If you do it right, carrots are one of those crops that can literally go almost all year long. They can be started super early in the spring, planted successively all summer long and into the fall. You can even over-winter a crop by covering it with heavy mulch in most regions. Because I like to start them throughout the growing season, I like to have a list handy on what plants they do the best with. It helps me to quickly decide whether to replace a crop that has run its course with a quick sowing of carrots.
Here’s the crops I try to keep my carrots next to:
- Tomatoes. There’s literally a whole companion planting book title Carrots Love Tomatoes. I mean, if someone can write a book about it, it must be a match made in heaven. P.S. It’s actually a fantastic gardening book, I own it myself. Fair warning, though, some gardeners believe that while tomatoes might stunt the growth of carrots, they give them better flavor. You’ve been warned.
- Leeks. Leeks repel carrot flies.
- Onion. Onions deter carrot flies by masking the odor of carrots–making carrot flies think there is nothing for them.
- Rosemary. Again, it mask the odor of carrots, deterring carrot flies.
- Sage. Same general principal as Rosemary applies with Sage.
- Chives. Chives improve the flavor of carrots AND mask their odor to deter carrot flies.
- Beans. Beans don’t protect carrots or help them grow, but they make nice quiet neighbors.
- Amaranth. Amaranth loosens the soil as it grows, which basically forges a path for carrots to grow.
- Lettuce. Lettuce can help to loosen the soil and makes a good companion when you sow carrots in cooler weather.
There are plenty of other plants that carrots are more than happy to get along with, but those are some of my favorites. Do YOU have a favorite neighbor for your carrots?