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Potato Companion Plants

Should You Start Potatoes Indoors?

With the proper care, potatoes can grow well indoors. Plant seed potatoes that have sprouted in a deep pot with slightly acidic soil (pH of 4.8-6.0). Give 8–10 hours a day of bright light. Although, Potatoes grown directly into the ground will provide a better yield by weight than those grown in containers.

Do You Sprout Potatoes in Dark or Light?

Yes, potatoes do sprout in the dark, but if you’re chitting potatoes (sprouting prior to planting), it’s best to do so in a light location that’s cool yet frost-free. Light is necessary for potatoes to grow healthy and strong.

What Do You Add to Soil Before Planting Potatoes?

Potatoes require well-drained soil. (They will rot under prolonged cold, wet conditions.) If your soil is poorly drained or a heavy clay, consider using raised beds. Adding organic matter (compost, cover crops, well-rotted manure or leaves) is a good way to improve soil before growing potatoes.

What Should I Plant Nearby to Ensure Success?

Knowing what are good neighbors in your garden is a vital part of both planning and success when it comes to gardening. Potatoes are no exception to this. While we know that they like to be moved around each year in order to promote a healthy crop, it is also important to know who they prefer to live next door to and how to best promote healthy conditions for everything involved as well as know what plants to avoid having nearby.

Rows of Green Vegetables

Plants to Avoid Placing Near Potatoes Include:

Before knowing what to plant near potatoes, consider those that will not do well with them. Because potatoes need a lot of sunlight, nutrients and a steady amount of water, certain plants will impede their success by being planted next to potatoes. Whether it is because they are susceptible to the same diseases and pests or because they may influence the flavor of your potato crop, the following is a list of bad neighbors:

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Pumpkins/Squash
  • Onions
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Turnips

Good Neighbor Plants for Potatoes Include:

Knowing what not to plant near your potatoes is certainly important, however knowing the comprehensive list of what does work well nearby, opens up a myriad of planting options for your garden. Potatoes are deep-rooting plants, thus many gardeners prefer to pair them with plants that will not interfere with their root system. Excellent choices in that vein would include:

  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Parsley

Other plants to include on this list are those that are believed to enhance the flavor profile of the potatoes such as:

  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Beans

And still, other plants are considered good neighbors because they help to increase the nitrogen level of the soil, aiding in the success of the potato crop. Plants that fit this description include:

  • Beans
  • Legumes

While potatoes do not generally like to compete with other root crops, horseradish is actually considered an excellent companion plant for potatoes. Because it is a natural pest and disease repellent, horseradish aids in a healthy potato crop as well as lending a helping hand with soil pH.

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Woman Planting Potatoes in a garden

Do Flowers and Herbs Make Good Companion Plants for Potatoes?

While basil and parsley already made the list previously, several other flowers and herbs make the cut when it comes to companion planting for potatoes. Often, a variety of nearby herbs and flowers attract helpful bugs and repel harmful ones (isn’t Mother Nature brilliant in that way!). The best flower and herb options near potatoes are:

  • Chamomile
  • Marigold
  • Coriander
  • Catnip
  • Thyme
  • Petunias
  • Nasturtium

Not only will these companion flowers and herbs aid in a healthy and bountiful potato crop, they will add visual appeal and several savory herb options to your garden.

Always remember that gardening is as much trial and error as it is expertise and experience. You may find that one companion plant does very well with your potato crop one year, and the next year it fails. Trying different rotations and plans every year will increase the potential for success as well as keep your soil healthy year after year.

Gardens are constantly teaching us if we are paying attention, we learn something new every day!

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