Companion planting means placing two or more plants next to one another so that they can benefit each other. You may naturally and chemically free improve the development of your spinach while also lowering the chance of pests and illnesses on the leaves by planting it next to certain other plants.
Companion plants may aid in supplying the best growth circumstances, such as essential groundcover or shade. They may also enhance the health of the soil by fixing nitrogen and cycling other essential nutrients.
So what plants pair well with spinach? Let’s find out!
Long-season leeks make wonderful cold-tolerant companion plants for spinach, which grows quickly in the autumn and winter.
Leeks’ strong aroma serves as a natural pesticide and pest deterrent, especially for carrot rust flies, which like to feed on spinach. Leeks’ thick base and root zone are excellent for aerating spinach bed soil.
It takes leeks about 100 days to mature, while spinach grows much more quickly. This means that, theoretically, you could have two or three harvests of spinach while your leeks are growing. Plant spinach at least 8 to 10 inches away from its leek companions.
One of the best plants to grow with spinach is the tomato. During the warmest times of the season, spinach is kept from bolting thanks to the gentle shade of tomato plants.
As long as you can manage potential pests and diseases, tomatoes are quite simple to cultivate. As they grow higher, they may assist in providing shade for lower-lying crops, so they make excellent allies.
In the late spring or early summer, sow spinach underneath young tomato plants, leaving at least 6 inches of space between the spinach and the tomatoes. For optimum results, plant summer spinach that can withstand the heat.
Tomato leaves serve as a helpful awning for spinach as long as they aren’t planted too closely together.
Onions and garlic, both part of the allium family, make great companions for spinach. Their distinct scent serves as an effective natural deterrent to insects. These aromatic plants are very effective in warding off pests that feed on crops—both smaller ones, like beetles and aphids, and bigger ones, like rats and deer. Beetles, aphids, and carrot rust flies are just some of the pests that may be driven away by alliums.
At the same time, helpful insects like parasitic wasps and ladybugs are drawn to alliums. They will consume harmful parasites and pests that affect spinach.
4. Dwarf Sunflowers
Adding sunflowers to your spinach bed may seem odd, but the miniature variety may be quite beneficial to spinach during the summer.
Spinach dislikes heat and direct sunlight, which may cause it to bolt. But the large leaves of dwarf sunflowers, which usually bloom in less than 60 days, provide the shade that is needed for spinach to prosper in hot weather.
If you select heat-tolerant spinach and protect it with the dappled afternoon shade offered by sunflowers, you may be able to harvest spinach all through the growing season.
Borage is a lovely, deer-resistant flower with blue blossoms that resemble stars. It attracts helpful insects, wards off pests, and increases the bioavailability of several nutrients for your spinach.
The biggest advantage of growing borage next to your spinach is its capacity to keep armyworms, wireworms, and cabbage loopers away from your greenery. Borage blossoms’ distinctive scent deters these pests while luring helpful animals that consume them. It is also a fantastic pollinator-attractor to enhance your garden’s biodiversity and attractiveness.
Borage is an excellent choice for borders or row ends, where it can develop into big blooming plants without overgrowing or crowding out your spinach.
Legumes are responsible for fixing atmospheric nitrogen, introducing high-quality organic matter into the soil, facilitating the circulation of soil nutrients, and retaining moisture in the soil. That is why legumes have great agricultural value. Plus, they may be grown either as a crop for consumption or as a natural fertilizer.
Spinach needs nitrogen to develop quickly and maximize leaf production. That makes beans and peas the perfect companion for spinach.
Additionally, both bush and vine beans provide the shade that may prevent spinach from bolting when temperatures are high.
Young dill adds a delightful flavor to pickles, while the huge blooms produced by mature dill plants are attractive to a wide variety of helpful insects. Dill is simple to cultivate and needs little in the way of upkeep.
Interestingly, many gardeners have observed that young dill seems to have a positive impact on the robustness of the plants that are growing around it. To provide this benefit to your spinach, you have to plant the dill at just the right time.
Dill should not be transplanted into the spinach patch for at least two to three weeks after the spinach has been planted. That way, the two plants mature at different times and you don’t have to worry about the dill crowding out the spinach. By the time the dill flowers, you will have already harvested your spinach.