18 Carrot Companion Plants for a More Bountiful Crop

<p>Dimitrie Ragar / 500px / Getty Images</p>

Dimitrie Ragar / 500px / Getty Images

Carrots (Daucus carota) are a favorite vegetable crop of home gardeners thanks to their easy-to-grow nature, ability to thrive in both garden beds and containers, and their abundant harvest from early spring through fall.

To make sure they thrive throughout every season, it's best to plant them alongside companion plants that will enhance their growth and protect them from pests. Whether it's beets in the spring, tomatoes in the summer, or leeks in the fall, there's a plant that can accompany carrots nearly year-round.

Here are the 18 best companion plants to help your carrots thrive, along with a few that you should avoid planting.

What Is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is when you strategically plant two vegetables, herbs, flowers, or other plants together with the intention of the two plants helping each other grow. This could be because they require complementary nutrients to grow, they deter pests that often attach the other plant, or they enhance each other's flavor.


<p>Jojan/Flickr/CC BY 2.0</p>

Jojan/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Carrots break up the soil for lettuce's shallow roots, making these two perfect companions for a salad-ready garden. Carrots also attract lacewings and ladybugs, both of which eat the aphids that attack lettuce.

  • Name: Lettuce, garden lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Light: Full sun, partial sun

  • Soil: Loamy, rich, well-drained


<p>rootstocks / Getty Images</p>

rootstocks / Getty Images

Onions deter many of the pests that threaten carrots, including the aptly named carrot fly. The two are both root vegetables, but they won't compete for soil nutrients or space.

  • Name: Onion (Allium cepa)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-10

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Loamy, well-drained, neutral


<p>Ravinder Kumar / Getty Images</p>

Ravinder Kumar / Getty Images

If you want sweeter, more delicious carrots, then marigolds will do the trick. Planting these two together increases the sugar and carotenoid in carrots. Plus, marigolds will repel carrot rust flies and carrot psyllids.

  • Name: Marigold (Tagetes spp.)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Moist, well-drained


<p>Vasin Hirunwiwatwong / Getty Images</p>

Vasin Hirunwiwatwong / Getty Images

Carrots need shade during the heat of summer, and, with the help of leafy bell peppers, they can find that relief from the sun. It's a mutually beneficial relationship, because carrots help loosen the soil for pepper's roots to take hold.

  • Name: Zucchini (Capsicum annuum)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-11

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Fertile loam, neutral


<p>annick vanderschelden photography / Getty Images</p>

annick vanderschelden photography / Getty Images

Humans may love the savory smell of oregano, but bugs don't feel the same way. Oregano's herbal odor repels nematodes, carrot root flies, and rust flies, all of which will attack carrots if given the opportunity.

  • Name: Oregano (Origanum spp.)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-10

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Well-drained


<p>Helios4Eos / Getty</p>

Helios4Eos / Getty

Carrots' deep roots break up the soil as they make their way below the surface, and they lead the way for tomatoes. This helps nutrients and water make their way through the loosened up soil, encouraging tomato roots to deepen and grow.

  • Name: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-11

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Loamy, well-drained, neutral to acidic


<p>k8 / Flickr /  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</p> Cilantro is easy to grow in a container or in your herb garden.

k8 / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Cilantro is easy to grow in a container or in your herb garden.

While many gardeners don't want their cilantro to bloom, it makes an excellent companion plant for carrots when it's allowed to flower. Its delicate white flowers will attract insects, including ladybugs, that will prey on carrot rust fly, aphids, nematodes, and carrot psyllids.

  • Name: Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Light: Full sun to partial sun

  • Soil: Loamy, moist, well-drained, acidic


<p>Jena Ardell / Getty Images</p>

Jena Ardell / Getty Images

Rosemary's strong herbaceous smell will repel carrot flies and other pests from your garden, while carrots will help loosen the soil so rosemary's roots can take hold easily in your garden.

  • Name: Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 8-10

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Sandy, loamy, well-drained, acidic to neutral


<p>Jasenka Arbanas / Getty Images</p>

Jasenka Arbanas / Getty Images

Planting chives near carrots is a win-win for the crunchy root vegetable. Chives will enhance both the texture and taste of carrots while also repelling pests with their pungent onion smell.

