Companion Planting

20 Kale Companion Plants For A Green Garden

Source : bonnieplants

If you're looking to cultivate a thriving green garden, kale is a vegetable that deserves a prominent spot in your planting scheme.

Known for its nutrient-rich leaves and versatility in various culinary creations, kale is a favorite among gardeners and health-conscious individuals alike. However, like any other plant, kale can benefit from the presence of certain companion plants that promote its growth and deter potential pests.

In this article, we will explore the best kale companion plants, their benefits, and how to create a harmonious and productive garden by pairing kale with the right plant allies.

1. Bush Beans

Source : hortmag

Bush beans make an excellent companion plant for kale due to their complementary growth habits and beneficial interactions. Kale is a leafy vegetable that thrives in full sun, while bush beans prefer partial shade. This makes them compatible in terms of light requirements.

Additionally, bush beans are nitrogen-fixing plants, meaning they convert atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form for other plants. This benefits kale by enriching the soil with nitrogen, promoting its growth and productivity. Furthermore, the dense foliage of kale provides shade and helps retain soil moisture, which can be advantageous for shallow-rooted bush beans.

2. Chives

Source : greenwoodnursery

Chives are a good companion plant for kale. Chives repel pests such as aphids and cabbage worms, which can commonly affect kales. Additionally, chives attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, which help in pollination. The strong scent of chives can also deter larger pests like rabbits and deer.

Together, chives and kale create a mutually beneficial environment not just in the garden but also in the kitchen. One dish that combines both chives and kale is a delicious Kale and Chive Frittata. Top it off with some grated cheese and bake in the oven until golden. Serve it as a hearty and nutritious breakfast or brunch option.

3. Scallions

Source : mashable

Scallions, also known as green onions or spring onions, are a popular companion plant for kale in the herb garden. These slender vegetables have a long, green stalk with a white bulb at the end. They add a mild onion flavor to dishes and are often used raw in salads, stir-fries, or as a garnish.

The scallions act as a natural pest deterrent, repelling harmful insects that may damage the kale plants. Additionally, the tall and leafy kale provides shade to the scallions, preventing them from bolting or getting scorched by the sun. One delicious dish that combines both these vegetables is a kale and scallion stir-fry, where the crispness of scallions complements the hearty texture of sautéed kale.

4. Onions

Source : thespruce

Onions, with their slender green shoots and layered bulbs, make excellent companions for kale in the garden. Their pungent aroma deters pests that might bother kale, creating a protective alliance. Picture kale's vibrant leaves standing tall alongside the onion's stalks.

Together, they form a dynamic duo, promoting each other's growth. Beyond the garden, in the culinary realm, envision a hearty stir-fry uniting kale's robust crunch with the savory sweetness of caramelized onions—a flavorful harmony straight from the garden to the plate.

5. Garlic

Source : myplantin

Garlic is a member of the onion family and is widely used as a flavoring agent in various cuisines. It typically consists of multiple small cloves enclosed in a papery white or purple skin. Garlic is an excellent companion plant for Kale due to its ability to repel pests like aphids, Japanese beetles, and cabbage worms, which are common threats to Kale.

Additionally, Garlic also enhances the flavor of Kale when cooked together. One delicious dish that incorporates both vegetables is a sautéed kale and garlic stir-fry, where the pungent and aromatic flavors of Garlic complement the earthy taste of Kale.

6. Buckwheat

Source : pulseusa

Buckwheat and kale make excellent companion plants in the vegetable garden due to their mutually beneficial relationship. Buckwheat acts as a cover crop, attracting beneficial insects and improving soil health by suppressing weeds and adding organic matter when it is later turned under.

Kale, on the other hand, benefits from the presence of buckwheat as it provides shade and acts as a living mulch, reducing soil temperature and moisture loss. Additionally, buckwheat flowers attract pollinators, which can enhance kale's fruiting. This symbiotic relationship creates a thriving garden ecosystem and promotes healthy growth for both buckwheat and kale.

7. Cucumbers

Source : berkeley

Cucumbers and kale can be good companion plants as they have similar climate preferences, soil preferences, and nutrition requirements. Both plants thrive in full sun and prefer a mild climate. They also require well-drained soil with a pH range of 6.0-7.0.

In terms of nutrition, both cucumbers and kale benefit from rich, organic soil and regular fertilization. Additionally, kale can provide shade for the cucumber plants, helping to keep the soil moist and reducing weed growth. Overall, these plants complement each other well, making them suitable companion plants.

8. Radish

Source : homesteadandchill

Radish and kale make excellent companion plants in the garden as radishes help deter pests that commonly affect kale, such as cabbage worms and aphids. Additionally, radishes have a fast growth cycle, which means they can be harvested before kale reaches its full size, allowing for efficient space utilization.

Both plants prefer cool climates, making them suitable for spring and fall planting. In terms of soil preference, radishes thrive in looser, well-drained soil, while kale prefers fertile soil. Furthermore, radishes have shallow roots, which help break up compacted soil, benefiting kale by improving drainage and nutrient availability.

9. Cilantro

Source : underwoodgardens

Cilantro and kale make excellent companion plants in a vegetable garden due to their complementary growth habits and beneficial interactions. Cilantro is a fast-growing herb that provides shade and acts as a natural pest repellent for kale, helping to deter pests like aphids and spider mites. Additionally, cilantro attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs, which feed on harmful pests.

On the other hand, kale provides a tall and sturdy structure that acts as a windbreak for cilantro, preventing it from getting damaged. Together, they create a mutually beneficial environment that promotes healthy growth and reduces the need for chemical pesticides.

10. Basil

Source : urbanfarmandkitchen

Basil is a popular herb known for its aromatic leaves and is often used in cooking. It has a bushy growth with vibrant green leaves and small white flowers. Growing basil alongside kale can be highly beneficial as basil acts as a natural pest deterrent for kale, protecting it from harmful insects.

Additionally, the strong scent of basil can mask the attractive scent of kale, reducing the chances of it being attacked by pests. One delicious dish that combines both vegetables is a kale and basil pesto pasta, where the fresh basil leaves are blended with kale, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese to create a flavorful and nutritious sauce.

11. Catmint

Source : bhg

Catmint, a fragrant herb with gray-green foliage and petite purple flowers, makes an excellent companion for kale. Its aromatic presence deters pests, safeguarding kale's growth. The subtle beauty of catmint complements kale's robust leaves, creating an aesthetically pleasing garden.

As they grow side by side, catmint enhances soil quality, promoting kale's overall health. Harvesting both, imagine a delectable dish—a vibrant kale and catmint pesto. The earthy tones of kale blend seamlessly with the minty freshness of catmint, creating a flavorful culinary harmony that delights the senses.

12. Dill

Source : bhg

Dill is an excellent companion plant for kale in an herb garden because both plants prefer similar climates, thriving in full sun and moderate temperatures. Additionally, dill prefers well-drained soil, which is also ideal for kale's growth.

Moreover, planting dill alongside kale provides benefits such as attracting beneficial insects that aid in pest control and promoting overall plant health. Lastly, nutritionally, dill requires similar soil conditions as kale, allowing them to share essential nutrients and support each other's growth.

13. Rosemary

Source : treehugger

Rosemary proves to be an excellent companion for Kale. With its fragrant, needle-like leaves and potent aroma, Rosemary acts as a natural pest deterrent, shielding Kale from potential harm.

This dynamic duo not only shares similar growing conditions but also complements each other aesthetically, creating a visually pleasing garden. Rosemary's pest-repelling properties contribute to a healthier kale crop, making them a harmonious pair in both the garden and on the plate.

14. Peas

Source : thespruce

Peas and kale are like the best buddies to grow together in the vegetable garden. These two plants have a mutually beneficial relationship as peas are nitrogen-fixing plants, which means they convert atmospheric nitrogen into a usable form, enriching the soil with this essential nutrient.

Kale, on the other hand, benefits from this nitrogen-rich soil, resulting in healthier and more robust growth. Additionally, kale provides a natural shade for the peas, protecting them from excessive sunlight and heat. Overall, planting peas and kale together promotes soil fertility, enhances growth, and ensures a successful and abundant harvest.

15. Sage

Source : britannica

Sage and Kale are a power duo in the garden that thrive together with mutual benefits. Sage's aromatic presence deters pests harmful to Kale, fostering a natural protective environment. Both share a preference for well-drained soil and sunny climates, creating an ideal garden setting.

Sage's nitrogen-fixing capabilities enhance soil quality, supporting Kale's growth. Their nutritional needs align seamlessly, simplifying garden care. Together, they create a resilient and flavorful garden tapestry, where each contributes to the other's well-being, forming a sustainable and thriving partnership in the vegetable patch.

16. Peppers

Source : a-z-animals

Peppers and Kale thrive as garden best friends, each offering unique benefits. Peppers, with their vibrant colors and spicy allure, share a love for well-drained soil and ample sunlight, creating a compatible growing environment. While Kale's leafy canopy provides shade and moisture retention, peppers deter certain pests harmful to Kale.

Their differing nutritional needs ensure a balanced uptake of soil nutrients, promoting overall soil health. Together, they form a resilient alliance, enhancing the garden's diversity and yielding a bountiful harvest that satisfies both the taste buds and the soil's well-being.

17. Potatoes

Source : hunker

Potatoes and Kale form a garden power couple. Thriving in similar climates, both appreciate cool temperatures and well-drained soil. Potatoes act as protective neighbors, shielding Kale from harsh sunlight with their sprawling foliage. Their contrasting root depths prevent competition for nutrients, fostering a harmonious soil environment.

Potatoes, known for deterring certain pests, contribute to a healthier Kale crop. This companionship extends beyond the garden—while Potatoes bring earthy starchiness, Kale adds a nutritious punch, making them a winning combination both in cultivation and on the dinner plate.

18. Beets

Source : bhg

Beets and Kale form a dynamic duo in the garden, thriving when planted side by side. Beets' roots break the soil helping Kale plant its roots deeper and ensure minimal competition for nutrients, promoting a thriving garden ecosystem. Beyond their cooperative soil-sharing, beets act as natural protectors, deterring pests harmful to Kale.

The vibrant hues of both plants create an aesthetically pleasing contrast, enhancing the overall appeal of the garden. Together, they not only share a symbiotic relationship in cultivation but also offer a delightful culinary combination, adding both flavor and nutrition to your plate.

19. Celery

Source : anniesheirloomseeds

Celery and Kale make a formidable garden pair. Celery's tall stalks provide shade for Kale, preventing it from bolting in intense sunlight. Their climate and soil preferences align, creating a harmonious environment. Celery's nutrient needs complement Kale's, promoting a balanced uptake from the soil.

Together, they enhance soil health and deter common pests. It's a garden alliance where Celery's upright stature supports Kale's leafy growth, creating a mutually beneficial relationship that thrives in shared sunlight and nutrient-rich soil.

20. Thyme

Source : bonnieplants

Thyme is an excellent companion for kale. This aromatic herb not only adds a delightful fragrance to the garden but also plays a vital role in pest management. Thyme acts as a natural pest deterrent, helping to keep harmful insects away from kale.

Additionally, it contributes to the overall health of the kale plants by enhancing the soil with its root system. The symbiotic relationship between thyme and kale creates a harmonious environment, fostering the well-being of both plants in a mutually beneficial companionship.