Sweet potato companion plants add nutrition, repel insects, and give a bonus crop to your garden. What else can an organic farmer wish for? If you want to join the fun, then don’t worry as we have carefully selected the top ten companion plants for sweet potatoes.
Continue reading this comprehensive expert guide as we unveil the secrets of perfect companion planting for sweet potatoes.
|Sweet Potato Companion Plants||Why It’s the Best|
|Garlic||Garlic is a natural pest repellent and is loved by organic farmers for this quality|
|Beans||Beans are natural nitrogen fixers, and their roots make the soil around them super-rich in this essential chemical|
|Root Vegetables||Root Vegetables keep the vines pest-free and can fit in even small spaces|
|Basil||Basil’s sweet scent attracts pollinators and repels hornworms and flies|
|Herbs||Other herbs like chives, dill, summer savory, borage, thyme and oregano keep the potato weevil pest away|
|Sweet Peas||Sweet Peas can enrich the soil with nitrogen|
|Alyssum||Alyssum takes up only a small space and invites beneficial insects into the garden|
|Marigold||Marigold plants repel bad insects from sweet potato vines|
|Nasturtium||Colorado potato beetles can not tolerate Nasturtium plants and stay away from sweet potatoes at the sight of it|
|Yarrow||Yarrow attracts beneficial insects into your garden|
- What to Plant With Sweet Potatoes
- Frequently Asked Questions
What to Plant With Sweet Potatoes
There are many suitable companion plants to grow along with sweet potatoes. They not only help the vines grow faster and offer nutrients, but also keep away bad insects. In addition to this, these Sweet potato companions grow in the same kind of soil and can give you additional crops.
Here is a list of our carefully-curated top ten companions plants for sweet potato vines:
Garlic is a root vegetable that takes just a few inches of space to grow. Plant a clove of garlic here and there while planting sweet potato seeds or make neat rows. This versatile vegetable will not only be ready along with your lovely sweet potatoes and offer flavors, but also it will keep a lot of pests away.
Garlic is a natural pest repellent and is loved by organic farmers for this quality. It makes a perfect companion plant for many vegetables and fruits, not just sweet potatoes.
Bush or pole beans can be grown along with your sweet potato vines to enrich the soil. Beans are natural nitrogen fixers, and their roots make the soil around them super-rich in this essential chemical. Nitrogen ensures the healthy and fast growth of the plants.
The only difference between bush and pole beans is their habit of growing. Pole beans will need some kind of structure to grab and grow on to, while bush beans remain compact.
Pole beans also tend to have an extended growing season and grow as big as a vine. It is lovely to see beans along with the sweet potato vines and to pick both vegetables from the same patch.
– Root Vegetables
Root vegetables such as radishes, horseradish, beets, turnips, and parsnips are good companion plants for sweet potatoes. They keep the vines pest-free. These plants also take less space and can fit even in small spaces.
Since some of these root vegetables need very little space, you can plant them all around the sweet potato plant.
Basil is a fantastic companion plant for many vegetables. Its sweet scent attracts pollinators, and it also repels hornworms and flies. When you plant this wonderful herb along with sweet potatoes, it can also benefit other plants in the garden.
In addition, it is delightful to pick fresh basil to season homegrown sweet potatoes with.
Other herbs like chives, dill, summer savory, borage and oregano are excellent plants to grow with sweet potatoes. Together, they keep away the potato weevil pest that otherwise ruins the crop. Thyme, on the other hand, attracts hoverflies that feast on aphids.
– Sweet Peas
Sweet peas can also enrich the soil with nitrogen, which is essential for growing healthy root crops and foliage.
Alyssum is a sweet-scented flower that grows as a ground cover. The humble plant takes only a little space and invites beneficial insects into the garden. It invites wasps that feed on the pest caterpillars that eat the foliage.
Marigolds not only add a splash of yellow or orange color into the garden, but they also effectively repel bad insects from the sweet potato vines. Marigolds are easy to grow and can be started from seeds.
Colorado potato beetles can not tolerate this lovely bright orange vine and stay away from sweet potatoes at the sight of it. Grow it close to the vines for the best pest control.
Like basil, yarrow also attracts beneficial insects into your garden. These insects keep pests away from your sweet potato vines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about sweet potato companion plants? Don’t worry, we got you covered! In this section, we will discuss and answer your burning questions regarding this topic.
– Which Plants Should Not Be Planted With Sweet Potatoes?
Plants that should not be planted with sweet potatoes include tomatoes, squash and sunflowers, among others. Some vegetables and flowers should never be planted near sweet potatoes because of competition or diseases. Avoid growing these plants close to your sweet potato vines.
Tomatoes can transfer some deadly diseases to the sweet potato vines, and in return, affect their growth. It also doesn’t grow well with some of the other companion plants of sweet potatoes. If you have a potted garden, you can place tomatoes far away from the vines.
These delicious vines will begin to compete for food and space when planted with sweet potatoes. It is best to plant both of the vines away from each other so that both get enough space and nutrients to grow. Both of these vegetables have similar growing habits and nutritional needs, which is why there is a chance that they will compete with each other.
Sunflowers are very attractive and have many benefits too. They invite pollinators and birds and also repair the soil, but they are not ideal as companion plants in this case. Sweet potatoes may get potato blight because of sunflowers.
