What Not to Plant with Kale
Kale is a cool weather crop that is hardy and relatively easy to grow. However, careful planning is required when interplanting kale with other vegetables in order to avoid potential problems. In this article, we will examine what not to plant with kale and why.
Avoid Planting These Vegetables Next to Kale
Bush beans and pole beans planted near kale can encourage pests like cabbage loopers. Beans also need more nitrogen than kale, and will take nitrogen away from kale, stunting its growth. It's best not to interplant beans and kale. Plant them in separate beds.
Broccoli and kale are both brassicas. Planting different brassicas together can lead to nutrient deficiencies and an increased risk of disease. Rotate brassica crops each year and avoid planting them together.
Cucumbers can harbor mildew that can spread to kale. They also sprawl and will take over kale's space. Plant cucumbers away from kale beds.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic exude a substance that helps suppress pests. However, this substance will also stunt the growth of kale. Keep onions and garlic separate from kale.
Spinach and kale both need ample nitrogen. Interplanted together, they will compete for nutrients, resulting in stunted growth. Succession plant spinach and kale rather than interplanting.
Sweet corn is a heavy feeder that requires a lot of nitrogen. Planting sweet corn near kale can deprive kale plants of nitrogen needed for healthy growth. Separate sweet corn and kale.
Tomatoes are prone to verticillium wilt, which can spread to kale. As nightshades, tomatoes also attract pests like flea beetles that will damage kale. Keep tomatoes away from kale.
What to Plant with Kale
When interplanting kale with other vegetables, choose companions that have different growth habits and nutrient needs. Some good options include:
- Beets - Grow well with kale and don't compete for space.
- Carrots - Thin sow carrots between kale plants.
- Chard - Another brassica that makes a good kale companion.
- Lettuce - Can be interplanted while kale is young.
- Peas - Nitrogen-fixing and don't compete for space.
- Radishes - Grow quickly between kale plants.
- Turnips - Another brassica, plant separately from kale.
Proper planning is key when interplanting kale. Avoid heavy feeders, vegetables prone to shared pests and diseases, and sprawling plants that will overtake the kale. With thoughtful companion planting, you can maximize garden space and keep your kale healthy and thriving.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Not to Plant with Kale
Can you plant kale with strawberries?
It's best not to plant kale with strawberries. Strawberries have very shallow roots while kale has a deep taproot. This makes them incompatible for interplanting since they have very different root systems competing for space and nutrients. Plant strawberries separately from kale.
What plants go well with kale in pots?
Some good companions to plant with kale in pots include bush beans, beets, carrots, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach, and turnips. Choose smaller, quick growing varieties that won't overcrowd the kale. Avoid sprawling plants like cucumbers and vining peas.
Should kale be planted alone?
While kale can be planted alone in a bed or pot, it also grows well when interplanted with compatible vegetables. Planting kale with vegetables like beets, carrots, and radishes allows you to maximize space and growth. Just be sure not to plant kale with heavy feeding plants or those that share pests and diseases.
What are the best companion plants for kale?
Some of the best companion plants for kale include beets, carrots, chard, lettuce, peas, radishes, and turnips. These vegetables have different growth habits and don't directly compete with kale for nutrients or space. They help repel pests, improve soil nutrition, and allow you to get the most out of your garden.
What 3 vegetables should not be planted together?
There are a few classic combinations of vegetables that should not be planted together:
- Onions, garlic, and leeks should not be planted with beans or peas.
- Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant should not be planted together or they will be more prone to disease.
- Cucumbers and corn should not be interplanted, as they compete for nutrients.
When interplanting kale with other vegetables, be mindful of choosing compatible companions. Avoid planting kale near heavy feeders, sprawling plants, and vegetables prone to the same pests and diseases. With smart companion planting, you can maximize the growth of your kale while effectively using garden space. Pay attention to the specific needs of kale and its companions for healthy, thriving plants.