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What to Plant with Strawberries (Plus, a Few to Avoid)

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Strawberries are one of those perennials you absolutely need in your garden, if for no other reason than finally saying goodbye to flavorless, mushy (and often overpriced) berries from the grocery store. When you grow your own strawberries, you can harvest and enjoy the same day. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.

There are two different types of strawberries: June-bearing, which yield one crop in late spring or early summer and are considered perennial; and everbearing, or day neutral, which produce berries all summer long until a frost. These may be treated as annuals. Make sure to plant all types of strawberries in full sun, which is 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day, and feed perennial types in the spring with a balanced fertilizer.

What Should You Plant with Strawberries?

Some gardeners believe planting strawberries with specific companion plants may improve the harvest. Although companion planting is mostly folklore, it’s based on the theory that certain plants may enhance yield or keep bad bugs away and attract beneficial ones, such as pollinators. In this case, strawberries are self-fertile, but every tiny pistil (which develops into the tiny seeds) must be pollinated; if not, the fruit will be misshapen. This is where pollinators come in to complete the job! Strawberries have a better yield and better-quality fruit when insects pollinate them.

When planting anything near your strawberries, make sure they’re plants that like similar environmental conditions. More importantly, plant many different kinds of vegetables and fruits in your garden with your strawberries. Research has shown that when you maintain diversity, it’s less likely you’ll lose an entire garden to insects and disease.

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Our Top 20 Picks to Plant with Strawberries:

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1. Borage

Why We Love It: Beautiful blue flowers, which also are edible; pollinator favorite

Plant borage near your berries because its pretty blue flowers are irresistible to bees. It’s an annual but grows easily from seed and will self-sow and reappear next spring. Some gardeners believe it makes berries sweeter.

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2. Cilantro

Why We Love It: Cilantro can be harvested as leaf or let go to seed (coriander); pollinator favorite

Cilantro is a popular herb, but let it go to seed, and you’ll also have coriander seeds to harvest. In the meantime, the gorgeous, lacy flowers attract tons of beneficial pollinators. Cilantro is an annual but will drop seed if you let it flower and will pop up again next spring.

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3. Nasturtium

Why We Love It: Pollinator-friendly edible flower; blooms until frost

These annuals are super-easy to grow from seed, and they look quite lovely tumbling all over the garden. You can let them amble or train them up a trellis. Bonus: The flowers and leaves are edible!

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4. Sweet Alyssum

Why We Love It: Pollinator favorite, beautiful, fragrant flowers until a frost

This charming annual looks amazing planted as edging around beds. It will bloom until a frost, and it will be covered in beneficial pollinators every time you look at it.

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5. Marigolds

Why We Love It: Sturdy, old-fashioned annual that attracts beneficial insects

This is an old standby with good reason: It blooms from planting until a hard freeze. Some gardeners think its spicy scent repels pests.

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6. Chives

Why We Love It: Late spring blooms that pollinators love

Chives have pretty, round flowers that pollinators adore. They’re perennial, too, so they’ll return year after year. Some gardeners believe the scent repels bunnies and chipmunks from eating your berries.

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7. Thyme

Why We Love It: Low-growing perennial herb that attracts pollinators

Thyme grows low to the ground, so it’s a good plant for edging your strawberry beds. Its tiny white, pink, or purple blooms cover the plant in early summer, attracting oodles of happy pollinators.

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8. Basil

Why We Love It: Prolific performer that you can harvest all season long

Basil comes in many different varieties and sizes. Some gardeners claim planting it near strawberries makes them sweeter. Regardless, it’s a great annual herb to include in your garden every year.

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9. Dill

Why We Love It: Attractive flowers and pollinator-friendly

Dill has pretty pale yellow blooms when it goes to flower, and it’s a pollinator magnet. Plant it near your strawberries and this annual herb will drop seeds to return again next year.

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10. Lettuce

Why We Love It: Fast grower you can plant near or in between strawberry plants

If you have a compact garden, you still can squeeze in some lettuce. Plant leaf lettuce types in between strawberry rows, and snip off individual leaves as baby greens.

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11. Sage

Why We Love It: Perennial herb with beautiful flowers that pollinators love

This perennial herb has silvery leaves and gorgeous pinkish flowers that attract pollinators when in bloom in early summer. Some gardeners think it also repels destructive pests with its strong fragrance.

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12. Scarlet Runner Bean

Why We Love It: Heirloom bean you can harvest fresh or dry; attracts pollinators

This climbing bean grows easily from direct seeding into your garden beds, and it has an abundance of bright orange-red flowers that pollinators, including hummingbirds, adore. Harvest the beans when the whole pods are small and eat fresh, or take off the pods and dry the beans for use later. Just make sure to plant where your trellis doesn’t shade your berries.

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13. Oregano

Why We Love It: Hardy perennial herb with flowers that attracts beneficial pollinators

Some gardeners believe the strong scent of oregano repels pests. While that may or may not be true, this is a great perennial herb to have in your garden for both fresh and dried uses.

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14. Radishes

Why We Love It: Fast-growing crop you can tuck in between rows

Radishes may not have specific benefits to strawberries, but they are small enough to seed between rows so you can use every space in a compact garden. They grow fast, too, with some types maturing in as little as 28 days.

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15. Spinach

Why We Love It: Fast-growing crop you can interplant

Planting spinach in between rows is a way to utilize all the space in your garden, and you can harvest baby leaves so you won’t be shading your strawberry plants.

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16. Bush Bean

Why We Love It: Edible crop, attracts pollinators

Plant bush beans, which keep a more compact, bushy shape and don’t need a trellis, alongside your strawberries. You’ll get the beans, and the strawberries will benefit from the pollinators, who’ll be tempted to visit both the beans and the nearby berries.

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17. Garlic

Why We Love It: Easy to grow

Plant garlic in the fall near your strawberry beds. Some gardeners believe its pungent scent will keep away rodents, who often like to steal bites of your ripening berries. Plus, it’s so easy to grow that it’s a must-have in any garden.

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18. Rosemary

Why We Love It: nice shrubbery, fragrant, great for cooking

This attractive herb is a perennial that becomes a medium-sized shrubs in warm climates. It’s treated as an annual in the rest of the country, though you can winter it indoors in pots. Some gardeners believe its pungent scent keeps away rodents.

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19. Lavender

Why We Love It: Fragrant perennial with beautiful flowers

This lovely perennial makes a stunning low hedge around strawberry beds. Some people believe it makes strawberries sweeter. Whether or not that’s true, it’s a great plant for using fresh or dried in baked goods, teas or sachets.

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20. Chamomile

Why We Love It: Tiny, daisy-like flowers, can be used in teas

It doesn’t matter how jaded you are; you’ve got to admit, the tiny flowers of this plant are adorable. Some gardeners think its natural antifungal properties may protect strawberries from diseases. But you can plant it to enjoy its delicate flowers, which can be dried and steeped to make tea.

What Not to Plant with Strawberries

Cabbage, broccoli and kale may outcompete strawberries for nutrients and moisture, so it’s best not to plant them nearby. Interestingly, however, some research from the University of California has shown that rotating strawberry with broccoli crops may reduce some fungal disease levels in the soil. Other plants you should avoid planting near strawberries are eggplants and tomatoes, which are susceptible to verticillium wilt, a soilborne disease that also can affect strawberries.