Creating a thriving garden means choosing the right combination of plants that complement and support each other’s growth.
When it comes to leafy greens, few vegetables match the versatility and nutritional value of spinach so this is a must for many gardens.
However, did you know that selecting the right companion plants can enhance its growth and flavor?
Choosing the right companion plants can have a wide range of benefits for your spinach plants.
They can help deter pests, add more nutrients, and even help your spinach to grow.
Choosing the right plants isn’t always easy though as companion plants require thought and knowledge.
In this article, we will take a look at the world of companion plants and which ones are best for spinach.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting to plant spinach, understanding the art of companion planting can get the most out of your spinach.
Things To Consider
Spinach is a very fast-maturing plant that grows best during cooler seasons such as early spring and during the final few weeks of the growing seasons.
It can survive a light frost and will even grow through winter as long as the temperatures don’t drop below freezing.
It needs a little shade as too much sun will make it dry out. It grows best in soil that is loose but fertile and full of nutrients to feed its fast growth.
Spinach can grow up to 18 inches tall and flowers with large, dark-green leaves that can be harvested and eaten.
When planting companion plants, you need to make sure that your spinach will have access to the nutrients in the soil that it needs.
It needs adequate light and shouldn’t be planted near plants that will attract dangerous pests.
As spinach has its roots in shallow soil, you can plant it with plants that implant deeper to make the most of your space.
Best Spinach Companion Plants For Deterring Pests And Diseases
There are many reasons why different plants make great companions for spinach.
One of the most important of these reasons is that you can strategically plant other plants to prevent pests from attacking your spinach.
Unfortunately, there are several bugs that like to munch on spinach and will destroy your plants.
These include aphids, beetles, leaf miners, and carrot rust flies. There are also larger pests that you need to watch out for such as various rodents and potentially even deer!
Some plants may even attract bugs that can feast on the parasitic bugs that wreak havoc on your spinach.
Some of the plants you should consider for deterring pests include:
Alliums are plants such as onions, leeks, and garlic.
These are a must for anyone who wants to have healthy spinach in their garden as the fragrance of the plants will naturally deter the pests that want to eat spinach.
They also attract insects such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps that like to eat the spinach-destroying aphids.
Radishes are another great companion for spinach.
Their roots implant into a different layer of the soil compared to spinach so the two plants won’t compete for nutrients. Radishes can also keep leaf miners away from your spinach!
Cilantro works in a similar way to alliums as this fragrant herb will attract ladybugs and lacewings to your garden.
Neither of these insects will disturb your spinach but they will eat the aphids that might!
Plant some dill near your spinach to help prevent the spread of pests.
It’s another herb with a strong aroma that attracts the right kind of bugs and will help to protect your spinach.
There are few flowers that can be planted near spinach to deter pests but we wanted to single out calendula in particular.
These bright flowers come in a wide variety of orange and yellow colors and their aroma will send pests away from your spinach.
It’s thought that the fragrance of calendula might even be strong enough to deter rabbits, so if you have a rabbit problem in your backyard, consider planting some calendula!
Some other plants that will deter pests are:
Best Spinach Companion Plants For Growth And Nutrients
There are also some plants you can grow with spinach that will make it grow more effectively.
Intercropping is very effective with spinach as different plants work together to support each other’s growth.
Some plants help to keep the soil cooler and others will add more nutrients into the soil.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best options.
Brassicas cover vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
The root systems for spinach and brassicas implant at different depths so they don’t interfere with each other.
This means it’s safe to plant them together, making the most of your space and helping each plant to grow.
Arguably the best companion plant for growth is lettuce.
Planting lettuce and spinach together will increase the yield of both as lettuce helps to keep the soil cool and this in turn prevents your spinach from going to seed early.
Spinach needs nitrogen in the soil in order to grow.
Peas and other members of the legume family are fantastic sources of nitrogen in the soil so planting some peas will help your spinach.
Eggplants are another plant that won’t compete with spinach for nutrients so you can plant them close together without either plant suffering.
Eggplant will also help your spinach to grow by offering it some shade, preventing the spinach from drying out and delaying bolting.
Their sprawling growth of strawberries covers the ground and creates a protective layer that keeps the soil cool.
As strawberries possess deeper and more extensive root systems, they don’t compete with spinach for moisture and nutrients either.
They also occupy different spaces above ground as strawberries grow to a much shorter height than spinach.
Tomatoes grow on an entirely different timescale to spinach as they take a lot longer to grow and mature but this doesn’t stop them from being a great companion plant!
You can make the most of your space by growing spinach and tomatoes together.
When you intercrop them correctly, you will also get some ground cover which will help the spinach obtain the cool and moist soil it loves so much.
Sunflowers will attract native bees to your garden. Bees are very important if you’re looking to pollinate spinach flowers as they aid in that process.
If you have bees in your garden, it’s also likely that you will see an increase in birds and some birds can eat the pests that damage your spinach.
Some other plants that will help with growth are:
- Crimson clovers
The Worst Companion Plants for Spinach
Now that we’ve introduced the best companion plants for spinach, it’s important that we list some of the plants that should not be planted nearby spinach.
You should never plant potatoes near spinach. This is because potatoes will attract a variety of pests such as flea beetles and wireworms that love to eat spinach.
Flea beetles are especially troublesome as not only will they put holes in your spinach leaves, but they can cause your spinach plants to wilt and stunt.
Potatoes will also suck up the nutrients and water from your soil, starving your spinach.
Fennel should never be planted in your backyard without a lot of thought and planning.
This plant releases allopathic chemicals into the soil and this can have a variety of negative effects on the plants around it, including spinach.
These chemicals will inhibit both the growth and the germination of your plants and your spinach will find it difficult to grow into a healthy and mature plant.
In this article, we listed a variety of plants that make for great companion plants for spinach.
Some of the plants work to deter the pests that can destroy your spinach whereas others add nutrients to the soil and will aid the growth of your spinach.
We also identified some plants that should never be grown near spinach so make sure that you avoid these!