  • Name: Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

  • Light: Full sun, light shade

  • Soil: Loamy, sandy


<p>The Spruce / Randi Rhoades</p>

The Spruce / Randi Rhoades

Leeks and carrots are both looking out for each other in the garden, with leeks repelling carrot flies, and carrots repelling leek moths.

  • Name: Leek (Allium ampeloprasum)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Loamy, well-drained


<p>Howard Grill / Getty Images</p>

Howard Grill / Getty Images

Radishes are faster growing than carrots, which makes them one of the few vegetables that actually loosens the soil for carrots rather than the other way around. These two root vegetables make excellent companion plants all summer long.

  • Name: Radish (Raphanus sativus)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Loamy, sandy, moist, well-drained, acidic, neutral


<p>Image Source / Getty Images</p>

Image Source / Getty Images

Beets and carrots grow together like two peas in a pod. These two root vegetables can both thrive in containers, making them an excellent choice for a small space gardener, especially since they have similar light, water, and soil requirements.

  • Name: Beet (Beta vulgaris)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Light: Full sun to partial sun

  • Soil: Loamy, sandy, silt, moist, well-drained, neutral

Bush Beans

<p>brytta / Getty Images</p>

brytta / Getty Images

Bush beans are low maintenance plants that won't infringe on carrot's growth and will actually help it. They help add organic nutrients into the soil, creating a richer environment for carrots.

  • Name: Bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-10

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Loamy, slightly acidic to neutral


<p>John Burke / Getty Images</p>

John Burke / Getty Images

Turnips do well in the same partial shade, cooler conditions where carrots thrive, and the spicy fragrance of their leaves can help keep pests at bay.

  • Name: Turnip (Brassica rapa)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-9

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Rich, well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral


<p>undefined undefined / Getty Images</p>

undefined undefined / Getty Images

Carrots and cabbage have a preference for cooler temperatures in common, yet their growing patterns are completely different, which is why they're great companions. Cabbage's shallow roots are an ideal match for carrot's deep roots, and they don't attract the same pests.

  • Name: Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Loamy, well-drained, acidic to neutral


<p>Vaivirga / Getty Images</p>

Vaivirga / Getty Images

Spinach is another plant with a more shallow root system that is an excellent accompaniment to carrots in the garden. Spinach also grows well in containers, so if you have a large container you'd like to turn into a vegetable garden, carrots and spinach are a good place to start.

  • Name: Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Light: Full sun, partial sun

  • Soil: Loamy, moist, well-drained


<p>Daniela Duncan / Getty Images</p>

Daniela Duncan / Getty Images

The woody, earthy aroma of sage is delicious with carrots in fall, but it's also a perfect pairing in the garden. The smell of sage will deter pesky and destructive carrot rust flies.

  • Name: Sage (Salvia officinalis)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-10

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Loamy, sandy, well-drained, acidic, neutral


<p>Garsya / Getty Images</p>

Garsya / Getty Images

Cucumbers take up a lot of space in the garden, but they also leave a lot of space, particularly as their vines reach upwards. Pairing them with low-growing carrots helps cover ground area and prevent weeds from taking over.

  • Name: Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Light: Full sun

  • Soil: Moist, well-drained

What Not to Grow With Carrots

Plants that require high levels of phosphorus to thrive will not do well with carrots and will compete for nutrients in the ground. A few of the plants not to grow with carrots include:

  • Potatoes

  • Parsnips

  • Dill

  • Celery

  • Zucchini

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you plant zucchinis next to carrots in the garden?

In theory, because zucchinis have shallow root systems, while carrots grow deep into the ground, they could do well together. However, they have different soil and water requirements, which means they won't thrive in the same conditions.

Can you plant marigolds next to carrots?

Marigolds have multiple benefits for carrots, including deterring pests that attack carrots, like the carrot rust fly and the carrot psyllid. Marigolds also help sweeten the flavor of carrots, by increasing both sugar and carotenoid in their roots.

Read Next: When Is the Right Time to Plant Carrots? Find Out Based on Your Zone

Read the original article on The Spruce.