There are twenty seven (27) good companion plants for beets in this list, along with and four (4) bad. Knowing which help and which hinder beet growth will help you achieve the optimum yield.
Beet is a flowering plant species that belongs to the botanical family Amaranthaceae. It is an economically important plant with many different cultivar groups, grown mostly for its taproot, known commonly as beetroot, dinner beet, garden beet, golden beet, red beet or table beet.
The taproot also comes with greens known as beet greens, chard, silver beet or spinach beet. There exists a cultivar group known as the sugar beet which is paramount in the production of table sugar.
Another is mangelwurzel, a fodder or forage cultivar. The leaves of beets are typically eaten as a pot herb. Beets are a part of several African, Asian, Australian, European and North American cuisines.
Some countries within these continents include Australia, Germany, Hungary, India, Lithuania, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine, the USA and other North American countries.
The parts of beet plants (taproot and greens) may be eaten after being cooked by baking, boiling, pickling, roasting, steaming or stir-frying; raw or as an addition to other dishes, including salads and soups.
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Beets provide many nutrients for low amounts of calories. Consuming them may reduce and regulate systolic blood pressure, improve athletic performance, improve gut health, assist with brain health and balance energy intake.
Raw beetroots contain nearly 88% water, 9.5% carbs, about 1.6% protein and trace amounts of fat. They also contain the vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (folate) and C.
Minerals contained in beets include calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. A few of the cultivars of beets include ‘Albino’, ‘Alto’, ‘Boro’, ‘Cylindra’, ‘Early Wonder’, ‘Forono’, ‘Pablo’, ‘Red Ace’, ‘Rubidus’, ‘Solo’, ‘Touchstone Gold’ and ‘Wodan’.
For optimal yield, your beet plants should ideally receive 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day in average to very fertile soil with pH of between 6 and 7. Although slightly alkaline soil can be tolerated, beets do not like acidic soil with pH below 6.
They appreciate good amounts of water and are tolerant of cold. Beets are best planted in early spring or towards the end of summer. At the latest, plant them towards the end of the summer. They can be harvested in 7 to 12 weeks’ time.
It is important to note that the growth of your beets can be slowed by aphids, beet armyworms, beet leafhoppers, blister beetles, click beetles, cutworms, downy mildew, fall webworm moths, flea beetles, leafminers, nematodes and spider mites.
There are several other crops which may be planted with the beets in your garden to encourage their growth, help keep these pests away from them, attract useful insects to them, help the soil with nutrients, maximize garden space or shade them from excess sunlight.
Such grouping for the purpose of sharing benefits is called companion planting. It is a tried and true method, ensuring that crops are grown around other crops that help foster their growth. As the good and bad companion plants are for beets listed below, reasons why they are so are also given.
Good Companion Plants for Beets
Alliums and legumes are two genera of plants that grow well generally with beets, controlling pests and fixing soil nitrogen respectively. However, alliums contain allelochemicals which foster the growth of some crops but cause harm to others.
They can stunt the growth of legumes so avoid growing alliums in an area where you are already growing legumes and vice versa.
Broccoli is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, the cabbage family. It has large, partly developed green flowers that make up its head, stalks, and leaves which are the edible parts of the plant, the main reason it is cultivated.
This vegetable and some other brassicas tend to make good companions for beets. Plants in the cabbage family naturally go well with beets without causing any harm. Cultivating them side by side has benefits for both crops.
As heavy feeders, beets prefer soil that is rich in organic matter. Broccoli provides nitrogen-fixing properties that are beneficial to beets. Also, broccoli does not absorb too many nutrients from the soil which could affect your beets.
Because both plants bear flowers, having them together will attract pollinating birds and insects to that area of your garden. The companionship between beets and broccoli brings advantages to both parties.
2. Brussels Sprouts
Another brassica that serves as a good companion for beets is Brussels sprout. Brussels sprouts are flowering plants in the cabbage family grown for their edible buds. They are green leafy vegetables resembling very small cabbages.