Keep these away from the vines. You can always plant sunflowers at a distance.
– Small Plants
Do not grow small plants that need lots of light close to the sweet potatoes. The shade of the foliage may create a lot of shade on top of these little plants and affect their growth.
– Butterfly-attracting Plants
Plants that attract butterflies should not be planted with sweet potatoes. Butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves, and the caterpillars will have a feast. This leads to a weak foliage, which then results in poor plant health.
– What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is a tried and tested ancient farming method that enriches the soil and repels insects from crops by planting unrelated plant species close to each other. Not all vegetables, herbs or flowers like to be around each other because of their specific growing needs and nature.
Specific crops are cultivated together with other plants that enrich and protect each other. These are listed as companion plants.
– What Are the Advantages of Companion Planting?
Some advantages of companion planting include repelling pests, attracting pollinators, enriching the soil, and providing mulch. Here are some more advantages of growing companion plants:
|Repels pests||Some herbs and flowers have a strong scent that repels bad insects. Because of this, they keep the main plant pest free.|
|Attracts pollinators||Herbs with pleasant scents and sweet nectar attract pollinators or the good insects that help in fruit production of some crops.|
|Enriches the Soil||Vegetables and herbs that increase the nitrogen levels of the soil are called nitrogen-fixers. They help enrich the soil for their companion plants. Beans are considered the best nitrogen-fixers in nature.|
|Provides Mulch||Vines with broad leaves spread on the ground to act like a mulch for companion plants that need shade on the soil.|
|Provides Shade||Creepers with dense leaves or tall plants offer shade and protection from strong winds for their smaller or weaker companion plants.|
– What Are Some Tips and Tricks To Grow Sweet Potatoes?
Giving the sweet potato plants enough space to grow, using a trellis or cage, and not overwatering your plants are effective tips to keep your vines healthy and thriving.
Sweet potatoes grow into a dense vine that spreads all over the place. They can grow easily and offer an abundance of vegetables and beautiful foliage to enjoy. You must have a plan of action to maintain the growth of the plant and to manage its size. Here are some tips and tricks to remember so that you can include some companions plants too:
- Give each plant at least 12 to 18 inches of soil space to grow. Remember that these plants will spread and need additional space.
- Use trellis or cages if you do not have the ground space. It is a good idea to train the vine upwards as it gives you space to include some companion plants around the vines. This idea works for large pots too.
- Keep the ground around your vines weed-free to keep pests away and to keep nutrition in the soil. The weeds can also take over the space for baby sweet potatoes.
- Do not overwater your plants. Both companion plants and sweet potatoes do not like to be overwatered. Waterlogged soils can cause root rot, and since this is a root vegetable, there will be nothing to harvest.
– How To Utilize Companion Plants
You can always choose more than one companion plant for your sweet potato, depending on what kind of space you have. The vines of sweet potatoes can be trained upwards, so you can plant bush beans, followed by marigolds, garlic, herbs, and a row of root vegetables in front of the vines.
Pick any two or three companion plants from the list above and experiment. Make sure you pick at least one nitrogen-fixer and one pest-repellent. Companion plants add so much more benefits to a garden and it is worth trying out.
– Can Sweet Potatoes Be Planted in Pots?
Yes, sweet potatoes can grow well in deep and large pots, but make sure the size of the pot is correct and that there is enough space in it for the plant to grow properly.
The best part is that you can still benefit from companion plants using this method. We have some ideas for you right here:
- It is important to get the right size of the pot for sweet potatoes. A 24-inch deep pot with an equal diameter can host a sweet potato vine and garlic and chives to keep pests away.
- Plant basil in a separate pot and keep it close to the vine to get benefits from it.
- A pot with a larger diameter can host both sweet potatoes and other shallow root vegetables like small radishes or beets.
- Make sure there is enough space between plants to grow and spread naturally.
- Use a trellis to train the sweet potato vine upwards to make use of the space.
- Sweet potatoes can also grow in grow bags.
- Make sure that the pot has enough drainage holes.
- The soil of sweet potatoes should be well-draining and rich in organic matter.
These are some very important points to keep in mind for urban gardeners who like to practice companion plantations while growing plants in pots.
Sweet potatoes are fun to grow on their own, but growing becomes more rewarding with companion planting. Here is a quick review of the points we learned above:
- Companions plants like garlic, chives and marigolds can help deter pests, while basil and other herbs invite beneficial insects and keep away some harmful pests from your sweet potato vine.
- Root vegetables like beets, radish and turnips also keep away pests that attack sweet potatoes, while beans and peas add nitrogen to the soil.
- Keep tomatoes, sunflowers and squash plants away from your sweet potatoes as tomatoes and sunflowers may make the sweet potatoes unwell, while squash plants will compete with your vine for space and food.
- Use a trellis to train your vines upward and to give enough space for companions plants to grow. When planting sweet potatoes in pots, make sure you give it enough space to grow and spread its vines. Companion plants can also be accommodated in pots.
- For best produce, keep the space weed-free and avoid overwatering your plants. You can plant two or more companion plants with sweet potatoes. Make sure you include both nitrogen-fixers and pest repellents.
Grow companion plants with your sweet potatoes and avoid using pesticides in the garden to have a very fulfilling experience as a gardener.
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