Carrots (Daucus carota subspecies sativus) are a popular biennial root vegetable. They are a member of the Apiaceae family that can be planted and harvested in as little as 90 days. Carrot companion plants can help improve their growth significantly.
Carrots originated in Central Asia and have been cultivated by humans since 3000 BC. Carrots were initially grown in places like Sweden and Germany for their leaves and seeds. The Romans began consuming carrot roots sometime in the first century AD.
Various colors of carrots were grown throughout its early history. Purple carrots were grown in West Asia, India, and Europe, while scholars in Turkey described them as red and yellow. The modern-day carrot was first cultivated in Afghanistan in the tenth century AD.
Scientists believe the first modern-day orange carrots were cultivated by the Dutch sometime in the 17th century. They were introduced to the Americas by European settlers around the same time.
In this article, we will tell you all about how to improve the health of your carrots using companion plants. We’ll explain the benefits of companion gardening and provide a list of the best and worst plants to grow with carrots.
Benefits Of Companion Gardening With Carrot
Carrot companion plants can be used to improve the soil health in your garden. Carrots need nutrients like nitrogen to grow well. You can use companion plants to provide extra nitrogen, reducing the amount of fertilizer you’ll have to use to grow carrots.
Carrots themselves can also improve soil health. They can help reduce soil compaction issues because of their large tap root.
Carrot companion planting will also help you utilize the space in your garden better. Since carrots are root vegetables, they leave room above ground for other plants to grow. Maximize your gardening space using companion plants that won’t impact the growth of your carrots.
A major insect pest of carrots is the carrot fly (Chamaepsila rosae). Luckily there are several companion plants you can use to repel carrot flies from your carrots. This will help decrease the need for using pesticides to deter carrot flies.
Things To Consider When Companion Planting With Carrots
There are a few things you should consider when companion planting with carrots. They shouldn’t compete with your carrots for nutrients or space.
It’s also best to select plants that require the same soil type, pH, amount of water, and sunlight. This will ensure both plants grow well when planted together.
Some plants can increase carrot pest issues. Make sure you don’t plant anything that will increase carrot pests, especially carrot flies.
The Best Carrot Companion Plants
These are the best plants you can grow alongside carrots. They can improve growth and decrease pests of carrots. They’ll also help you maximize your garden space.
Beans work well with carrots because they increase the nitrogen in the soil. This will provide extra nutrients for carrots and reduce the need for adding fertilizer.
Beans also help you maximize the space in your garden. They’ll allow you to take advantage of the above-ground space while carrots are growing in the soil.
Chives work well with carrots because they have a shallow root system. This means the roots won’t compete with your carrots. They can also improve the taste of carrots.
Chives will also help deter carrot flies from feeding on your carrots.
Herbs (Basil, Rosemary, Sage, & Wormwood)
Several herbs are known to repel carrot flies. Basil, rosemary, sage, and wormwood can all be grown with carrots to help prevent carrot flies.
Flowers (Nasturtium & Tansy)
Flowers like nasturtium and tansy can help repel carrot flies from your carrots. They will also help to increase pollinators in your garden.
Leeks are another companion plant for carrots that will deter carrot flies. Carrots will also help leeks by repelling leek moths.
Lettuce also repels carrot flies from your garden and can also help you maximize space. They’ll allow you to take advantage of some of the above-ground space that carrots don’t occupy.
You can also plant onions to help reduce carrot flies. They work well with carrots since they won’t compete with them.
Tomatoes are another plant you can grow with carrots to maximize your garden space. Plant them two feet apart so they have plenty of space as the tomato plants grow.
The Worst Carrot Companion Plants
You shouldn’t plant any of the following plants near your carrots. Some of them will inhibit the growth of carrots while others increase the number of carrot flies in your garden.
Anise doesn’t make good companion plants for carrots because it can significantly reduce the growth of carrots.
Dill is another bad plant for companion gardening with carrots. It will stunt the growth of your carrots.
Parsnips are another favorite food for carrot flies. Don’t plant them near carrots because they can attract carrot flies.
Potatoes don’t work well with carrots because they will steal the nutrients your carrots need. They will also compete with carrots for space in the soil.
We’ve compiled a quick reference table of the best and worst companion plants for carrots. You can use this to help you plan out your garden.
|Beneficial Carrot Companion Plants||Benefit||Detrimental Carrot Companion Plants||Detriment|
|Beans||Increase nitrogen in the soil, maximize space||Anise||Inhibits growth|
|Chives||Improve taste, repel carrot flies||Dill||Inhibits growth|
|Herbs (Basil, Rosemary, Sage, & Wormwood)||Repel carrot flies||Parsnips||Attract carrot flies|
|Flowers (Nasturtium & Tansy)||Repel carrot flies, increase pollinators||Potatoes||Compete for space|
|Leeks||Repel carrot flies|
|Lettuce||Repels carrot flies, maximize space|
|Onions||Repel carrot flies|