Companion planting for raspberries

Companion planting is a great way to make raspberry plants grow better, stronger, and produce tastier berries.

With a little time, knowledge and care, you will have home-grown raspberries from early summer through to late fall. 

This article will discuss the benefits of companion planting for raspberries as well as how you can implement companion planting in your home garden.

What exactly is companion planting?

Companion planting is the idea that certain plant types work together to promote growth or deter pests from entering their space. 

For example, sage can help ward off aphids while it provides culinary herbs for our kitchen, or potatoes should be planted with marigolds to keep the pests away.

What are the benefits of companion planting for raspberries?

There are several benefits from companion planting that can help your raspberry plants. These include :

More berries

You want the highest possible yield from your raspberry plants to make it worth the cost and time. Companion planting helps result in fuller and bigger plants with fewer pests, meaning a higher yield of berries per plant.

Better soil quality

Companion planting can help improve your soil by adding nitrogen to the ground or nutrients throughout. This results in stronger raspberry plants that can better resist diseases, and better quality, juicier berries

Pest protection

Companion planting will also protect the raspberry plants by adding scent to attract predators of pest insects, which keep away harmful bugs. In the same way planting companion plants with a strong scent such as mint, will repel pests. 

Ground cover

The right companion plants for raspberries can offer valuable ground cover helping to protect from extreme heat and improve water retention. A good example of a cover plant that helps raspberries is marigolds. Growing marigolds in your raspberry patch will attract bees which pollinate flowers and vegetables and help repel pests.

How Can I Best Use Companion Planting for My Raspberries in my Home Garden?

It’s important to know which companion plants work best with each other, that also need the same amount of sunlight or water.

But before you even plant your raspberry bushes, and especially if you have had a previously unsuccessful crop, try preparing the soil first before the raspberry growing season starts, to increase your chances of success. 

This is easily done by mixing in well aged manure or compost into the soil the winter before planting .

Raspberry plants like a sunny spot in the garden and prefer a slightly acid soil. Once they are planted keep them well watered during dry spells.

The plants will also benefit from a good pruning each year when the growing season is over, to ensure your next crop is equally as good the following year.

What easy companion plants can I use with my Raspberry plants in my home garden?

If you want more sweet, tasty berries on your raspberry bush, then try these companion plants. At the same time as these companion plants are beneficial to your raspberry bushes, they are a wonderful addition to your kitchen garden and can be used in a variety of ways!

Companion planting chives to deter pests

Chives are a good companion plant for raspberries. The chive plants resemble the raspberry in growth pattern plus they are a natural pest deterrent. Chives are easy to grow and maintain, and being a perennial they will come back every year. 

Used fresh or dried in recipes such as pesto, quiche and salsa verde, chives have a mild, slightly onion-like flavor that is a great addition to any dish. You can even dry them at home so you can have them on hand all the time.

Chives are also used for flavoring salads such as the iconic French onion salad. They have a light taste which makes them perfect for these dishes! 

Eaten fresh or dried, chives offer nutrients whichever way they are used. Add them to your dishes for a little boost of vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium!

Companion planting strawberries for shade

Strawberries work as a good companion plant for raspberries. The strawberry plants offer plenty of shade and are also tall enough to act as windbreakers.

The strawberries also are high in potassium and magnesium which is good for raspberry plants during the fruit-bearing stage. They contain natural fungicide that can help protect raspberries from mildew and other plant diseases so don’t be afraid to mix.

Many would argue that there is no better way to enjoy strawberries than fresh with nothing added. But by far the most popular way to eat strawberries is with cream and sugar. There are of course endless other ways to enjoy this delicate sweet fruit such as a strawberry shortcake, in a fruit pavlova  or even in a chocolate tart. And if you are looking for something different, you will find that there are few things as refreshing as a strawberry and basil salad.

Mint offers protection against pests

Mint is a good companion plant for raspberries because it helps to repel pests, such as raspberry aphids and Japanese beetles.

And besider being a great companion plant mint also smells great and grows fast. Mint is great used in teas, crushed in juices or as decoration on salads and deserts.

Thyme – repels pests and more

Thyme is a good companion plant for raspberry bushes as it repels many pests while adding a nice scent to the berries and leaves.

This pungent herb helps with the growth of your plants and it does this simply by releasing aromatic oils which can activate other helpful chemicals in raspberries (such as anthocyanin).

Due to a fast growth rate, you will end up with lots of thyme in your garden. It is ideal to use in everyday cooking such as tomato sauces, seasoning beef dishes, and putting on the barbeque while cooking burgers, peppers and steaks.

Onions repel and protect against pests

Onions and other alliums provide a natural insecticide for the growing of raspberry plants.

The alliums act as a repellent for the raspberry plant’s pests, such as aphids. 

Companion planting lavender for help with pollinators

Lavender is a favorite and a herb with many good qualities and uses.

The lavender plants grows fast and can help with fruit production by giving off its scent into the air around your raspberry bush.

This will work wonders for pollinators who come looking for food. Lavender is also good at repelling moths and mosquitos.

Do companion plants really work for raspberries?

When you do it right, companion planting is a great way to get the most out of your raspberries.

And who doesn’t like raspberries in the summer season? Kids and adults alike love to eat them fresh or in a delicious pie.

So if you want to make your raspberry plant stronger and produce more berries, try companion planting!

It’s not just about the raspberries – it’s also what makes for an excellent garden. A healthy garden with diverse plants will provide better pollination, less pests, and a good outdoor environment right on your doorstep.  And with these simple steps you’ll have more berries and be able to enjoy them all summer long!

Meet the author: Mattias is an experienced gardener spending most of his free time on his knees among herbs, plants and garden vegetables. For the past two years he has been sharing gardening projects and how-to tutorials on the NordicLavender website and YouTube channel.