Best Sweet Potato Companion Plants: What Grows Well & What to Avoid

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About the Sweet Potato

The sweet potato is a root vegetable that is often assumed to be related to other potatoes in the Solanum tuberosum family. However, it is actually related to the Ipomoea family. The sweet potato has a sweet taste and is eaten in warm places throughout the world.

The sweet potato is a tuber that is completely separate from the yam family, genus Dioscorea. Sweet potato vines are perennial, and they can be grown as an annual in colder climates. The flowers of the sweet potato are edible, and the edible sweet potato vine is a popular cultivar.

Growing the Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a staple crop that is native to Central and South America. They were brought to the Hawaiian Islands almost 500 years before Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. Too much nitrogen can cause lush vines but poor crops in the form of small, stunted tubers. Sweet potatoes will grow in poor soils if grown in clay or sandy soil.

You can start sweet potato plants by planting slips, which are small pieces of the sweet potato that have been cut off and will grow into new plants. However, potatoes are started from the eyes of a seed potato, which is a whole potato that has been cut in half and will regrow into new potatoes. Companion plantings are when you pair two or more different types of plants together for mutual benefit; usually, this means that the plants help protect each other from pests or improve the overall growth of the garden. Finally, sweet potatoes and potatoes can be simply dug up and harvested once they are fully grown.

Good Sweet Potato Companion Plants

Companion planting is a way of gardening that utilizes the natural benefits that different plants have with each other. By planting different types of plants together, you can avoid using chemicals, encourage healthy plant growth, ward off diseases and pests, and maximize space in your garden. Each type of plant provides different benefits from the others, so it is important to do your research before planting.

Companion Planting sweet potatoes in The Vegetable Garden

Legumes

Legumes are plants that have the ability to fix nitrogen from the air into the soil. This is beneficial for both the legume and any other plants nearby. Companion planting is a technique where two or more plants are grown together for mutual benefit. In the case of sweet potatoes, companion plants provide nitrogen to the soil, which is essential for sweet potato growth. Pole beans are good companions because they grow vines that cover the ground and act as a mulch, feeding the soil with nitrogen as they decompose.

spinach

Spinach is a versatile and beneficial vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways. One such way is as a cover plant to protect sweet potatoes. Spinach helps retain water and prevents weeds from growing, which in turn helps increase yield and eliminates unwanted competition.

Root vegetables

Root vegetables are vegetables that grow underground. They can be harvested for their edible roots, leaves, or flowers. Some common root vegetables include carrots, sweet potatoes, radishes, and beets. Sweet potatoes are a great companion plant for many other vegetables because they help to protect the plants from pests and diseases.

Companion planting sweet potatoes with Beneficial Herbs

Basil

Basil is a popular herb that is often used in Italian cuisine and Mediterranean cooking. It has a sweet, peppery flavor and can be used fresh or dried. Basil is also said to improve the sweetness of sweet potatoes when planted together. Additionally, basil flowers attract pollinators and help prevent moisture evaporation. Finally, basil helps shade the ground, which prevents humidity loss.

Thyme

It attracts hoverflies, which eat aphids. Thyme is also a good companion plant for sweet potatoes on the plate and in the garden. It enhances their flavor and helps protect them from pests.

Aromatic herbs

There are many benefits to companion planting, one of which is warding off pests. These herbs will help to keep the destructive sweet potato weevils away from your plants. Additionally, the herbs in bloom will attract pollinators and helpful insects that can help to pollinate your garden and get rid of harmful pests.

Companion Planting Sweet Potatoes with Flowers

nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are a beautiful addition to any garden. Their bright flowers add a pop of color, and their leaves make an attractive ground cover. What’s more, they have some great benefits for your garden. Nasturtiums help prevent moisture loss, making them a great choice for hot, dry climates. They’re also beneficial to bees and other helpful insects.

marigolds

Marigolds are a great flower to have in your garden as they attract bees, beneficial insects, and even pests. The flowers themselves act as a trap crop and can be used to lure pests away from other plants in your garden. Additionally, marigolds make a good deterrent against squash bugs, slugs, and spider mites.

alyssum

Alyssum is a ground cover plant that can be used to surround sweet potatoes. It contributes to water and nutrient retention, attracts beneficial pollinators, and attracts wasps that predate on harmful pests.

What not to plant next to sweet potatoes

There are a few plants you should avoid planting next to sweet potatoes – namely, squash. These plants will compete for space and nutrients, and as a result, both will be weakened. Additionally, sweet potato vines can grow to cover a large area, so it is important to plant them in an area where they will have enough room to spread.

tomatoes

Tomatoes are a popular garden vegetable because they are easy to grow and come in a variety of colors and sizes. However, there are some things you should be aware of before planting them in your garden. For example, planting potatoes and tomatoes near each other increases the chances of both plants contracting potato blight. Additionally, sweet potatoes and tomatoes also share many pests like spider mites and aphids. Finally, lycopene, an antioxidant found in high concentrations in tomatoes, protects the body from sun damage. The red color and UV protection are a result of this pigment.

Squash

When planting vegetables, it is important to be aware of how they will compete for space and nutrients. Squash plants and sweet potato plants are good examples of this. Squash plants like to spread out and take up a lot of space, while sweet potato plants like to occupy the same space as squash plants. This can negatively impact the growth of both vegetables.

sunflowers

Sunflowers are allelopathic, meaning that they produce a substance that inhibits the growth of other plants. For this reason, it is best to plant them far away from your sweet potato rows. Sunflowers are also the only plant that can provide energy in the form of both light and heat.

What plants should not be planted near potatoes?

There are many plants that can be planted near potatoes, but some will cause the potato to produce fewer and/or smaller tubers. One plant that should not be planted anywhere near a potato is the common morning glory.

Can I plant sweet potatoes next to tomatoes?

A tomato plant is a type of plant that produces fruits called tomatoes. It can be difficult to grow plants next to each other in the same garden because they compete for the same resources, but it is possible to plant a sweet potato next to a tomato.

What should not be planted near sweet potatoes?

Nightshade plants and potatoes that produce potato-like tubers (such as the sweet potato) should be planted at least three to four feet away from each other.

Can you plant sweet potatoes and broccoli together?

No, you cannot plant sweet potatoes and broccoli together. Sweet potatoes need a lot of heat to grow, so they should be planted in the ground between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Broccoli prefers cool weather, and it should be planted in the ground between 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can you plant okra with sweet potatoes?

Many gardeners enjoy planting a mixture of okra and sweet potatoes together in the same bed. They’re both warm-season vegetables that grow well during the summer months, so this is a good match.

Can you plant potatoes and sweet potatoes together?

No, the two types of potatoes are completely incompatible.

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