Kale is a popular vegetable for making salads, snacks, and even adding to smoothies. Kale can also be a valuable addition to your companion garden as it works well with many other plants.
Kale can be a wonderful filler plant to help make the most of your garden space that will be ready for the heat of the summer when other plants need more room to thrive.
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How To Best Companion Plant Kale
Kale makes a great companion plant in the garden. It can help break up sections of plants together to help prevent the spread of diseases and pests.
Companion planting kale with taller plants can help extend this cold weather plant further into the gardening season. To make the most of your crop, plant things that will not block your kale early in the season but will outgrow your kale for shade as the weather begins to turn too warm.
Kale can even be hidden in flower beds to help add biodiversity and act as a living mulch.
The Best Companion Plants For Kale
Potatoes make a great companion plant for kale. Simply use the rows between mounds to grow your kale early in the season.
As your kale dies off in the summer heat it will leave more room for the vines to grow. Kale can also be used for the outer edges of your potato garden bed if you are using a bed rather than rows.
Okra makes a great companion plant for kale because of its tall stature. It will help to provide shade to your kale to encourage a longer growing season when the summer heat moves in.
Kale in turn will act as a wonderful living mulch to help your okra plants thrive and stay healthy over time.
Eggplant makes a great companion plant for kale because like other tall plants it can help to provide shade at the end of the growing season helping to give you an extra couple of weeks of growth.
The mild flavor of eggplant means that it will not affect the overall flavor of your kale when grown together.
Dill makes a great companion plant for kale as the scent repels common pests like cabbage worms and aphids while helping to attract beneficial insects that help to each these pests when they do get into your garden.
Dill while strong in flavor and scent will not harm the flavor of your kale while helping to protect tender young seedlings.
Beans make an amazing companion plant for kale because they will add nitrogen to the soil helping to nourish and grow your kale.
Plant pole or bush beans along the north side of your garden bed to not shade your kale in the early season.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic make great bed companions with kale. These highly fragrant vegetables will help to repel pests and protect your young tender kale plants.
Onions and garlic make great companions that can be grown mixed without your kale bed where the kale dying off in the summer heat will allow them to spread more later in the season or be used to line the garden bed to create a protective wall.
Tomatoes make a great companion for your kale. This is because your kale will act as a living mulch for tomatoes while not fighting over the same nutrients.
Like other tall plants, tomatoes can help to provide shade for your kale to help expand its growing season.
When planting kale and tomatoes together, plant the kale on the east side where the tomatoes will help to provide shade in the hot afternoon sun when fully grown.
Bad Companions for Kale
Sunflowers should not be grown with kale. This is because sunflowers release chemicals that can stunt and stop the growth of kale seeds.
Keep these plants on the opposite sides of the garden to help your kale sprout and thrive.
Likewise do not plant kale in a bed that had sunflowers the year before where these chemicals can still be lingering.
Fennel is toxic to many plants in the garden including kale. For this reason, you should be careful to keep fennel out of your garden beds and away from the edible plants that you are relishing on having a plentiful harvest.
So now that you know which plants grow best with kale, and which to avoid. Why not check out these other companion planting guides: