Rhubarb is one of the perennial vegetables often associated with the first harvest of the spring season. Companion planting rhubarb has many gains in the garden, so many growers are curious about what to grow with rhubarb plants and exactly what is companion planting for best results. By understanding what to plant with rhubarb, it’s easy to use companion planting to your advantage in your garden.
Companion planting helps avoid pests and yields a more fruitful rhubarb harvest when producing your rhubarb. This tried-and-true gardening technique enriches and protects sensitive plants. To discourage pests, encourage beneficial insects, and boost growth, growers plant specific crops alongside each other.
Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, poisonous to humans (always remove the leaves and discard them before preparing rhubarb stalks), and a natural insect repellent. Rhubarb is an excellent companion plant for almost anything in the vegetable garden as a general protector.
What to Plant with Rhubarb in Your Garden
Companion planting is one of the most common gardening tips as it has a range of beneficial properties, from fixing the soil to keeping pests at bay and making extra produce for you to enjoy. Almost any veggie and all garden plants thrive with companion planting.
There is usually a good companion available to add something to the environment, whether preventing aphids and spider mites or adding nitrogen to the soil. Tomato plants to marigolds flourish with planting partners and work as companion plants when you find them the correct neighbor.
Companion planting rhubarb has many positives for your garden, so it’s well worth knowing what to grow with rhubarb plants.
Growing and Companion Planting Rhubarb
Before worrying about what to plant with rhubarb, first ensure the different types of rhubarb plants are started correctly and are healthy. When to transplant rhubarb is important for future growth. Once the earth thaws, plant your rhubarb during the chilly days of early spring.
Rhubarb produces fruit the first year and for up to eight years, so the best place to plant rhubarb is to plant it in a bright full sun spot where it won’t be disturbed for a long time; a raised bed is ideal. Plant rhubarb 4–6 feet apart to allow it to spread, and mix in a rich organic material like aged compost to improve your local soil.
Apply mulch when the weather warms to keep the soil moist and weeds at bay. Regularly check soil moisture, water if the top inch of soil feels dry, and feed rhubarb regularly with slow-release plant food. When the rhubarb stalks are 12-18 inches tall and have reached their perfect red color in year three, begin harvesting regularly. Usually, rhubarb is best picked from May through July.
Benefits of Companion Planting
Companion planting is a popular gardening practice that has many positives.
Employing companion planting in your garden reduces labor, increases fruit and vegetable output, and offers natural and organic solutions to pest control without expensive and potentially harmful pesticides.
What to Grow with Rhubarb Plants – Brassica Family
The Brassica family – a group of cruciferous veggies – all reap the rewards from rhubarb as a companion plant. Brassica family members coexist well with rhubarb, with neither plant causing the other harm.
Brassicas also enjoy the fact that rhubarb plants deter whiteflies with their scent. Whiteflies are detrimental to Brassica family members. Fortunately, companion planting rhubarb takes care of this issue without pesticides or chemicals.
Rhubarb Companion Planting with Beans
Rhubarb and beans have a symbiotic relationship and offer aid to each other. Rhubarb repels problematic black fly aphids, which ordinarily plague beans. Beans add extra nitrogen to the soil, which rhubarb uses as nourishment.
Planting bush beans or pole beans is a good idea for a companion for rhubarb. However, it is worth remembering that many varieties of beans require a trellis, which may involve extra planning to ensure enough space in the garden.
Plant Strawberries with Rhubarb
Strawberry plants are an excellent choice for what to grow with rhubarb plants. These two fruits make a good companion to each other thanks to their similar growing requirements. Rhubarb plants are great companion plants for strawberries, as rhubarb and strawberries are harvested at similar times and don’t compete with each other for space or nutrients.
Strawberry plants benefit rhubarb by acting as live mulch, spreading to cover the soil and help keep moisture in and weeds out as the rhubarb grows.
Companion planting rhubarb with strawberries makes sense as it allows for an increased yield of fruits from plants cared for in the same way, and their fruits taste great together and are prepared similarly.
Grow Rhubarb with Garlic and Onions
Alliums such as leeks, garlic, and onions are excellent companion plants for rhubarb thanks to their fragrant scent, a deterrent for many pest insects.
Young rhubarb plants are a frequent target for weevils and leaf beetles, and are repelled by the strong smell of garlic or onions. Plant rhubarb with alliums to help reduce pests naturally and enjoy extra crops from your home garden.
Herbs Grow Well with Rhubarb
Herbs are fantastic companion plants with diverse skills, depending on which you choose. Basil improves the taste of the fruit on your tomato plants and repels snails, while borage attracts dozens of beneficial insects and pollinators, including bees, to your garden. Chives, fennel, summer savory, chamomile, and oregano are some of the best herbs for companion planting with rhubarb.
Whether you like garden plants like nasturtiums and columbine, veggies like horseradish, sweet peppers, and turnips, or are passionate about fruit trees; companion planting has something to offer your garden.
Companion planting rhubarb is a fun way to try new crops, enjoy more produce, and reap the natural benefits garden plants and veggies offer one another.
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