As flowering plants, both Brussels sprouts and beets will benefit from being planted together. They attract insects and animals like several kinds of birds to your garden to help with the reproductive process of pollination.
Although both plants are heavy feeders, requiring quite more nutrients than most plants, Brussels sprouts also fix nitrogen in the soil. For this reason, the stress of this companionship on the soil is reduced.
It will be beneficial to add plants that attract pest predators (like ladybugs and parasitoid wasps) or repel common plant pests to the companionship. This is because both beets and Brussels sprouts can face aphid infestation.
3. Bush Beans
Beans are seeds of several genera of flowering plants that belong to the botanical family Fabaceae. The seeds are then boiled, fried, baked or cooked by some other method and used as vegetables for humans or animals to eat.
There are two kinds of beans: the more compact and low growing kind known as bush beans and the taller one called pole beans. To avoid blocking your beets from sunlight but receive the benefits of beans, plant bush beans.
Beans are good companion plants for beets because they are legumes, plants with nodules in their roots that help fix nitrogen in the soil. They improve the quality of the yield of other plants because they supply nutrients to the soil.
This is especially true of beets because they require a good amount of nitrogen to grow properly. By planting bush beans nearby, they can get this key nutrient without losing sunlight. Beans also provide good ground cover in your garden.
This prevents the water loss that results from evaporation and reduces the growth of weeds. Also, their flowers attract even more pollinators to your garden.
Another brassica that is a good companion plant for beets is cabbage. Cabbage is a flowering biennial plant mostly grown as a vegetable crop for its edible and tightly packed leaves. Leaves are layered and may be white, red, or green.
Cabbage is also a heavy feeder. However, it also provides the beets beside it with the nitrogen they need so much for their optimal growth. These brassicas also release biotoxins that exhibit activity against several soil-borne pathogens.
These toxins show activity against bacteria, nematodes, and fungi, but are not limited to disease-causing agents. They also show activity against several weeds, thereby aiding the growth and health of beets.
Cabbage provides good ground cover so the plant plays a role in erosion and weed control as well. It is able to capture the nitrogen in the soil after it is harvested.
Carrots are good companion plants for beets. They are edible root vegetables with typically orange taproots and green leaves at the top. Cultivars in white, yellow, red, purple and black also exist, with this root typically tapering.
These edible root veggies can enhance the flavor of other crops around it. They can also maximize the space in your garden. Both beets and carrots are however susceptible to attacks from insects like aphids.
A solution is to grow herbs like mint and rosemary alongside this pair to control pests. Both of these herbs are good repellents of carrot root flies, with strong aromas that mask the scent of growing carrots.
Known by other names like catmint, catswort, and catwort, catnip is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae, the mint family. It is used to make tea and for cats, which have a hyperactive reaction to it.
Catnip is also a good companion plant for beets. However, it is a drought-resistant plant. Adequate spacing can help with the problem of disproportionate water needs. Catnip can take some more water provided the soil is not soggy.
This aromatic herb is great for repelling pests, like aphids, cabbage worms, Colorado potato beetles, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, mice, squash bugs and voles. Pollinators like butterflies are attracted too.
The whole idea of companion planting is to grow your plants comfortably and possibly increase yield. These objectives are achieved by pairing catnip and beets. Pests are kept away, beneficial insects are attracted; this makes for a better harvest.
Cauliflower is another flowering plant in the Brassicaceae family, cultivated for its partially developed flowers, referred to as the head or “curd”. The head is edible and mostly in the colors white, yellow, green, orange, brown or purple.
Just as other brassicas like broccoli and cabbage naturally go well with beets in the garden bed, cauliflower also makes a great companion for beets. It can help with some amount of pest control while serving as ground cover.
Some brassicas like cauliflower are known to inconsistently release chemical compounds called biotoxins that may be toxic to some soil borne pathogens and pests. This includes nematodes, fungi and some weeds.
This will help prevent attacks from some pests attracted to beets. Cauliflower captures nitrogen in the soil and helps to control erosion by providing good ground cover.
