Companion Planting with Potatoes
Gardening is not only fun; it’s a real challenge for both the new gardeners and the experienced. When starting out with potatoes, it’s good to know which companion plants are available to help you grow healthy plants that will thwart pests and disease, while growing impressive, big, and delicious tubers.
Did you know some plants will send voles the other way while attracting beneficial predators?
Or that some others will scare off the destructive Colorado Potato Beetles?
Maybe you’ve heard of potatoes tasting better because of a companion plant?
If not, you’re in for a treat. Try all of these out for yourself during the 2018 spring growing season, and see what kind of amazing results you have!
Catnip + Potatoes: Getting Rid of the Colorado Potato Beetle
If the potato beetle is a common problem in your growing area, be sure to plant some Catnip. Catnip is absolutely awful for these beetles. By keeping the potato bed filled with thriving catnip plants, a disastrous infestation of Colorado Potato Beetles will be kept at bay. These beetles can decimate a home potato bed before you can blink; so be sure to plant ahead of an infestation!
Catnip will also attract cats, bringing a lot of much needed help into the garden that you didn’t know you needed! Cats will hunt for mice, rats, voles, birds, and many other garden pests.
Thyme + Potatoes: Can You Taste That?
Many people believe that growing Thyme and potatoes together will improve the taste of the potatoes. Thyme is highly aromatic and is a low growing plant. As a matter of fact, it creeps along and sends out new roots when the branches contact moist soil. Therefore, the Thyme grows relatively close to new tubers, and the aromatic flavors can penetrate the soil during watering or heavy rains.
Marigolds + Potatoes: The Well Known Natural Pesticide
Marigolds are used to repel a wide variety of garden pests. They will protect the potatoes from nematodes, while keeping flying insects away. With the scent of a Marigold being so incredibly intense, it can be hard for those insects to locate the potato plants. For those who do make it to the plants, it’ll be far easier to control them than an infestation.
Mint + Potatoes: Got Voles? No Problem.
Voles are absolutely repulsed by the smell of mint. Before I tell you to plant it in your garden, I do want to mention that mint plants can be VERY invasive. Where I am located, mint can take over very quickly in a single season. However, not all varieties are invasive. If you are not 100% sure about the invasiveness of a particular plant variety, pot it first. Otherwise, you might wind up with a serious mess on your hands. Place potted mint throughout your potato hills, especially along the entrance walkways of the bed (or around the entire perimeter).The stronger the odor is, the less likely it is that voles will bother your potato tubers.
Alyssum + Potatoes: Bringing In the Big Guns
For a tiny, beautiful flower that is unbelievably easy to care for, Alyssum can help potato beds in one of the biggest ways. Not only do they attract bees that will pollinate the flowers of the potato plants, they will also bring in the big, bad predatory wasps. These wasps will prey on some of the potato plant’s enemies, offering the potato growing two great benefits: a well protected plant that boasts lots of heavily seeded fruits! While the fruits are toxic to humans, the seeds inside are a great way to experiment with crossed potato varieties!