When I was growing up, I loved spinach so much (still do); you could only get me to do something I didn’t want to do if you promised sautéed spinach. In this feed we will get to know various Spinach Companion Plants that will be benefitting both for Spinach and its companion plant.
I was all over the spinach growing in our backyard. No wonder it is still one of my favorite veggies.
Spinach is quite popular among gardeners due to its easy to grow nature. Spinach, although a cold-season plant, will survive in slightly hotter weather with minimal maintenance needed.
It is a fast-growing, high-yield veggie with a lot of beneficial nutrients. Check here for in-depth spinach growing guide.
Sometimes, limited yard space or a bid to experiment may stoke the need to pair your spinach with other plants. This pairing needs to be ideal for the two plants to grow well. That is why I’ve come up with this piece; it’ll show you plants you can grow with spinach and its benefits. There’s also a bonus section you wouldn’t want to miss. This section contains plants you shouldn’t pair with spinach.
Enough of the appetizers; follow me while I show you what companion planting for spinach means.
Spinach Companion Planting
Companion planting, in general, involves the pairing of beneficial plants in the garden. When it comes to Spinach Companion Plants, it is a little easier as spinach plants can comfortably grow with many plants without issue.
Companion planting here now involves finding the most beneficial pairs among them all.
Companion planting your spinach with other plants can mean more nutrients for your spinach, shade for your tender spinach plant, and protection against spinach pests. These are just a few of the gains you’ll get from growing the right spinach companion plant in your garden.
What to Grow with Spinach?
I promised to show you some plants to grow with spinach in your garden and its benefits so, here they are
1. Protection against Pests
Pests are enemies of hard work on your farm and will destroy your spinach if not appropriately handled.
Companion planting will help you tackle pest infestation in the healthiest of ways without the need for harmful chemicals in the form of pesticides. Some of these plants release toxins or fragrance that is unconducive to these pests, and they have no other option than to leave your farm.
Example of Plants
- Leeks: carrot rust flies are a common spinach pest, but planting leeks close to your spinach will deter them.
- Nasturtium: having nasturtium close to your spinach will repel lots of spinach pests like aphids and beetles.
- Radishes: planting radishes near your spinach will trick leaf miners (a popular spinach pest) into attacking the radish leaves instead of the spinach. Radishes are grown for their roots and not their leaves to pose too much of a problem.
- Garlic: garlic deters aphids, spider mites, Japanese beetle, and flea beetle, which attack spinach. Garlic also releases sulfur, which helps in disease prevention.
2. Shade for Spinach Plants
Spinach is a cold-weather plant, which means they like to grow in a cool environment away from the scorching sun. Tender plants need to get shade from the sun.
Here, Spinach Companion Plants that are comfortable with spinach and have a taller growth are of utmost importance. Spinach may not survive the sun’s full heat in its tender days, so having it grow under slight shade from other plants is ideal.
Of course, you can decide to install row covers for your spinach but think about the cost and effort it’ll take you to install and remove these covers. Not to talk about the different plants you’ll lose if you use row covers.
Companion planting is not only economical but also gives you another plant to enjoy.
Example of Plants
- Tomato: tomato will do well with spinach and provide the necessary shade for the tender spinach plants. As spinach is a fast-growing veggie, they would have matured and been harvested before the tomato grows and spread to choke the spinach beside it.
- Strawberries: this works in the reverse direction. Mature spinach plants will provide much-needed shade to the strawberry plant.
3. Plants with Varying Nutrient Needs
You do not want to pair plants that’ll spend all the time fighting for the same nutrient now, do you?
If you’re looking for a diverse garden, you can even interplant then; you must grow plants with varying nutrients needs. Some of these plants will even release valuable nutrients into the soil for the other plant to enjoy. The other plants utilize the nutrients, not in heavy use by the spinach plant.
Example of Plants
- Members of the brassica family: cauliflower, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and kale are a few of the plants you can pair and even intersperse with spinach. They use up different nutrients from the soil, and their roots even take nutrients from different layers of the soil.
- Peas: although both peas and spinach need nitrogen, peas take their nitrogen from the air, leaving the nitrogen in the ground for the spinach to use.
- Strawberries: strawberry and spinach take their nutrients from different soil levels, so they do not compete for nutrients. Strawberries also benefit from the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of the spinach plant.
4. Other Plants that do Well with Spinach
Dill: here, timing needs to be perfect as tender dill helps to boost plant vigor, but mature dill can stunt the growth of the spinach so, plant the dill when the spinach is one-third grown. This is so the spinach would have matured and been harvested before the dill matures.
What NOT to Pair with Spinach?
The good news is that spinach is comfortable growing near almost all plants. There are still a few you should avoid.
- Allelopathic plants: these plants release toxins that inhibit the growth of other plants around them to avoid competition. Some plants with this property include fennel and sunflower.
One subtle advantage of spinach companion planting is the added plant you can cook with your spinach. Have you tried sautéed spinach and tomatoes? It would help if you gave it a try.
Spinach is easy to grow, and pairing it with any listed plants shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure to check the particular benefit the companion brings to your farm.