Edible PlantsVegetables

What Are the Best Companion Plants for Spinach?

spinach

If you are new to gardening and don’t know which plants to accompany your spinach, then you are in the right place. Spinach plants have shallow roots,  they do best in loose and fertile soil.

They are small and quite fragile when it comes to heat and cold. The best way to grow your spinach to be strong and healthy is to use a method called companion planting. 

What is Spinach?

Spinacia oleracea, better known as spinach, is a leafy green flowering plant. Spinach is native to central and western Asia. Spinach originates from Persia and is related to beets and quinoa. Spinach is remarkably easy to grow and quick to harvest. You can use spinach as a dish decoration or salad addition.

It’s best to eat the younger, smaller leaves raw and the older leaves when cooked. You can also add spinach to your smoothies or juice it. Spinach has one of the shortest cooking times of all vegetables.

Benefits of Spinach

The best part about spinach is that they are very healthy and full of nutrients.

  • Eating spinach will help lower your blood pressure
  • Help prevent age-related eye problems
  • Eating spinach will also help clean your colon

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is when you place certain plants in proximity to other plants so they will all benefit from one another. This way, you can help your plants grow stronger and healthier. Companion planting also uses your garden space more efficiently.

You can improve the plants’ taste, boost growth, and repel pests. The diversity that companion planting provides is also suitable for pollinators, and soil health. A plant grown in isolation may not become as strong and healthy as a plant grown with a companion. Companions provide food or attract helpful insects.

Companion planting will also improve crop productivity. Symbiosis is the biological term for two species working together. Companion planting can go very wrong if spacing, timing, competition, and basic phytotomy aren’t taken into account.

Spinach is a very fast-maturing plant that can be planted multiple times during the season, so if anything should go wrong you can just do better next time. The downside to companion planting is that plants may compete for water and nutrients, reducing vigor. The secret lies in understanding how two crops will interact.

Best Companion Plants for Spinach

Here are the best choices to grow with spinach.

#1 Garlic

garlic

Garlic works on an opposite schedule than most garden vegetables. Garlic is planted in the fall and harvested in the summer. Because spinach loves the cold weather and can match garlic’s hardiness through winter. 

Garlic spends most of its time underground, making it a perfect companion for shallow-rooted, quick-growing spinach. 

Garlic wards off pests while spinach acts as a ground cover and weed prevention ground cover around the garlic. 

Plant spinach in the spring, summer, and fall. If you plant in the fall spinach can be seeded at the same time as you set garlic bulbs. Spread spinach seeds all around the garlic, so it would create a weed-suppressing mat around the garlic until it sprouts in the spring. Harvest spinach in the winter.

#2 Broccoli

broccoli

Broccoli will protect spinach from the harsh sun. Because broccoli is a cool-weather plant, it will get along nicely with spinach. The shade broccoli offers will help retain the moisture and will prevent the spinach from bolting. Placing broccoli near spinach will also maximize yield. 

Seed the spinach in rows near the newly planted broccoli. Begin harvesting spinach about 30 to 40 days after sowing. Don’t plant broccoli too close to the spinach.

#3 Salad Greens

salad greens

Planting salad greens near spinach will help keep the soil cool for longer. You will also get higher yields from planting salad greens and spinach together. Salad greens are a great choice because they are cared for the same way as spinach.

Many salad blends have the same maturity windows, about 30 days. They are also both light feeders that grow at similar heights. With salad greens and spinach, competition is not a problem. Planting salad greens near spinach will increase diversity and maximize space. 

Sow baby spinach 3 to 6 inch from rows of salad greens. Dense sowings will help keep away weeds and will make harvesting easier.

#4 Snap Peas

snap peas

Snap peas love chilly weather. Both spinach and snap peas are done producing by the time heat comes around. Spinach needs a lot of nitrogen, and luckily snap peas produce nitrogen. Also snap peas will provide dappled shade. This shade will protect the spinach from the early spring sun and help keep the spinach from bolting.

By planting snap peas near spinach you most likely won’t have to fertilize your spinach again. The snap peas will help spinach get the nutrients it needs. These peas are best grown on a trellis that runs north to south. You can plant the spinach on either side of the peas to protect the greens from the sun.

#5 Strawberries

Strawberry plant

Strawberries grow to be about the same height as adult spinach. Also pairing spinach and strawberries in smoothies and salads will be delicious. Planting spinach and strawberries together will maximize space.

When spinach gets ready you will get the treat of waiting for the strawberries to mature as well. To start harvesting from strawberry beds before they fruit, plant a row or two of spinach alongside strawberry crowns at the time of planting.

#6 Calendula

calendula

Calendula is a vibrant orange floral plant that is also used for medicine. This beautiful flower can keep away animals, like rabbits, from your spinach. They will also repel pests. The reason this flower repels animals and pests is its smell. This flower will also attract pollinators, which will be very helpful in your garden. Calendula can also be added to your salads and as a garnish to your soups. 

Calendula is very ornamental and can grow 10 to 12 inches (30 to 35 cm) tall and wide. Create little “rabbit fences” around your spinach by planting Calendula along the margins of your greens beds. You can also interplant them every few feet in your spinach patch.

Bad Companion Plants for Spinach

Avoid planting spinach near fennel, mint, and potatoes. Potato production disrupts the soil, in a very aggressive way, which will not suit spinach. Fennel emits a compound that inhibits the growth of other plants. That also won’t work for spinach.

Mint is very invasive and should only plant mint into the ground if it’s free to roam. Keep this in mind when searching for a companion plant for spinach.

Final Words

Growing spinach with other plants in your garden will not only look better and be more efficient, but it will also help improve the plants’ health and taste. Choosing the correct plant will only benefit you and your crop. 

Planting spinach with other suitable plants will also increase its health value, making it better than ever for the consumer. Choose carefully from the variety of plants that we have mentioned to accompany your spinach. Let us know how it goes! 

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