The Benefits Of Planting Onions And Strawberries Side-By-Side

If you've never heard of companion planting before you might be surprised to read that onions and strawberries can benefit from being planted side-by-side — after all, they're not foods we'd usually associate with each other in the kitchen! However, companion planting is all about balance in the garden, not on your plate. The idea is that if you place certain plants next to each other they can benefit in all sorts of ways, from increased pollination to deterring pests and keeping disease at bay. Onions have a strong scent, which makes them particularly good for cloaking more appetizing plants nearby, like strawberries, that are likely to be eaten by insects.

Plants with fruits tend to be even more susceptible to insects and pests – like pesky fruit aphids that love to feed off the sap. There are several companion plants that will get along with your strawberries, such as asparagus and dill, but when strawberries and onions are planted together they provide numerous benefits to each other.

How to plant onions and strawberries together

You'll want to select what type of onion to plant alongside your strawberries. Different kinds of onions possess the qualities you need — with pungency reaching the top of the list as an effective feature. Spring onions, also known as green onions or scallions are a great choice and might make more sense when it comes to harvesting. Though small, salad onions still pack a punch when it comes to helping mask the sweet aroma of strawberries from foraging bugs.

When planning how to plant your patch onions and strawberries both thrive in the same environment. They both need well-draining soil and full sun, and they can both be planted together in early spring. The best way to go about planting is to alternate onions and strawberries. This is more easily achieved if you plant your crop in organized, alternating rows. But it will be just as effective if you plant the onions in between strawberry mounds.

Your main aim is to deter creatures that may want to munch on your strawberry plants, with snails, in particular, tending to enjoy feasting on the fruit itself and slugs making holes that attract even more insects, planting your onions around the perimeter of a strawberry patch could act as a protective barrier repelling any crawling critters.

How strawberries benefit onions when planted together

It's not only the strawberries that can benefit from this strategic companion planting combo though. Spring onions can be quite tender when they first start to grow, and the larger strawberry plants with their leafy foliage can act as a sunlight filter. Not only does this protect the delicate onion sprouts themselves, but it also helps to keep the temperature of the ground cool, resulting in healthier and tastier crops.

You may be wondering, as garlic is also a species within the genus Allium along with onions, leek, chives, and shallots, whether these can also act as a beneficial companion plant to strawberries. Not all plants can be planted happily alongside strawberries. For example, broccoli and other members of the cabbage family, suffer when planted in close proximity to strawberries, because the plants compete for nutrients. Luckily, garlic acts in the same way as onions, helping to repel pests with their strong smell so that your strawberries can remain undetected.