting chance against squash bugs and other pests.
- Marigolds – Marigolds as companion plants are rock stars in the garden. They’re believed to offer pest control properties and also boast a lovely pop of color.
- Zinnias – Pollinators love zinnias and the stunning range of colors bring an amazing contrast to your raspberry patch. The vivid blossoms enliven the area with color, complementing the rather plain and sometimes sprawling raspberry canes.
What to Grow Next to Raspberries
When deciding what to grow with raspberries, keep these key points in mind to help your decision:
- Benefits – Consider the benefits of different raspberry companion combinations. Match up natural insecticide properties with pests you notice in your garden, or find other benefits of impact.
- Spacing – Use caution not to crowd your raspberry bushes or other plants. Give everything ample room to grow so they all reach their full potential and yields.
- Usefulness – Above all, be sure you’re growing things your family will enjoy and use. Most of us gardeners all wish we had more space. Consider how useful any plants will be before considering them as raspberry companion plants. Chamomile tea, for example, would be a good use of planting your chamomile and raspberries together.
- Appearance – If you like more color in your garden, plant some flowers. Zinnias, marigolds and nasturtiums can all add a lovely splash of color to your garden’s canvas.
These are just a few raspberry companion plants to consider. Do you grow raspberries with something different?
Share your successes and other personal anecdotes in our comments below – we’d love to hear your stories and share tips!
05.05.22 – Updated to add photo of raspberry bush and update other images to full size. Fixed up spacing as well.