Celery is a marshland plant grown to be consumed as a vegetable. Its leaves and stalks may be used in cooking but this depends on the variety and location of the plant. It is a very good companion plant for beets
This plant has aromatic leaves that deter several pests while also drawing useful insects like lacewings, ladybugs, parasitoid wasps and other parasites of aphids to your plant. It attracts hummingbirds, which are pest predators too.
Despite the fact that this plant is a water hog (one that needs a lot of water to grow properly), celery leaves enough nutrients in the soil for your beets.
Chives are flowering plants in the genus Allium, to which some other aromatic plants like garlic, onions and shallots also belong. They are cultivated for the edible leaves and flowers they produce, which are then used to season food.
They are good companions for beets for their effectiveness at controlling pests. Chives and other alliums contain sulfur, which is the reason for their strong smell which insects are averse to.
Sulfur is also a natural antibacterial compound and fungicide, so chives are able to control both pests and diseases. They deter aphids, flea beetles, mites, deer, gophers, groundhogs and rabbits.
All flowering plants need pollination for their reproduction. They benefit when other flowering plants are grown beside them. Chives have stunning purple-pink flowers that attract insects to aid pollination and control pests.
These flowers attract bees, parasitoid wasps and predators of common pests of garden crops, like aphids. Chives can also prevent soil erosion with their dense roots that help your soil stay in place.
Because the roots of chive plants spread very fast, consider using a physical barrier in the soil. This ensures that chives do not dominate the area to the detriment of your beets.
Corn or maize is a species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the grass family Poaceae or Gramineae. Its leafy stalk produces separate inflorescences known as ears. When fertilized, these ears yield fruits, which are the seeds.
This plant shares the growth needs of beets; they both thrive in full sun and moist, nutrient-rich soil. Corn is a good companion plant for beets because they grow very well and thrive in similar conditions.
Garlic is a flowering plant in the genus Allium, just like chives, leeks, onions, shallots and some other aromatic plants. It has a pungent bulb divided into cloves which is used to season food or make an oil sprayed to deter pests.
As an allium, garlic is a very good companion plant for beets. The first reason is that it contains sulfur. Sulfur is a substance that can help to protect crops from several fungal diseases and it gives the plant its strong scent.
With this strong scent, garlic repels aphids, ants, deer, leaf beetles, rabbits, squirrels, weevils, whiteflies and many other pests from destroying your beets. Also, garlic can improve the flavor of your beets if they are grown side by side.
Hyssop is a herbaceous flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae. It has aromatic, pungent leaves. The parts that grow above the soil may be used in the making of perfumes and herbal medicine or as a seasoning for culinary purposes.
A very useful companion plant, hyssop attracts useful insects that aid pollination and feed on pests of beets. These flowers are most commonly purple but there are some individuals which have white or pink flowers.
They attract pollinating and predatory insects like bees, beetles, butterflies, hoverflies and parasitoid wasps. Most importantly, hyssop produces aromatic oils that repel cabbage moth larvae, flea beetles and slugs.
When planted densely, hyssop serves as ground cover. It shields the soil from excess evaporation, retaining its water content. It also prevents the growth of weeds which can compete with your beets for and deplete nutrients in the soil.
Another good companion for beets belonging to the family Brassicaceae is kale. Kale, also called leaf cabbage, is a flowering plant in with edible green or purple leaves that do not form a central head. Its leaves may be eaten or ornamental.
Kale and beet naturally go well beside each other in the garden. Kale provides ground cover and aids pest control. This makes it a good companion plant for beets.
Brassicas release some amounts of biotoxins, which are chemical compounds that may be toxic to several pathogens and pests that live in the soil. This means that kale can help protect beets from fungi, nematodes and some weeds.
Erosion and presence of weeds are some consequences of having open, bare soil in your garden. These problems can be solved or at least curbed by the good ground cover that kale provides when planted near beet.
Kale can capture nitrogen remaining in the soil after harvest, and this nutrient is very important for the development of your beets.
Kohlrabi is a cultivar of wild cabbage, also known as German turnip. This vegetable has edible leafy greens, thin stems and yellow flowers. It is nearly spherical in shape with more flesh than skin and tastes like cabbage.
This is another brassica that provides good companionship for beet. Brassicas like kale provide good ground cover for rhubarb, reducing the chances of erosion and weed growth.
They aid pest and disease control by releasing biotoxins into the soil. They are also able to capture nitrogen within the soil to benefit beets.
The leek is another flowering plant within the genus Allium. It possesses a large and slender white bulb and flat dark green leaves that overlap. Like other pungent members of its family named in this article, it is used in cooking.
Leeks, like other alliums, are some of the best companion plants for beets. They can help to repel some of the natural predators of this plant, including aphids, flea beetles, deer, gophers, groundhogs, rabbits and other foraging rodents.
The plants within the genus Allium possess sulfur. This sulfur content lends them their pungent smell, which most insects hate, and their strong, sharp and stinging taste, which deer and rodents hate.
Also grown for its stem and seeds, lettuce is a flowering annual plant in the daisy family Asteraceae mostly cultivated for its leaves and used as a leaf vegetable. It is most often eaten in salads but may be added into other foods.
Lettuce is a very good companion plant for beets. Its roots are shallow so they do not compete for nutrients with beets’ deep taproots. The daisy family plant can also maximize your garden space.
It is compact and can be planted between beets to fill up empty spaces in your garden. This also retains soil moisture by preventing loss of water through evaporation. In hotter months, it stops the soil from overheating the soil.
Both lettuce and beets are flowering plants and so the process of pollination will be fostered. Flowers attract beneficial insects and birds which can help with the reproductive process of the plants.
A marigold is a herbaceous flowering plant with green, pinnate leaves and brightly colored flowers. These attractive flowers are most popularly yellow but they may come in other colors like white, yellow, orange or golden.
Marigolds are good companion plants for beets. They have attractive flowers which are able to attract pollinators and other useful insects to your beets. These other insects may be natural predators of many pests that attack garden crops.
When planted beside beets, marigolds can serve as trap crops. They can attract pests like slugs that would otherwise affect your beets to themselves thereby preserving your beets.
Mint is a genus of about sixty aromatic herbaceous flowering plants in the biological family Lamiaceae. Most plants in this genus are perennial, with several species, cultivars and hybrids, like peppermint, which is really good for rhubarb.
Growing beets with mint goes a long way deterring many plants pests within the area. The very strong scent of mint keeps common pests away from your garden, including aphids, cabbage moths and flea beetles.
Peppermint is one of the best varieties of mint for repelling pests. The herb does not only keep harmful insects away, it also draws beneficial ones towards it. The only problem may be that mint is invasive and needs to be controlled.
To do this, plant mint in its own separate pot or vessel. By doing so, its fast growing horizontal roots do not compete with and dominate the beet plants next to it.
An onion a flowering plant in the genus Allium with bluish green leaves and a bulb at its base. This bulb is made up of shortened underground stems and fleshy modified leaves. Onion is the most widely cultivated vegetable in its genus.
Onions are also good companion plants for beets because they have shallow roots that do not compete for nutrients with its deep taproots. They are also able to deter several pests like aphids, beetles, deer, rabbits, weevils and whiteflies.
As alliums, they also have natural fungicidal properties that can help protect beets from several fungal diseases. They can break up tough clumps of soil and give beets’ roots space to grow in the deeper layers of earth.
It is also believed that the presence of onions improves the taste of beets and other plants around when they are grown side by side.
A pea plant is an annual herbaceous flowering plant in the biological family Fabaceae. Also known as garden pea, the plant is cultivated in various parts of the world for its edible seeds, peas. It is not a vegetable but it is cooked as such.
The plant is leguminous, meaning that it benefits your beets in about the same way other legumes listed above do. It helps fix nitrogen in the soil, serves as a cover crop and may be used as mulch after it is grown.
Peas aid the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates that other plants can absorb and use. Nitrogen aids the growth of the plants’ leaves which play an important role in photosynthesis.
As a cover crop, the pea plant prevents erosion, conserves water in the soil, discourages the growth of weeds and stops the spread of pests and diseases. You can mulch it after growing it to release more nitrogen and protect the soil from water loss and excessive sunlight or rainfall.
A radish is a root vegetable belonging to the biological family Brassicaceae, the cabbage family. Its roots are edible and so are the leafy greens atop them. They may be eaten raw, which they mostly are, or cooked.
Radishes are good companions for your beets. Planting them around helps to loosen the soil surrounding beets. This allows the plants more room to absorb the water and nutrients that they need a large quantity of.
They mature quickly but while they are growing, they serve as ground cover, help suppress weeds, and are harvested before your beet needs the space to spread more.
Because both plants are flowering crops, they help improve the growth and vigor of each other. By their flowers, both radishes and beets can attract pollinators to the garden.
This is a woody flowering perennial plant belonging to the mint family Lamiaceae. The aromatic herb has thin, fragrant, evergreen and needle-like leaves. Owing to the oil it yields, it is aromatic, grown for use in both medicine and cooking.
Rosemary produces tiny, beautiful flowers when in bloom. These attract pollinators to your garden, including several kinds of bees like bumble bees, honey bees, mason bees and mining bees.
Rosemary’s flowers also attract butterflies and other flies that feed on nectar to help with pollination, aiding the reproduction of plants. It also aids pest control.
With its woody scent, the plant is able to deter cabbage moths, carrot flies, mosquitoes and several other kinds of flies. It also has relatively short roots that do not compete with your beet’s deep roots for nutrients.
Also known as neep, swede, Swedish turnip or turnip, rutabaga is a root vegetable belonging to the cabbage family Brassicaceae. It originated as a hybrid between the cabbage and the turnip. It has edible roots and leaves.
Companionship between rutabagas and beets is beneficial to both. Brassicas generally scavenge for nitrogen within the soil and make it available to plants beside them. This one is no different and can foster the growth of beets.
Rutabagas also release biotoxins that exhibit activity against several soil borne pathogens (bacteria, fungi and nematodes) and weeds. Beets can provide the soil with manganese and iron should their rich leaves fall into the soil.
Scallions or green onions in the genus Allium derived from various species in the genus Allium. They are typically milder in taste than other alliums and lack a fully developed bulb. Their hollow, tubular leaves are eaten cooked or raw as a vegetable.
Like other members of their genus, scallions are important for the purpose of pest control, they may improve the flavor of your beets and they attract various useful animals like pest predators and pollinators.
The shallot is a variety or cultivar of the onion. It was once on its own, classified as a separate species, but because the difference between shallots and common onions was too small for grouping as a separate species, both were merged.
As an allium, the shallot contains a lot of sulfur and so helps repel aphids, cucumber beetles, deer, rabbits and other insects or rodents. It may add to the flavor of beets while attracting beneficial insects.
Thyme is an aromatic evergreen herbaceous plant in the mint family Lamiaceae. It is a perennial flowering plant closely related to mint, oregano and sage. It is yet another good companion plant for beets.
A herb like this one with a very strong scent may serve as a repellent for various insect and animal pests that attack beets and other garden crops. Thyme not only keeps pests away; it is able to attract beneficial animals like pollinators to the area.
Planting thyme next to also helps prevent root rot in wet soil. Root rot is caused by a fungus in the soil. Thyme has antifungal properties, as it contains thymol and carvacrol which make it suitable for preventing this fungal disease.
A turnip or white turnip is a flowering plant in the cabbage family Brassicaceae. This root vegetable is commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its edible, white and fleshy taproot which may be eaten raw or cooked.
Turnips are able to keep some pests away from your garden and control some diseases by releasing biotoxins into the soil. Biotoxins are chemical compounds that are toxic to some soil borne pathogens and pests.
These brassicas are also able to capture nitrogen remaining in the soil after harvest to benefit beets. In return, beets can give back manganese and iron should their leaves fall.
Bad Companion Plants for Beets
Fennel is a species of perennial flowering plants in the carrot family Apiaceae. The hardy plants are used as herbs. Their flowers are yellow and their leaves feathery. This is a bad companion plant for beets.
This plant possesses beautiful yellow flowers that can attract useful insects to your garden, and your beets, like butterflies which are agents of pollination. They also bring parasitoid wasps and ladybugs to the garden.
Despite the fact that fennel is a very good companion to those plants it agrees with, it has serious detriment to the health of your beets.
Fennel is an allelopathic plant, a plant that produces some allelochemicals. Allelochemicals are biochemicals that affect the growth processes (like germination and reproduction) and survival of other organisms negatively or positively.
The allelochemicals that fennel produces make it undesirable for companionship with many other plants, like beets, as they tend to have negative effects on and inhibit the growth of such crops.
2. Field Mustard
Field mustard, keblock or bird’s rape is a subspecies of a plant species in the cabbage family Brassicaceae. This plant is an oilseed used to make food grade oil called canola oil and non-food oil called colza oil.
Besides being used to make oil, the leaves of this plant, in their younger stages, may be eaten raw as leaf vegetables but older leaves are cooked. Its taproot and seeds are also edible.
Field mustard is notorious for its depletion of nutrients in the soil around beets. Should you plant these two together, you would notice that your beets will produce low yields, so avoid this.
3. Pole Beans
Pole beans, runner beans, butter beans, scarlet runner beans or multiflora beans are flowering plants in the pea or legume family Fabaceae. They are grown both as food plants and as ornamental plants.
Deapite the fact that pole beans are leguminous plants and legumes are beneficial to the soil (by converting atmospheric nitrogen into forms that plants can easily absorb), do not plant them with your beets.
Pole beans end up giving your beets excess nitrogen and this results in beet plants with large leaves and little taproots. Pole beans and beets also slow and inhibit the growth of each other.
4. Swiss Chard
Also known as beet spinach, chard, leaf beet, perpetual spinach or silver beet, Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable of the same species as beets. It is cultivated for its leaves and stalks which are usually cooked and eaten.
Avoid growing beets and Swiss chard together as they are susceptible to the same kinds of pests. Diseases can also be easily spread in that area if they are grown together. For this reason, the growth of both plants can be significantly slowed.
What grows good with beets?
Generally, alliums, brassicas (apart from field mustard and Swiss chard), herbs in the mint family and legumes (besides pole beans) grow well with beets.
What herbs do beets grow well with?
Some aromatic herbs that beets grow well with are catnip, hyssop, mint, rosemary and thyme.
Can beets and onions be planted together?
Yes, beets and onions can and should be planted together. As alliums, onions have a pungent smell that keeps pests away, high sulfur content that can kill pathogens in the soil and the ability to make your beets taste better.
Beet is a flowering plant species that belongs to the botanical family Amaranthaceae. These companion plants for beets listed and explained above are the best twenty seven (27) good and worst four (4) bad out there.
There are several varieties and cultivars of beets. The taproot and greens of the plant may be eaten after being cooked by baking, boiling, pickling, roasting, steaming or stir-frying; raw or as an addition to other dishes, including salads and soups.
Beets contain the vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (folate) and C. They also provide these minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
In addition to the many nutrients they contain, beets are high in water, which makes up nearly 88% of their content. They also have a good carbohydrate content, smaller protein, and trace amounts of fat.
For the best results, plant your beets in average to very fertile soil with a pH of between 6 and 7. Although beets can tolerate slightly alkaline soil, they do not like acidic soil with a pH below 6. Beet plants should ideally receive 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
They are cold tolerant plants that need a lot of moisture. Beets are best planted in early spring or towards the end of summer. At the latest, plant them towards the end of the summer. They can be harvested in 7 to 12 weeks’ time.
Alliums and legumes are both good kinds of plants to grow with your beets. However, they do not like to grow with each other. For this reason, avoid growing plants in the genus Allium and those in the family Fabaceae with your beets at the same time.
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