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Kale Companion Plants: Full List of Pairings
Kale is a great cool-weather vegetable to grow in your garden. While it grows well on its own, you can maximize garden space and productivity by pairing it with a few of the right companion plants for kale.
The best kale companion plants include onions, garlic, and other alliums, along with peas, alyssum, cilantro, and dill. These are just a handful, though – read on for the full list!
Full List of Kale Companion Plants
The following plants can help deter pests, offer ground cover, improve soil quality, or attract beneficial insects.
Vegetables to Plant with Kale
• Beets, Carrots, and Radishes – Root vegetables like beets, carrots, and radishes provide ground cover for your kale and maximize garden space. Radishes also act as a flea beetle trap crop, so don’t use them as companions unless you’re willing to sacrifice your radish tops.
• Celery – Celery may help deter pests.
• Cucumbers – Cucumbers can offer ground cover for kale.
• Lettuce, Spinach, and Swiss Chard – These leafy greens provide ground cover for kale and in turn benefit from the shade kale can offer them.
• Onions, Garlic, Leeks, and Shallots – These members of the allium family may deter aphids, cabbage loopers, flea beetles, and other kale pests. Garlic in particular also enjoys cool weather and good kale growing conditions, making it an exceptional kale companion plant.
• Peas – Kale is a heavy nitrogen feeder, and peas fix nitrogen in the soil that can help it grow.
• Peppers and Potatoes – When given plenty of space to grow, peppers and potatoes will grow nicely with kale.
Flowers to Plant Near Kale
• Alyssum – Alyssum attracts hoverflies and other beneficial insects that eat kale pests.
• Marigolds – Marigolds can attract beneficial insects.
• Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums can make a good aphid trap crop when planted sacrificially around the border of your kale bed.
Herbs to Plant Near Kale
The following herbs may help improve kale’s flavor, deter pests, bring in beneficial insects, or otherwise improve kale growth.
What NOT to Plant Next to Kale
Some plants should be spaced a distance away from kale. This is generally due to stunting kale growth or attracting similar pests.
Plants to Avoid with Kale
• Black Walnut Trees – These trees can release a chemical that stunts kale growth.
• Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, and Other Brassicas – Since kale is a brassicas family member, it attracts many of the same pests as these other brassicas.
• Strawberries – Strawberries can inhibit kale’s growth.
• Sunflowers – Sunflowers may prevent kale seed germination.
Happy Kale Companion Planting!
You should now have a variety of kale companion plants to try in your garden this year. If you’re looking for more brassicas companions, check out the guide to broccoli companion planting.