How to Grow Carrot Companion Crops

Did you know that gardeners purposely grow some plants together to help produce the healthiest crops? Find out how companion gardening can help your carrots grow.
From: DK Books - Ready Set Grow
Carrot Fly Deterrent

Carrot Fly Deterrent

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Leeks, onions or garlic are useful companions to carrots, since their strong smells keep away flies that attack carrots. For this example, we will use salad leek seeds. Grow carrots and leeks in a sunny or partly shaded place and use well-drained, light soil. Sow the carrot seeds in late spring to miss the first invasion of carrot flies. The seeds will germinate in three weeks, and they will be ready to harvest in 12 weeks.

Materials Needed:

  • deep crate
  • garbage bag
  • kid-safe scissors
  • gravel
  • bucket
  • sand
  • potting soil
  • ruler or stick
  • baby carrot seeds
  • salad leek seeds
  • sticks
  • polyethylene bag cover
  • horticultural fleece
  • fine netting
  • specific fly-resistant carrot varieties, such as Flyaway, Maestro, Sytan or Resistafly seeds

1. Line a deep crate with a garbage bag.

Cut to fit, and make a few small holes through the crate and the bag with scissors. Spread out a layer of gravel in the bottom for drainage.

Create a Plastic Liner for Containers

Create a Plastic Liner for Containers

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2. Mix a bucketful of potting soil with sand.

Next, fill up the crate. Moisten the soil before sowing the seed.

Bucket of Sand and Vegetable Seeds

Bucket of Sand and Vegetable Seeds

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

3. Create room for seeds.

Make three trenches that are ½ inch (1 cm) deep along the length of crate using a ruler or a stick.

Measure Distance Between Soil Trenches

Measure Distance Between Soil Trenches

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

4. Plant baby carrot seeds.

Sprinkle seeds along the outer trenches and cover them with a little soil. If you space out the seeds, then there will be no need for thinning later, which releases a carrot smell.

Sprinkle Carrot Seeds in Formed Trenches

Sprinkle Carrot Seeds in Formed Trenches

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

5. Sow salad leek seeds.

Place into soil individually, 6 inches (15 cm) apart into the middle trench.

Leek Seeds Ready for Planting

Leek Seeds Ready for Planting

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

6. Put in sticks along the edges of crate.

This will hold up a polyethylene bag cover and encourage germination. The cover should be removed once the seedlings appear.

Allow Seeds to Gerninate

Allow Seeds to Gerninate

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

7. Use extra protection during summer months.

Low-flying female carrot flies are attracted to the smell of carrots and lay their eggs at the base of them. In addition to companion crops, gardeners protect their carrots by covering them under a horticultural fleece; surrounding them with a fine netting 2-feet high or growing them in tall pots; or using carrot varieties that have some resistance to carrot fly, such as Flyaway, Maestro, Sytan and Resistafly.

8. Tend to carrot seedlings.

If needed, thin them to 1/2 inch (1 cm) between the plants. This will allow the carrots to form larger roots. Water well during dry weather.

Thinning Carrot Seedlings

Thinning Carrot Seedlings

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

9. Harvest the carrots and leeks when they reach a good size.

If the leeks need longer, then leave them in the container until the winter when they have thickened up.

Harvesting Carrots

Harvesting Carrots

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Next Up

How to Plant Bare-Root Vegetables

Discover the best way to plant asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries in your garden.

Veggie BFFs: Companion Planting for a Healthier Garden

HGTV blogger Meagan Francis offers tips for vegetables and flowers that make for great garden companions.

How to Sow and Plant Fruiting Vegetables

Large leaves, golden flowers and heavy yields make squashes, zucchini and cucumbers ideal plants for productive pots.

A Guide to Growing Root and Stem Vegetables

Parsnips, turnips and rutabagas are just a few root and stem crops that add variety to a vegetable garden harvest.

Growing Carrots

The secret to growing beautiful carrots is in the soil. Follow these tips to start your carrot patch off on the right foot.

How to Plant in Gardening Containers

To ensure that plants in gardening containers grow and perform as well as possible, you need to plant them properly.

Where to Grow a Fruit and Vegetable Garden

Choosing the perfect spot for your produce garden can mean the difference between unhappy and flourishing food crops. 

How to Plant a Three Sisters Garden

Native Americans devised the ingenious Three Sisters garden, a method whereby beans grow up corn stalks while squash plants serve as ground cover.

Planning Your Veggie Garden: What to Plant?

Vegetable gardening is a rewarding and surprisingly easy activity, but like anything else, getting started can be intimidating. HGTV tells you what to consider when choosing what to plant.

How to Plan a Vegetable Crop Rotation

A crop rotation plan is a helpful tool to keep your garden productive and organized.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Renovation Raiders

6:30am | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30am | 6:30c

House Hunters

8:30am | 7:30c

House Hunters

9:30am | 8:30c

House Hunters

10am | 9c

House Hunters

10:30am | 9:30c

House Hunters

11am | 10c

House Hunters

11:30am | 10:30c

House Hunters

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
Tonight
Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

Fixer Upper

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Fixer Upper

2am | 1c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.