Kale and spinach both provide a reliable leafy green in the cooler seasons.In mild climates, where temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, both vegetables can produce through the winter.Kale and spinach grow well together in a combined winter greens garden because they share the same cultural requirements.3 Mist the bed with water to keep the top few inches of soil moist until the seeds germinate, which takes around seven days.Thin the seedlings after the seeds germinate and produce their second set of leaves so both the kale and spinach in the row sit 12 inches apart. .
Kale Companion Plants: Friends For Your Greens
Companion plants for kale are any plants that grow well near kale.They can provide many benefits, including attracting beneficial pollinators and insects, repelling pests, adding certain nutrients to the soil, encouraging better taste, and providing groundcover and shade.What Is Companion Planting?Flowers, herbs, and a whole lot of vegetables make good kale companion plants.For example, strongly scented plants like herbs can attract beneficial pollinators or repel harmful pests.Now let’s talk about which plants make good companion plants for kale!Flowers can also be planted as companion plants for kale to provide numerous benefits, and are some of the best companion plants to have in your vegetable garden.Members of the allium family can deter common pests with their strong scent and the oils they produce, repelling kale pests like flea beetles, cabbage loopers, and aphids.Garlic has many uses in the garden, as well as a variety of health benefits.Since kale is a leafy green and heavy nitrogen feeder, bush and pole beans are an excellent kale companion planting choice.You might also want to plant companion plants that can provide ground cover near kale, which will prevent weeds from growing, conserve soil moisture, and help regulate the soil temperature from extremes.If you want to plant cover crops near kale, consider buckwheat, which seals in soil moisture, smothers weeds, attracts beneficial insects, and adds nitrogen to the soil.Other excellent kale companion plants include a variety of tasty vegetables.Peppers won’t compete for nitrogen with kale, so they can make a good companion.What Not To Plant With Kale.Strawberries will impede the growth of brassicas, including kale and cabbage.If you want to be safe, you should plant tomatoes further away from kale so they don’t compete for nutrients in the soil, growing space, or even sunlight.A: Yes, but you should space them as far apart as possible, since they are both members of the brassica family and will attract the same pests. .
The Best Companion Plants to Grow with Kale
Not only will you have a ready list of companions by the end of this article, but you will also understand the ways in which these plants will help your kale thrive.The primary purpose of planting herbs along with kale is to attract predatory insects that will keep pests in check.Insectary plants provide nectar, pollen, and shelter for predatory and parasitoid beneficial insects – the kind we want around.Love it or hate it, cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) attracts hoverflies (Syrphidae) and other beneficial insects, so it’s a great addition to your garden.It’s the good life indeed when your beans and rice are blessed by the fresh, bright taste of homegrown cilantro.Dill (Anethum graveolens) is perhaps the only garden herb I love as much as cilantro, and the beneficial insects seem to agree.Hoverflies – one of my favorite beneficial insects to observe – are more attracted to yellow and white flowers than other colors, and dill fits this description.Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) was found to lower populations of tobacco cutworm (Spodoptera litura) in Chinese kale crops.You’ll need to either treat this tropical plant as an annual, or overwinter it indoors in Zones 8 and lower.Brassicas tend to be prone to the same pests and diseases, so planting them together can easily lead to an outbreak.This doesn’t mean you can’t plant it with other heavy feeders, but if you do, make sure you add an extra source of nitrogen – such as well-rotted manure – to your soil.One of my favorite varieties is the heirloom, ‘Blue Lake,’ a type of snap bush bean.It produces high yields of classic green beans that will be ready to harvest in 50-70 days.You can find organic ‘Blue Lake’ bush bean seeds at True Leaf Market.In a study conducted in 1998, published in the Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, hot peppers (Capsicum annuum) were found to attract Trichogramma chilonis, a type of parasitic wasp, so add hot peppers to your list of insectary plants.There are many types of hot pepper out there, so even if you aren’t a fan of scorching, spicy heat, you might enjoy discovering some of the milder ones just for their intriguing flavors.One study in Kenya in 2003 published by the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, found that tomatoes interplanted with kale reduced infestations of diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella), a damaging pest, as well as other pest insects and diseases.Onions, leeks, garlic, shallots, and chives – I’ve never met an allium I didn’t like.Their lovely purple blossoms nod in the warm breeze on a summer day, standing out amongst all the leafy garden plants.Alliums aren’t just pretty – they earn their keep by deterring moths, mites, aphids, and flea beetles from your kale.They are easy and inexpensive to buy at the market, so