Thinking that your plants have friends and foes does not come to mind when gardening. However, some plants get along while others are best kept from each other – this is also true for blackberry bushes. Learn about companion planting and which blackberry companion plants are ideal for your garden.
Blackberry bushes are an excellent addition to the yard. They produce fruit year after year, and their berries have a sweet-tart flavor that is irresistible in homemade jam and desserts. Yet, they may be challenging to grow if you plant them under the wrong growing conditions.
Fortunately, there are ways to help your blackberries thrive, and one of the best ways to encourage healthy shrub growth is to grow them near companion plants. A good companion draws beneficial insects and pollinators while deterring harmful pests. Companion planting also means you get to enjoy a diverse selection of plants.
Companion Planting With Blackberries
Learn which food crops make good companions for blackberries, which plants draw pollinators, and which ones are best for keeping destructive insects out of your blackberries. Wild varieties of black berries don’t typically need companion plants unless they are not thriving.
While it is true that black raspberries are a different berry and plant from blackberries, they have some of the same growing needs.
What Are Blackberry Companion Plants?
Growing companion plants together provides you with an array of harvesting options throughout the season, but there are many other reasons for companion planting blackberries with other plants.
Some plants require protection from mid-day full sun, and growing these plants in the shade of tall blackberry brambles is useful. Additionally, some plants draw pollinators to the plants, which are necessary for blackberry fruit formation, and other plants keep harmful pests at bay.
Some plants are ideal as ground cover, acting like mulch and keeping weed growth in check. However, avoid planting blackberries with plants that spread or are heavy feeders. If you have some bare-root plants, you should plant blackberries in early spring or late fall for the best success.
Companion Planting Blackberries With Food Crops
There are several good companions if you wish to produce organic food with your blackberry shrubs. Find out what to grow with blackberries in a fruit or vegetable garden.
There are many food crop options for blackberry bush companion planting; some may share a trellis. Blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, and grapes desire the same growing conditions as blackberries, and beans and peas fix nitrogen in the soil.
Avoid growing broccoli since this veggie hates growing near pole beans. Instead, consider adding low growers that enjoy afternoon shade, like turnips, radishes, and leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, and kohlrabi.
What to Plant With Blackberry Bushes for Pollination
Pollination is necessary for blackberry shrubs to produce fruit. Honey bees and other beneficial insects pollinate the flowers, which ripen into berries. Discover what to plant with blackberry bushes to draw pollinating insects.
Bee balm and chamomile are dainty flowers that draw pollinators to the berry patch, while borage lures honey bees. To grow herbs while attracting beneficial insects, plant chives, thyme, lemon balm, dill, fennel, cilantro or coriander, and oregano.
Blackberry Companion Planting for Pest Control
Many insects cause destruction to blackberry plants, including Japanese beetles, cabbage moths, cucumber beetles, and aphids. Learn what to plant with blackberry bushes to keep these pests at bay.
Plant flowers and herbs around your thorny or thornless blackberry shrubs to keep your berries safe from harmful insects and protect you from their annoying habits while picking fresh berries.
Companion planting blackberries with alliums like chives and leeks repels Japanese beetles and spider mites. Mosquitoes hate marigolds, yarrow, parsley, and marigolds. Hyssop deters cabbage moths and flea beetles, while tansy keeps cucumber beetles, flies, and ants away. Nasturtiums repel everything from whiteflies and squash bugs to aphids and cabbage loopers.
Growing fruit trees and fruiting shrubs is rewarding. There’s nothing quite like harvesting blackberries at the end of the growing season. Planting blackberry bushes with companions ensures that your plants produce the tastiest berries naturally.
Blackberry companion plants are easy to grow, and adding them to the berry patch ensures you get a bountiful crop, so why not share our blackberry companion planting guide with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook?