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Carrots are a type of root vegetable belonging to the Apiaceae family. These annual plants are known for their long, tapered, orange roots and are an excellent source of vitamin A.

Growing carrots alongside the right companion plants can help deter pests, enhance flavor and growth, and contribute to a healthier garden. Companion planting also improves nutrient absorption, attracts pollinators, and promotes a more balanced ecosystem.

Here are 13 plants that make excellent companions when grown with carrots.

Oregano

Portion of fresh Oregano
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Oregano contains strong essential oils like thymol and carvacrol, which naturally repel nematodes and rust flies. It’s widely believed that oregano enhances the flavor of carrots when planted nearby.

Radishes

Red radish growing in the garden.
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Due to their quick germination and early maturity, radishes are perfect companions. They mature quickly, often in as few as 40 days. Harvesting them helps loosen the soil, which allows carrot roots to grow straight and expand freely. This prevents deformation from compact soil and improves carrot growth conditions. Radishes also help keep carrot flies away, protecting the carrots growing alongside them.

Cilantro

bunch of green and fresh parsley leaves
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Cilantro and carrots thrive under similar conditions, making them the perfect companions. Cilantro has a natural ability to repel various carrot pests. Its deep roots help to improve soil structure and nutrient availability for both plants.

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Lettuce

growing lettuce
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Lettuce benefits from the nutrients carrots pull up from deeper soil layers, enhancing its flavor. Lettuce has shallow roots, and carrots’ deep roots can access nutrients found deep in the soil. The shallow roots of lettuce complement the deeper roots of carrots, creating a synergistic relationship that also includes deterring carrot flies.

Marigolds

marigold plant
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Marigolds are beneficial companions for carrots due to their pest-repellent scent and ability to attract pollinators. They help maintain a pest-free environment and contribute to a balanced garden ecosystem.

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Chives

alliums
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Chives are superb companion plants for carrots. Their strong, pungent scent helps ward off carrot flies. When allowed to flower, chives attract essential pollinators to your garden. This pairing keeps both the chives and carrots healthier and free from pests.

Onions

Onions growing on a garden allotment.
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Planting onions near carrots offers significant benefits. Like chives, the scent of onions helps keep away pests that usually target carrots. This makes onions an excellent companion for co-planting with carrots. This pairing keeps both the alliums and carrots healthier and free from pests. How to Grow Onions

Leek

Display of fresh leeks at the farmers market
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Chives deter pests like aphids and carrot flies with their pungent aroma while attracting beneficial insects, which helps with pollination. Planting chives next to carrots also adds flavor to the carrots and enhances overall garden health.

Sage

sage
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Sage helps protect carrots by repelling carrot flies through its aroma, which masks the scent of carrots. It also enriches the soil, contributing to healthier and more robust carrot growth.

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Rosemary

rosemary
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Rosemary’s strong scent improves the taste of carrots and helps keep harmful pests like aphids and carrot flies at bay. It is an excellent companion for carrots, enhancing flavor while providing natural pest protection.

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes growing in the greenhouse. view of red pear type tomatoes ripening in the bush before harvesting.
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Tomatoes provide necessary shade for carrots, helping to keep the soil moist during hot weather. Carrots’ deep rooting aids tomato growth by loosening the soil, and their natural scent helps repel pests.

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Beans

Garden beds of green young beans.
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Beans are nitrogen-fixing crops, which carrots benefit from. This partnership benefits your garden by enriching the soil with nitrogen, making it better for growing other crops. If grown on trellises, beans also provide shade, protecting carrots from the heat.

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Peas

Raw Organic Black Eyed Peas in a Bowl
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Like beans, peas improve soil fertility as a nitrogen-fixing crop, which reduces the need for additional fertilizers. Proper spacing ensures that peas do not overcrowd carrots, allowing both to thrive.

Worst Companion Plants for Carrots

  1. Potatoes—Like carrots, potatoes have overly large tubers. These tubers compete for space and nutrients in the soil and may also disrupt the proper growth of carrot roots. 
  2. Dill – Dill belongs to the carrot family and attracts pests that are attracted by carrots. Due to this relation, they can cross-pollinate, resulting in seeds that produce funny-tasting carrots. It is highly advisable to keep these two apart.
  3. Celery—Celery and carrots usually compete for nutrients and space. Both require a lot of water, so there is a high chance they will leave the soil extremely dry. It’s better to give them their own separate spaces.
  4. Fennel—Fennel is known to slow down the growth of many plants. It produces anethole, a chemical that can slow down the growth of surrounding plants and attract pests like aphids. It would be best if you gave them their separate spaces. 
  5. Parsnips – Carrots and parsnips are highly prone to similar pests and diseases. Growing them together can lead to a buildup of these pests and diseases, harming both crops. This might result in poor growth and yield of carrots.

Tips for Growing Carrots

Carrots are easy to grow and maintain. However, before intercropping them with other crops, several factors must be considered. 

  • They do very well in soils with good drainage. However, any soil with debris and rocks might hinder root growth. If your soil is rocky, consider using a raised bed garden.
  • Selecting the right variety is very critical. These varieties come in different sizes and shapes. Longer varieties require deep and loose soil, while shorter varieties require shallow and heavy roots. 
  • Sowing seeds directly into the ground is highly recommended. Transplanting the carrots might cause root disturbance, preventing them from growing. 
  • The soil should be moist at all times, especially during germination. Once they are established, reduce the frequency of watering to promote downward growth.
  • Root-knot nematodes and carrot flies are the common diseases and pests that affect carrots. Proper companion planting will help to repel them.
  • Thinning the seedlings at approximately 2 inches tall gives enough space and reduces nutrient and water completion. 
  • You can harvest carrots of any size, but they are sweetest when harvested orange. To avoid root breakages, loosen the soil around the carrot roots gently when harvesting. 

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Purity Wamoyi
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Purity Wamoyi is a horticulturist. She studied BSc Horticulture at the University of Nairobi. She has a passion for agriculture driven by her urge to be a champion and ambassador in fighting for food security.She believes that the world would be a better place if we did the little things that bring peace and uphold humanity. During her free time, Purity loves watching soccer and is a huge ardent Chelsea fan.

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