Can Marigolds Be Planted With Strawberries in Your Garden?
Thinking of planting some marigolds with your srtawberries this season, but aren't quite sure if it's a good idea or not? In this article, gardening expert Natalie Leiker examines if marigolds are a decent strawberry companion, or if you should stick to other companion plants.
Marigolds are very heat tolerant, sun-loving plants that make great companion plants for many flowers and vegetables. They are well known for their ability to ward off harmful insects and this can make them a great addition to a vegetable garden. But can marigolds be grown with vining fruits like strawberries?
Companion planting with marigolds has been fairly well documented as having beneficial properties when used as a companion plant with vegetables, and other flowers. The good news is, they are also beneficial when planted around most fruits.
So, if you’re looking to add marigolds to your garden or containers, but aren’t sure if they will be compatible with your garden grown strawberries, you’ve landed in the right place. In this article we’ll discuss why marigolds are awesome companions and if they will be just as awesome when planted with your strawberries this season!
The Short Answer
Yes, Marigolds can be planted with Strawberries. Both of these plants are full sun, heat tolerant, drought resistant plants that can withstand drought and even provide certain benefits to you and your garden. Marigolds and strawberries can make great companion plants if planted in the correct location and cared for properly.
The Long Answer
Yes, you can plant Marigolds with Strawberries, but there are a few things to consider when planting these two together. Let’s look at each plant in a little more detail, followed by several more important factors to consider before you start planting.
There’s nothing better than fresh fruit in the summer, and harvesting from your own backyard is the cherry on top. Strawberries can be easy to grow if given the right environment.
They tend to grow best in full sun, and can thrive and produce fruit all season in the warmest climates. They can be grown in small patches, pots, or even mass plantings for bountiful harvests. Strawberries also have the habit of spreading, so it is important to plant them in a location where they will have enough room to really thrive.
Strawberries like every other crop have certain insects that like to prey on them, and this can become quite frustrating when they start to hinder berry production.
Root knot nematodes can do quite a number on strawberry roots and even cause the plant to die if not eradicated. Other pests such as weevils and caterpillars love to munch on strawberry leaves.
Marigolds are a true flowering annuals that grows best in USDA zones 3-11. They have an upright, tidy growing habit and do not spread more than a foot wide and tall. This makes them a great plant for small spaces or in between rows of plants or crops.
Marigolds are very low-maintenance, easy-going plants that require almost zero maintenance throughout the season. With that being said, they will still need their growing requirements met in order to survive.
Another benefit of planting marigolds is that they can help deter harmful insects. They contain chemical compounds in their leaves that will repel potato beetles, slugs & snails, and other pesky critters.
Their bright flowers will attract bees and other pollinators, and even beneficial insects like ladybugs and hoverflies. These beneficial insects will act as predators toward common garden pests such as aphids and leafhoppers.
Marigolds need to be planted in a location that receives full sun (6-8 hours daily). They will need to be planted in an area where they will have at least ten inches of room to grow. This is often an accessible option for many gardeners, however, this can become a challenge if you are planting near plants that have a habit to spread.
Benefits of Marigolds:
- Marigold flowers attract bees, and other insects that can pollinate flowers.
- These pollinators can help pollinate plants ensuring fruit production.
- Marigolds contain Pyrethrum.
- Pyrethrum helps repel bugs such as cabbage worms and nematodes.
- The roots of marigolds contain a compound called alpha-terthienyl.
- This compound, which is toxic to nematodes that are found in soil.
- It will help prevent nematodes from attacking plant root systems.
Strawberries are perennials in USDA hardiness zones 5-8. In these zones, the plant will come back in spring, and continue to grow in size. Keep that in mind when choosing a location for your strawberry patch.
Strawberries and marigolds can both grow in containers or pots, separately. Planting the two in the same pot or container runs the risk of the strawberries taking over the marigold plants and choking them out.
If you are container gardening, perhaps plant them in two separate containers, but near each other so the marigolds can still provide its benefits to the strawberry plant. Note that if you are planting strawberries in a container, they most likely will not survive the winter.
Planting strawberries in a garden where they can really spread out is the best option. Using weed fabric around the strawberry plant itself will help keep weeds away (duh!) and also help protect the root system over the winter. Plant the marigolds as a border around the base or on the southside where they will get the most sun.
Raised bed gardening has become more and more popular recently. Planting strawberries in a raised bed is doable, as long as they have enough space! Keep in mind that they can potentially outgrow the raised bed, and may need to be trimmed or cut back to maintain their growth.
Choosing a location for planting strawberries can be a tricky task. They tend to spread if given the right growing conditions, making them a great option for mass plantings.
That being said, if you are looking to plant strawberries with a companion, such as marigolds, you will have to make sure each plant has enough room to really thrive. Marigolds tend to stay compact and only get about 10-12 inches tall and wide.
The best way to put the two together is to plant the marigolds as a border. Allow the strawberries enough room to reach mature size and some, and plant the marigolds at least a foot away to ensure the strawberries won’t take over the marigolds. Not giving them enough space is a very common companion planting mistake.
Both of these garden favorites require full sun. This means they need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. I like to observe what areas of my garden receive the most sun/shade before planting any crop.
Both plants perform at their best when planted in well-draining, fertile, loamy soil. Amend soil in raised beds or gardens annually with compost to add nutrients and refresh the soil.
When first planting your strawberries, fertilize them once to get them established. After the first growing season, they won’t need much. Use an all purpose fertilizer once per year after your last berry harvest.
Marigolds don’t require much fertilizer, and will do just fine without any throughout the growing season.
Both plants require little to no maintenance once established. As mentioned before, strawberries do have a tendency to spread. If they begin to grow wildly you can simply trim them so they don’t take over your surrounding plants.
Yes, marigolds and strawberries can be planted together. But there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Envision plants at mature size, base location and planting.
- Give both plants enough space to thrive.
- Don’t plant in areas where they could get shaded out by other crops.
- Maintain soil health for best strawberry production.
As long as you take these factors into account, and provide adequate care for both plants, these two garden favorites can be amazing beneficial companions all season!