Any vegetable garden isn’t a complete vegetable garden if it’s missing kale in it. Why wouldn’t you add kale; it is a fantastic addition to any veggie garden and certainly a smart move as a veggie garden owner. So if you want to take your vegetable garden to the next level, kale is a must. Today you are in luck because we’ll be sharing with you some of the best companion plants for kale to get the best performance from your vegetable garden.
So if you’ve made up your mind and decided to include kale in your garden but all of a sudden wondered which plants are the best companions for this amazing leafy plant, we’ve got your back. Kale is a vitamin-packed, hearty green that is as healthy as it is delicious, but kale is not only healthy and delicious; it is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow, and you can choose from a wide selection of companion plants for your kale.
Another cool thing is that it is highly recommended to go for several of these companion buddies and not just one. This way, you’ll also be achieving major diversity in your garden. Now that you know that you have several companion plants for your kale growing needs, it is time to learn which plants they are. Check out this list of kale companion plants and choose your favorites.
What is companion planting?
Through companion planting, we have the chance to set up our plants to success instead of dwarfing them, making them end up in dysfunctional relationships with other plants, if that makes sense.
Companion planting is basically a gardening tactic because it maximizes growth and crops by planting mutually beneficial plants next to each other. Basically, all these plants will get along while giving each other what the other needs to develop successfully.
Benefits of companion planting
- Cuts down risk: By doing companion planting, you increase the odds of higher yields even if one crop fails.
- Crop protection: Companion planting offers a delicate plant shelter from harsher weather conditions.
- Trap Cropping: Companion planting is a natural pest management method. This is also known as trap cropping.
What to look for in choosing companion plants for kale?
In simple words, a kale companion is a friend for your leafy veggie. You want to surround your kale with plants that can provide the following:
- Repellents: Dissuade pests through smell or visual confusion
- Light feeders: These are plants that won’t compete for nitrogen with kale
- Insectaries: Attract predatory and parasitoid insects with nectar, pollen, and shelter
- Shade providers: Produce protection in the form of shade
- Nitrogen fixers: Add nitrogen to the soil
Great Companion Plants for Kale
Plants suitable to grow next to kale include a big list; check out 15 of them.
Beet is beneficial not only to kale but to all members of the cabbage family. Beets provide certain important minerals to the soil, and this can be taken up by kale. As a result, beets are also a good addition to a compost pile.
Having a vegetable garden means you’ll have to deal with a lot of pests. However, plants like celery can help repel these insects that damage vegetables, not only kale. Celery has a scent that certain insects do not find pleasant.
Cucumber is a fantastic groundcover. When left to sprawl across your garden, cucumbers will cool the soil and suppress weeds. Cucumbers will prevent weeds from growing, conserve soil moisture, and help regulate the soil temperature from extremes.
Dill is a lot more than just a good ingredient for your food; it also attracts beneficial insects and enhances growth. Dill is also known to protect kale seedlings as they grow.
Hyssop is not a very popular herb. Certain beneficial insects are attracted to hyssop flower, and this will help in pollination. In addition to being an attractive plant, it also serves as a pest repellant. It repels cabbage moth larvae and cabbage butterflies.
Onion naturally serves as a pest repellant, so you can be assured that pests like cabbage loopers, worms, cabbage maggots, aphids, rabbits, etc., won’t be disturbing your kale. The aforementioned are some of the pests that frequently attack kale.
Lettuce is one of those veggies that makes another good option as a companion for your kale because it will not compete for nutrients.
Mint goes well with kale because it is both an insectary and a light feeder. It will attract predatory and parasitoid insects and have low nitrogen requirements to compete for nitrogen.
This annual flower is an insectary, repellent, and ground cover. It provides many benefits for your kale plants.
Nasturtium offers excellent ground cover and attracts predatory and parasitoid insects to naturally control pest populations like aphids.
Even if it didn’t work with kale, this flower is beautiful in any garden.
Garlic, like onions, is one of the helpful plants to grow with kale. It serves as a pest repellant for kale to keep the pests from causing damage. Garlic has the same effect with every member of the cabbage family.
Potatoes have the ability to accelerate the growth rate of your vegetables and also make them taste better! Potatoes do well, not just with kale, but with all the members of the cabbage family.
Rosemary is fantastic to fight one of the most dreaded kale pests: cabbage loopers. Rosemary will not only add scent to your cooking; it is greatly detested by cabbage loopers, a common kale pest. It works for not only kale but also all cruciferous vegetables.
Similar to most vegetables, herbs attract a lot of pests, taking them away from kale. At the same time, they invite beneficial animals, mainly insects. . But at the same time, herbs like Sage consume little to no nitrogen while providing ground cover to keep temperatures in check. This makes Sage an outstanding choice to plant next to your kale.
Probably the best type of plant you can grow alongside kale is another vegetable. You can get the whole set of benefits that a companion can bring by using another veggie. And that includes Spinach as another option to plant with your kale.
A pro tip: If you’re accompanying kale with other veggies, then you’ll need a bit more fertilizer than usual.
Swiss chard makes another adequate companion for kale because it is a light feeder, which means it has low nitrogen requirements to compete for nitrogen.