Planting sweet potatoes with suitable companion plants will give a better yield.
Sweet potato is considered a staple food because it is high in micronutrients and vitamins consumed by people suffering from vitamin deficiency.
Sweet potatoes and yams are close relatives. In fact, in North America sweet potatoes are considered to be yams even though they are genetically different.
Sweet potatoes are found in many colors ranging from purple to light orange. Sweet potatoes with dark skin color are higher in the concentration of beta-carotene.
Here, I listed sweet potato companion plants that you can grow along with them for better yield.
What is Companion Planting
Companion planting is an old gardening technique where different types of plants grow together either to complement or enhance yield to repel pests and diseases.
Some other reasons, gardeners do companion planting including water conservation, nitrogen fixation, nutrient uptake, pest control, etc. suitable plants will increase productivity and utilize land in the best way.
Sweet Potato Companion Plants
Below are some of the sweet potato companion plants that you can grow along with them. These companion plants are grown for different purposes like pest control, nitrogen fix, water conservation, etc. select plants according to your priority.
Horseradish is a perennial root plant grown for its hot flavor. When this plant is grown with sweet potatoes, it increases the sweet potato’s resistance to pests.
It repels sweet potato pests like potato beetles, potato bugs and whiteflies, caterpillars, and aphids. Horseradish can resist pests due to the presence of a compound called Allyl isothiocyanate, which is also responsible for its hot taste.
There is less scientific evidence that horseradish helps in pest control. However, many gardeners and farmers claim that horseradish is repulsive to pests.
Some evidence also claims that adding horseradish’s organic matter in the sweet potato also repels pests.
Horseradish may be a great sweet potato companion but it’s not recommended to plant near some plants like broccoli, kale, and other members of the family.
Peas are a great companion plant for sweet potatoes. It helps to fix nitrogen in the soil. Sweet potatoes are usually in demand for more nitrogen, so both plants complement each other with nitrogen.
Besides nitrogen fix, many studies have found sweet potato and peas when planted together it increases yield. Planting them together will only give you more sweet potatoes and peas in a season.
Peas also provide sweet potato shade in the hot summer that helps to retain water in the soil more. Sweet potatoes require more water to thrive well.
Peas also repel Colorado beetles that damage sweet potatoes. Growing them together will give you two vegetables at a time.
Radishes are garden filler spaces, they have shallow roots that grow fast. So, if the sweet potatoes are looking to sprout and have nutrients, radishes are a good harvest. Radish repels flea beetles and protects sweet potatoes.
Garlic is a great companion plant, it repels pests from primary plants like sweet potatoes. It distracts pests from its signature pungent aroma and protects companion plants from getting destroyed. Garlic is also effective in the treatment of late blight, even more than fungicides.
Yarrow is a perennial herb that helps its companion by attracting beneficial insects. It is a good companion plant for sweet potatoes and many others. This herb is cut into pieces and laid around the sweet potato plant to deliver the nutrients needed. Yarrow also helps to break down the soil, when sweet potatoes are planted in compacted soil.
Beans offer similar benefits as peas. Both plants work as nitrogen-fixing plants and give shade to sweet potatoes. Planting beans closer to sweet potatoes will also increase sweet potato production.
Corn provides shade to sweet potatoes that help to lower the rate of water evaporation due to which soil remains moist for a longer duration. This leads to enough water supply to the soil, well growth, and eventually good taste.
Thymes attract beneficial insects like Syrphidae or hoverflies that predate aphids and save sweet potatoes. It is considered a good companion for sweet potatoes in plates and the garden. Aphids are plant-killer if your plant suffers from an aphids attack. learn how to get rid of aphids in detail.
Thyme also enhances the flavor of sweet potatoes after the harvest. For better taste sprinkle some of the thyme leaves on the roast sweet potatoes.
Spanish is a good companion plant for sweet potatoes. It has shallow roots that grow earlier than sweet potatoes. Spanish act like ground cover plants when planted along with sweet potatoes.
It retains water in the soil that keeps the soil moist and stops the growth of unwanted weeds around potatoes. These weeds compete with sweet potatoes which reduce their yield.
Allium such as scallions, green onions, spring onions, and chives are good companion plants. They take less space between sweet potato rows due to their small size.
Allium plants are good companion plants for sweet potatoes but they do not do well in legumes which are good companion plants for sweet potatoes as well.
So remember when you are growing plants around sweet potatoes for better yield do not plant allium and legumes side by side.
Grow Basil, it repels insects like hornworms, thrips, and flies, preventing sweet potatoes from getting damaged. It thrives in the moist condition underneath sweet potatoes.
Borage is good in annual vegetable plots, forest gardens, and fruit tree guild. It grows along with many plants including sweet potatoes. Borage helps maintain fertility and retain moisture when cut into pieces and spread the sound to the plant. They are also helpful in attracting a range of insects.
Alyssum when planted near sweet potatoes acts as a ground cover plant. This ground cover retains moisture and gives potatoes enough water. Alyssum is beautiful, improves the garden view. Plue attracts beneficial insects like wasps that predate harmful aphids that attract potatoes.
Lettuce does not directly help in sweet potato growth. But, many gardens and farmers say growing them along with sweet potatoes increases yield. It is a fast-growing plant that grows earlier than sweet potatoes providing them space and nutrients.
Bad Sweet potatoes companion plants
Now, after we discussed all the good companion plants for sweet potatoes. Let some bad companion plant that you should never plant along with sweet potatoes.
Never plant squash with sweet potatoes or any other potato variety. This vegetable competes with potatoes for space, nutrients, and water that regulate growth and do not let them grow to their full potential.
Pumpkins and Gourds
Just like squash, the same thing happens when planted with low-grown plants like pumpkins and gourds. These plants inhabit each other’s growth and compete for space.
When tomatoes and potatoes are grown with each other, there is a greater chance of contracting diseases that harm both plants.
When planted with potatoes, it increases the chance of contracting a fatal disease called potato blight.
Flowers companion plants for sweet potatoes
I have discussed many vegetables and herbs that are suitable to grow with sweet potatoes. Now, let’s see some flower companion plants for sweet potatoes.
- Marigold: Marigold is a beautiful flowering plant. However, it is also used as a crop companion. Marigolds repel pests that get into the roots of the plant and destroy them. It acts like bait for pests and insects distracting from primary plants like sweet potatoes. Marigold is one of the best companion plants for many plants and vegetables. learn how to grow marigolds.
- Nasturtium: This flower also repels pests like Colorado Potato Beetle.
- Sweet Alyssum: the flower attracts beneficial insects like wasps that predate on aphids.
Did I Miss Anything?
Now I’d like to hear from you: which sweet potato companion plant from today’s post are you going to try first? Or maybe, I didn’t mention your favorite plant. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
Before going if you want to grow beautiful flowers in your garden? Then click on these articles also.