Do you have a lovely garden full of spinach? Even if you don’t and are looking forward to making one, then you might wonder what could grow well along with spinach.
Such plants are companion plants that help spinach or other plants grow and develop. These plants do not cause any harm and co-exist well together.
You will be surprised to know that companion planting includes: plants and bushes, weeds, flowers, wheat, birds, soil, microorganisms, nutrients, insects, toads, etc. But, we will be focussing mainly on the plants that grow well with spinach. So let’s get started with making your vegetable garden wonderful.
First of all, what companion plants could benefit from spinach or Spinacia oleracea? Well, spinach is a rich source of saponin, which is produced and secreted in the roots. It has antifungal and antibacterial effects, and spinach derives numerous benefits from that.
Though other plants secrete saponin, spinach is the rich source. It provides its companion plants with antibacterial and antifungal effects. So it is a cherry on the cake for the companion plants of spinach.
11 Types Of Companion Plants You Can Grow With Spinach
If you are looking for companion plants to grow with spinach, here is a list of 11 options that wouldn’t disappoint you.
Brassicas are one of the best companions you can adopt for spinach. Don’t fret if you have not heard the name and it sounds strange to you.
Brassicas are a mustard family of cruciferous vegetables that includes many known vegetables. You can see broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and many more as a part of this family.
The very reason for using brassicas as companion plants for spinach is that they do not interfere with the growth of each other. There is no competition for nutrients or eating up each other’s food like you and your sibling.
You can plant Brassicas and spinach a few inches closely as they have matching nutritional levels. Other plants under the brassicas category are Arugula, Bok Choy, Brussel sprouts, Collard greens, Horseradish, Kohlrabi, Turnips, Sweet Alyssum, and Rutabaga.
Many gardeners consider Radish a companion for spinach from the brassicas group. Radishes act as a trap for leaf miner insects which are lethal to spinach and usually feed on and destroy it. But, spinach plants need not worry as leaf miners won’t attack them with Radish beside.
However, leaf miners cause the least damage to radishes due to their rapid growth. So the harvesting period comes before the leaf miners can damage radishes. Hence, there are too many reasons to consider Radish as a companion plant for your little spinach.
#3. Leafy Vegetables
Why not get a twin for your leafy friend? In simple words, spinach being a leafy vegetable grows well with other leafy vegetables, such as beet greens, cilantro, swiss chard, kale, lettuce, and watercress. While there are other leafy vegetables, these suit the spinach plants the best and do not compete with them at the nutritional level.
So if you choose suitable leafy vegetables for your spinach garden, they can protect the spinach plants from many common diseases. Further, they act as big traps which have deteriorating effects on spinach. Hence, you can go all leafy for your spinach garden.
Bonus Read: 15 Easiest Vegetables to Grow for Beginners
Alliums are also known as the onion family that consists of onion and onion-like plants. The plants included in the alliums group are Chives, Garlic, Leek, Onions, and Shallots.
The best part about choosing Alliums as companion plants for spinach is they protect it from pests that usually feed on it. Apart from pests, alliums pose other benefits for spinach by acting as barriers against many insects. Leeks, for instance, are effective against carrot rust flies that attack spinach.
Garlic is the best option for choosing Alliums for your spinach plants. It protects spinach against all kinds of pests, such as beetles, aphids, spider mites, and many more.
Garlic and spinach can co-exist in harmony. The sulfur accumulation in the planting area by garlic prevents many lethal diseases to spinach. In turn, spinach produces saponins that similarly help garlic. So why not make garlic and spinach best friends?
Nightshades prove to be the best for your spinach garden as they do not compete for each other’s nutrients and co-exist in different environments. Eggplant, okra, pepper, and tomato are a few examples of nightshades.
Tomatoes are the right choice when it comes to opting for nightshades. The two plants have different weather preferences. While tomatoes love heat, spinach prefers cool seasons. So it could prove beneficial if you plant spinach amid the tomatoes.
The harvesting period for spinach usually comes before tomatoes. So you need not worry about tomatoes over shading or crowding the spinach plants.
The best part is you can even plant nightshades and spinach in succession. The mechanism lies in the nutrients that the first plantation leaves in the soil for the second plantation, which proves to be a lot beneficial. So nightshades would never let your spinach fade.
Cucurbits are all about the melon group of vegetables. It includes cucumber, melon, watermelon, and Zucchini. Yes, you guessed it right. It is more like decorating your spinach garden with vines.
The Melon friends of spinach won’t consume its nutrients and hence do not affect its growth and development. But, you should take care of one thing. It would be best not to plant spinach way after the cucurbits.
By that time, cucurbits outgrow the spinach and might cover its sprouts, thus causing deteriorating effects. Hence, it would help if you made spinach and cucurbits friends at the beginning stage.
You May Also Read: How and When to Pick a Cucumber? | Quick Guide
#7. Beans and Peas
Beans and peas are yet another companion plant for spinach. Due to the nitrogen pulling capacity of beans and peas, they can be companions of spinach. Nitrogen is highly required for spinach to grow well, and beans and peas are a rich source of it. You need not add extra compost or soil amendments to compensate for the nitrogen needed by spinach.
Beans and peas use the space used to plant them with spinach effectively, which provides ample shade. Some beans and peas suitable for spinach are black-eyed peas, Bush beans, English beans, pole beans, snow beans, and sugar snap beans.
Plant any of them as they are a rich nitrogen supplier to the spinach. Peas have yet another unique relationship with spinach. Besides nitrogen, they leave several nutrients and essential chemicals in the soil. These are beneficial for the root of spinach plants. So why not get peas for your lovelies?
Often, we can use umbellifers as aromatic plants like vegetables and herbs. Umbellifers include carrot, celery, dill, and parsley. The main reason for adopting umbellifers is their strong scent. It prevents pests and leaf-eating bugs from attacking spinach.
If you want to make a perfect choice among the umbellifers for your spinach plants, celery will prove to be the best. It has the same light and moisture needed as spinach to blossom and flourish. So they both grow well together.
But dill works in two ways. It can either enhance or deteriorate the growth of its companion plants. The same goes with spinach. When planted after the spinach has grown a third of the way, young dill helps it mature by sharing the nutrients. The nutrient-sharing activities produce larger spinach with better taste.
Spinach, in turn, helps dill grow faster. So until the maturation period of dill, spinach already gets harvested and digested. When planted mature, dill can cause damage to the spinach. Hence, before planting dill as a companion plant, you must keep these things in mind.
Now it is time to get some tasty friends for your spinach garden. Strawberries have many benefits when serving as a companion plant for spinach. It keeps the soil moist and cool, favorable conditions for spinach.
Strawberries can consume nutrients from different soil levels. Hence, it becomes another beneficial factor for spinach as there is no competition. Spinach also helps strawberries a lot in turn. It grows taller than the strawberries, thus acting as a good shade source favorable for them. The saponin production capability of spinach prevents common diseases associated with strawberries. Hence, saponin provides antifungal properties.
So you can consider both plants as made for each other and get some red cherries for your spinach cakes.
Nasturtiums are saviors for spinach plants. The bright-colored flowers act as traps for beetles and aphids. They help drop pests and many other insects that prey on spinach. Eventually, they save your spinach garden.
Do you want to gift some yellow flowers to your spinach garden? Then tansy is just the right door you need to knock. It produces bright yellow flowers like nasturtiums, but they ultimately act differently. Our lovely tansy plant is different from others as it repels insects instead of attracting them.
Apart from the yellow flowers of tansy, its unique fragrance acts as a hub for pollinators by attracting them. Moreover, tansy is also a rich source of potassium in the soil, which benefits the spinach plants.
But, there is a drawback associated with tansy. It is usually toxic to people, pets, and livestock. Hence, you must ensure that you plant tansy as ornamentals alongside your spinach.
So now that you have the list of companion plants for spinach, why not tighten your boots and go shopping for your miniature garden? Prepare your plot with all that is needed to grow spinach. Assemble your resources and grow spinach along with the varieties listed here.
But don’t forget that everything takes time to nurture. Have patients, make a routine, and set a to-do list to optimize your efforts to grow these beautiful plants.