Is there anything more versatile in the garden than Kale? This hardy vegetable can be grown all winter long in most climates and is an excellent addition to any meal. But what are some good companion plants for Kale?
Several plants can be ideal companions for your Kale. The companion plants can help Kale to maximize its growth potential, deter pests, attract pollinators, or fix nitrogen in the soil. The right combination of companion plants can also improve the crop’s yield and quality of those plants.
This blog post will discuss some of the best plants to grow around Kale. We’ll also give you a few tips on how to care for your Kale plant. So bring on the Kale! Let’s see what plants make the perfect companions.
- What Is Kale?
- Why Is Companion Planting Important for Kale?
- Most Suitable Companions for Kale Plants
What Is Kale?
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, including cabbage, broccoli, and collards.
It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as beta-carotene and manganese. It is also a good calcium, copper, magnesium, and potassium source.
In addition to its nutritional value, Kale is believed to have some health benefits. These include cancer prevention because of the carotenoid level present in the plant.
Also, Kale is rich in antioxidants, resulting in anti-inflammatory properties and cardiovascular protection.
Ideal Growing Conditions for Kale
Kale is a cool-weather crop that thrives in the spring and fall. In some areas, Kale can be grown year-round. Kale can be started from seed or transplanted from a nursery.
If starting from seed, sow the seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost date. Transplant seedlings outdoors when they are about eight weeks old.
When planting Kale, here are a few things that you should take care of:
- Choose a location that receives full sun.
- Kale does best in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.
- Amend the soil with compost or manure before planting.
- Water Kale plants regularly, especially during dry periods.
- The plant needs consistent moisture to produce the best results.
Besides, Kale is a heavy feeder and needs regular fertilization. So, you must apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer every two to four weeks during the growing season.
Finally, you can harvest Kale when the leaves are about eight inches long. Once harvested, kale leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days and used in various dishes.
Why Is Companion Planting Important for Kale?
Companion planting is a gardening technique involving growing two or more plants together to benefit each other.
You can use companion planting to improve the health and yield of your Kale crop. There are a few different ways that companion planting can benefit Kale:
- Pest control: Certain plants repel pests that Kale is susceptible to, resulting in active pest control for the plant.
- Nutrient uptake: Some plants are known to improve the soil around them, making it easier for Kale to uptake essential nutrients.
- Shade: Kale is a cool-weather crop that can be damaged by too much heat. Planting kale alongside taller plants can provide welcome shade on hot days.
- Weed control: Fast-growing plants can help to crowd out weeds, leaving more room and resources for Kale to grow.
When selecting companion plants for Kale, choosing plants with similar growing requirements is essential.
Kale is a relatively low-maintenance crop, so choose companion plants that are also easy to care for.
Be sure to avoid plants that are known to compete with Kale for nutrients or space. Some examples of these plants include Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, and Kohlrabi.
Most Suitable Companions for Kale Plants
By planting Kale with other plants with complementary growing habits, you can boost your plant and improve its chances of success.
Here are some of the best plants to companion with Kale.
Companion Plant #1: Calendula
Calendula is used in herbalism and repels many common garden pests, such as aphids and cabbage loopers.
Calendula is also known for its ability to attract bees and other pollinators. This benefits Kale, as it helps improve the plant’s pollination.
Companion Plant #2: Alliums
Alliums are part of the onion family and include garlic, shallots, and chives.
These plants emit a sulfur compound that is unappealing to many pests, including cabbage loopers, aphids, and whiteflies.
Companion Plant #3: Sweet Alyssum
Alyssum is an ideal companion plant for Kale as its flowers attract beneficial insects such as lacewings and parasitic wasps, which helps to control pests.
The honey-like fragrance of the flowers also attracts bees, pollinating the kale flowers and improving yield.
Companion Plant #4: Dill
Like Alyssum, Dill is also a suitable companion plant for Kale as it grabs the attraction of predatory insects.
When dill is planted near Kale, it helps to enhance the flavor of the Kale. Dill also helps to keep the Kale plants from getting too bitter.
Companion Plant #5: Coriander
Coriander is a carrot family member, so it’s not surprising that it shares some of the same benefits as its root veggie cousin.
When planted near Kale, Coriander can help improve the greens’ flavor and make them more palatable.
Companion Plant #6: Scallions
Scallions are a good companion plant for Kale. They help to repel cabbage worms and other pests that can damage Kale plants.
This is a great way to get extra protection for your Kale plants without using pesticides.
Companion Plant #7: Lemongrass
Lemongrass is known for enhancing the growth and flavor of other plants, including Kale.
Lemongrass can help improve kale plants’ health and vigor when used as a companion plant. In addition, Lemongrass can help to fight against the pests and diseases that may attack the Kale plants.
These are some of the best plants to companion with Kale. By planting these together, you can boost your Kale and improve its chances of success.
Companion planting is a great way to improve Kale’s flavor and keep pests at bay. We have discussed a few different companion plants that you can pair with Kale, so it’s essential to choose wisely based on your needs and preferences.
Each companion plant has unique qualities that make them perfect for complementing Kale in the garden.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your gardening skills with Kale, we advise you to pot a companion plant from the list above!