by Jennifer Poindexter
If someone were to ask you which plant you’d recommend adding to your garden, what would you say? For me, I’d encourage people to grow more radishes.
Why? Because they can be grown using a variety of gardening methods, require very little from you as the gardener, and can produce a harvest in a matter of weeks.
However, I’d also encourage companion planting among radishes to get the most bang for your buck within your garden.
If you’re unsure of which crops make the best companions, don’t worry. I’m going to share which plants should have a space in your radish bed.
Here’s what you should know when companion planting with radishes:
Benefits of Companion Planting with Radishes
When growing radishes, you might wonder what the benefits of companion planting are. These are a few reasons you should consider this technique in your garden:
- Companion plants can help keep destructive insects away from the growing area. In some cases, companion plants have the opposite effect. They’ll invite beneficial insects to the area to protect the space and encourage pollination.
- Companion planting can help improve the nutrients in the soil. Some plants naturally place certain nutrients into the soil as they grow. This can benefit the plants growing around them as well.
- There are some companion plants which can improve the taste of crops growing nearby and also encourage faster growth.
- Some plants serve as ground cover, a source of shade for plants that prefer cooler growing temperatures, and some serve as living garden markers.
These are a few reasons why gardeners choose to companion plant around their radishes. Now, let’s discuss which plants make the best companions.
Companion Plants for Radishes
Companion planting has two purposes. One is to plant two items together that can protect or encourage each other to thrive. The other reason is to utilize your garden space effectively.
Peas cover it all. Not only do they have similar growing conditions as radishes, but they’re also nitrogen-fixers which improves the soil where the radishes grow.
When growing radishes and squash together, the squash gets most of the benefit. Squash can be plagued by squash borers. Thankfully, radishes keep this pest away.
If you’re concerned about pests plaguing your squash harvest, throw some radish seeds in the ground and enjoy an additional harvest along with protection of your squash.
3. Leaf lettuce
Leaf lettuce is another fast-growing crop that pairs well with radishes. When you grow leaf lettuce, it can be ready for harvest in approximately one month.
This is perfect because radishes, depending upon variety, can be ready in about the same amount of time. This will allow you to maximize your growing space.
The companion planting relationship between radishes and spinach benefits the spinach more than it does the radish. If you are overwhelmed with leaf miners, plant radishes with your spinach.
They’ll attack the foliage of the radishes. Yet, your radish harvest will be ready before the leaf miners can damage it.
Where radishes are planted and harvested much earlier than other crops, it can be difficult to utilize their growing space throughout the season.
This is where tomatoes come into play. You can plant smaller tomato plants with maturing radishes. Once the radishes are harvested, the tomatoes will take their place.
Radishes enjoy cooler temperatures and sunlight when grown in ideal conditions. Yet, if you wish to extend their growing season, you might want to provide a little extra shade to reduce the heat they’re exposed to.
Eggplant can help you with this by providing the shade radishes need. In return, the radishes help repel pests for the eggplant.
Peppers are much like tomatoes. They shouldn’t be planted outdoors until after all threat of frost is over.
You’ll place pepper seedlings in the ground, while the radishes are maturing. Once you’ve harvested the radishes, the growing space will be used for producing mature peppers.
Have you ever considered adding herbs to your vegetable garden? Some people love this idea and some haven’t tried it yet.
If you’re in the market for a companion plant for radishes, rosemary could be it. This herb produces a scent that repels many pests. Rosemary is especially known for deterring carrot flies and flea beetles.
Nasturtiums are a scented flower that’s frequently used as a companion plant. Its scent is great for deterring some pests.
However, it’s also used as a sacrificial flower in some cases. Aphids love nasturtiums. By allowing the pests to eat the flower, it’s less likely they’ll attack your other crops.
Borage is another gorgeous flower. Not only does it add charm to your growing location, but it also invites pollinators to your growing space.
As if this isn’t enough, since pollinators will greatly boost your harvest, they also help deter unwanted pests from your growing space.
The allium family includes crops such as leeks, garlic, shallots, and onions. These plants are frequently used as companion crops for multiple reasons.
One reason is their scent is great for keeping unwanted pests at bay. Another reason is garlic infuses sulfur into the soil. This is an antifungal property that protects your plants from illness.
Though radishes need an equal amount of nitrogen and phosphorus, it’s important that the soil contains both.
If you’re concerned that your soil is lacking nitrogen, grow beans with your radishes. They’re known as nitrogen-fixers and are a great way to keep the nutrients balanced in your soil.
Chervil is an herb that isn’t as widely known as some. If you wish to add this non-traditional herb to your garden, consider growing it near radishes.
This herb is known for repelling aphids. It’s also great for improving both the taste and texture of the radish.
Some people might be concerned about planting root vegetables side by side. You might wonder if they’d compete for space or nutrients.
You won’t need to worry about this when growing parsnips and radishes together. The parsnip is wonderful for attracting the beneficial ladybug. This insect is great for keeping unwanted pests away.
Mint is a companion plant you should grow with caution. Though it is beneficial, it can also spread and become borderline invasive if not tended to regularly.
In most cases, it’s recommended to grow mint in a container. However, once you have mint in a controlled environment, plant it near your radishes. The scent of this herb is great for keeping deer away from your crops.
Dill is another herb you should consider growing near radishes. Though it has a long taproot, it shouldn’t compete for space with the radish.
Instead, the scent dill produces is a benefit to the radish as it attracts beneficial insects to the area. If your garden has a pest problem, consider protecting your radishes by growing this herb.
Our final companion plant for radishes is the marigold. Many people grow marigolds in their growing areas because of the colorful blooms.
The bright colors of this flower naturally attract pollinators to the space. Yet, marigolds are also great for deterring unwanted pests with their scent.
Plants to Avoid Growing Near Radishes
I never like to leave readers with a list of plants that work well with a crop without giving them insight into those which should be grown with caution. In the case of radishes, there aren’t many plants to avoid.
Some gardeners say you should avoid growing radishes with plants from the brassica family. The concern is that radishes attract flea beetles which can ultimately harm brassica crops.
However, brassica crops are great for increasing nutrients in the soil that radishes need.
Therefore, you should weigh the pros and cons of this situation and see what works for your particular growing area before marking these plants off the list completely.
Another plant to avoid growing near radishes is hyssop. This is a flowering herb which can stop your radishes from growing.
Now that you understand which growing combinations work best with radishes, it’s time to put it into action.
Take these tips into consideration when picking the layout for your garden. In time, you could have healthy plants and a booming harvest due to your forethought in planning your growing space.