I’d rather keep my garden real estate for the vegetables that are harder to come by.Organic evergreen bunching onion seeds are available for purchase at True Leaf Market.From gorgeous quiches to soups that have a certain je ne sais quoi, the leek will elevate your cooking.Check out the delicious leek, artichoke, and red pepper quiche recipe at Foodal.There are many annual flowers that can provide benefits for your garden kale, but some have a more established track record than others, and are more commonly found.And I’m not the only one who likes that smell – hoverflies do, too, and their larval form feeds on aphids, a common pest for growers of cruciferous vegetables.I like to add several varieties of marigold to my garden every year, including those that are nice and tall.They provide excellent ground cover and attract predatory and parasitoid insects to naturally control pest populations like aphids.This variety grows 10-12 inches high with an 8 to 10-inch spread, and seeds are available from True Leaf Market.Sweet alyssum’s low-growing, mounding form will make it an excellent ground cover in your garden, and since it’s not a heavy feeder, it won’t compete with your main crop for nitrogen.Kale looks lovely in a mixed veggie and flower bed, and a low growing variety of sweet alyssum will make an excellent border for such plantings.Seeds for the white-flowered ‘Tiny Tim’ variety, which grows only 3 inches tall, can be found at True Leaf Market.These cover crops can also act as a “green manure” when you dig them into the soil at the end of the growing season, adding nutrients and organic matter.It can act as a ground cover crop, encouraging water retention and preventing soil degradation.One of the beneficial insects buckwheat attracts is the minute pirate bug, which feeds on aphids, thrips, and small caterpillars.Also known as “broom corn,” sorghum attracts parasitic wasps, which are predators of several pests that affect kale.If you garden in a climate where kale does not thrive in full sun, you can use a taller plant such as sorghum to provide it with a little shade.You can get organic hairy vetch cover crop seeds in package sizes from one to 50 pounds at True Leaf Market. .
8 Best Kale Companion Plants & 3 Plants to Avoid
This means that you can start cilantro and kale seeds together and they will grow at around the same rate. .
10 Tips for Growing Kale
Start spring seeds indoors approximately six weeks before the last frost to give plants a chance to mature before summer’s worst heat.Plant your crop again in the fall, six to eight weeks before the first expected frost — you can keep harvesting even after snowfall.Kale is buddy-buddy with beets, celery, cucumbers, herbs, onions, spinach, chard, and potatoes.Protect young plants with row covers like this to stave off flea beetles and provide a buffer against any unexpected temperature dips.Picking off unhealthy-looking leaves and keeping your plants well-fed with compost and water will also reduce insect damage in your vegetable garden,.Use straw or grass mulch at the base of your plants to keep the soil cool, conserve moisture, and make it easier for roots to feed.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .
Kale & Spinach planting tips and how to prepare kale to eat
Kale is a super-hardy brassica (relative of broccoli, cabbage & Brussels sprouts).It should be planted like its relatives; in good, loamy soil with lots of sunshine and a few marigolds tucked in.The rest of the leaves can be chopped or torn and used in a salad or sautéed with butter and olive oil (or steamed).To make the chips, tear or cut the leaves into sections; they will be uneven (see photo).Spinach likes cool and cold weather and doesn’t even mind a frost.I cover both the spinach and kale with clear plastic over supports once the snow threatens. .
Spinach vs. Kale: Is One Healthier?
Nutritional Differences Both kale and spinach are highly nutritious, low-calorie vegetables that provide a wide array of important vitamins and minerals.Meanwhile, a small study in 27 people found that eating a soup made with about 9 ounces (250 grams) of spinach for just 7 days improved blood pressure.Both vegetables also contain cancer-fighting compounds, which have been shown to decrease the growth and spread of cancer cells in test-tube and animal studies ( 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 ).What’s more, because kale and spinach are low in calories yet high in nutrients, adding these tasty greens to your diet can be an effective strategy to boost weight loss ( 12 , 13 ).Summary Spinach contains oxalate, which can prevent calcium absorption in your body and may contribute to kidney stone formation.Disruptions in thyroid function can impact your metabolism and cause symptoms like fatigue, sensitivity to cold, and weight changes ( 20 ).Other research has found that regularly eating cruciferous vegetables is not associated with a higher risk of thyroid cancer — except for in women with a very low intake of iodine ( 23 , 24 ).Therefore, if you have thyroid problems, cooking kale or spinach prior to eating it and ensuring you get enough iodine in your diet from foods like seafood and dairy can help prevent any side effects caused by goitrin.Not only do each of these ingredients bring a different set of nutrients to the table, but they can also add a bit of variety and new flavors to your diet.Summary Kale and spinach may differ slightly in terms of nutritional value and health benefits, but both can be included as part of a healthy diet. .