Spinach is one of those plants that every gardener loves to grow. It’s quick to sow, easy to maintain, and ready to harvest in a short 6-10 weeks. Not to mention it’s a crop that can be grown all year round offering a consistent supply straight from your garden to your plate.
So why would you consider adding companion plants to your spinach patch?
Certain companion plants can aid your spinach’s growth by:
- Attracting pollinators to your crops
- Diverting pests from your spinach
- Adding nutrients to the soil
- Offering shade or ground cover to protect the roots.
It is important to plant the right companion plants with your spinach as other plants will compete for space and nutrients and can hinder your spinach harvest.
Here is a list of 8 spinach companion plants to ensure you can maximize your available growing space without harming your spinach.
8 Spinach Companion Plants
Beans and Peas
Using tall varieties of beans and peas ensures that they do not compete for growing space with your spinach. As they grow, they offer some vital shade during the peak of summer to your spinach leaves, which can easily dry out.
On top of that, beans and peas add additional nitrogen into the soil, providing your spinach with additional nutrients that they love to feed on.
As leafy vegetables are similar to spinach, many varieties can grow alongside spinach and benefit from the same growing conditions, maximizing your available space.
The downside of this is that many leafy greens will also require the same nutrients from the same level of soil, therefore in direct competition with your spinach. Hence, you need to be careful which leafy greens to plant alongside your spinach.
Leafy greens such as
These greens are best planted in between your spinach plants. They help prevent the spread of disease between your spinach plants. Plus, they help deter pests from accessing and eating your spinach leaves.
Strawberries make a great spinach companion plant for two reasons. Firstly, they grow at a lower level than spinach, helping to provide vital ground cover. This protects spinach roots during high temperatures, keeping the soil cool.
Secondly, strawberries access nutrients in the ground at a different soil level than spinach. So both plants never compete with one another.
Spinach in return benefits strawberry plants as it releases saponin. Saponin helps to protect both plants from diseases that may have otherwise affected your strawberries if planted elsewhere.
Radish is often planted as a sacrificial companion plant for spinach. Its leaves attract pests such as flea beetles, aphids, and leaf miners. Leaf-miners are especially bad pests to have in your garden if you are growing spinach as they specifically target leafy greens.
Planting radishes around your spinach will deter pests away and towards the radish leaves. The good news is that your radish plants are not a lost cause. The pests will devour their leaves but will leave the root of the radish plant alone, which is the part that is harvested.
Another excellent spinach companion plant and one that has a mutually benefiting relationship.
Garlic not only helps to prevent insects from attacking your spinach, but it also offers protection against fungal diseases. Sulfur builds up in garlic in large quantities that help fight fungal diseases.
In return, spinach also releases saponin that has a similar effect and can help protect the garlic from diseases too when planted together.
Additional varieties of alliums such as onions, chives, leeks, and shallots, can also be planted near spinach to help deter unwanted pests.
Broccoli and Other Brassicas
Plants from the brassica family are ideal to plant among your spinach plants. This saves space and makes the most of the available resources too.
Brassicas such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and watercress, all have a different length of the root system to spinach. This means that they access and take the nutrients from the soil at a different level than spinach. Hence neither brassicas nor spinach directly compete with one another and can grow alongside each other very well.
The only downside to planting these two types of crops together is if you have a pest outbreak, especially those that target the leaves of a plant. If planting brassicas with your spinach, ensure to also provide breaks between your crops where you plant flowers that deter pests away.
Tansy’s are bright yellow flowers that make good companion plants to help deter pests from your crops. They contain a compound creating a scent that repels pests whilst their bright flowers help to attract pollinators.
One thing to note however is that tansy is toxic to both humans and pets. Ensure to leave space between your crops and the tansy plants to not accidentally harvest any tansy leaves or flowers with your crops.
Petunias are best planted as a companion plant with other plants that require full sunlight. As a companion plant for spinach, they help to deter pests whilst attracting beneficial pollinators.
However, petunias are strong growers and will take over any available space from weaker plants. Ensure your spinach is planted first and rooted before planting petunias.
What NOT To Plant With Spinach
As with all crops, there is a list of plants that would not make good companion plants. This can be for several reasons such as
- Competing for nutrients
- Competing for space
- Require different growing conditions
- Prevent your crops from growing.
If you are growing spinach and looking to add companion plants, it is best to avoid the following plants:
Ensuring to select plants that are compatible with your spinach from this post will help your spinach to thrive rather than compete together.
As spinach prefers soil that retains some moisture, partial shade, and lots of nutrients, it is best paired with companion plants that have similar or the same requirements.
Mix pollinator-attracting plants and flowers that deter pests away from your crops to help ensure you have a good and successful harvest.
And for more information on companion planting to help you plan your garden, check out these guides next: