Companion plants for spinach are important because it’s a very delicate crop. Generally, the purpose of companion plants is to help plants grow stronger, treat the soil, and deter pests. These are all pretty vital when growing spinach.
So, let’s look at some of the best spinach companion plants.
Radishes act as a trap crop around spinach, meaning they distract pests. It’s less of a problem for pests to eat radish leaves, as the useful part is the root. Plus, because they’re small, you can easily grow them together in a container. Use a rectangular planter (such as this one) when growing radishes and spinach together.
Marigolds are an almost universal companion plant for food crops. They deter a range of pests, such as nematodes, that would otherwise damage spinach’s delicate leaves. You don’t have to plant them in the same pot; nearby is fine.
Beans and peas are great companion plants for spinach. First, they draw nitrogen from the air and deposit it in the soil, which the spinach then uses. Also, tall vertical plants like legumes provide shade for what’s growing underneath. Use a planter with a trellis (such as this) to save space.
Strawberries do a similar job to peas, just lower down. They provide ground cover, keeping the soil moist. In turn, this prevents spinach from bolting (going to seed). If using strawberries as a spinach companion plant, start the strawberries first so you don’t disturb the young spinach plants. Because strawberries are perennials, you only have to worry about this the first year.
Pretty much any allium will do as a spinach companion plant, but garlic is best for balcony gardening because it’s the smallest. It gives off an odor that pests hate, and it has a deeper root system than spinach. This means they won’t compete for water and nutrients if in the same pot.
Just as we have ideal companion plants, spinach has a few enemies in the garden, too.
Potatoes such almost all the nutrients from the soil, meaning they shouldn’t really be planted near anything. Also, potatoes will pretty much take over above ground, which can quickly kill spinach. When growing potatoes on a balcony, it’s best to keep them alone in their own container.
Fennel is something of a loner in the garden because it’s allelopathic. This means it releases chemicals that stunt the growth of other plants. In short, you should probably avoid it altogether in your balcony garden.
There are plenty more companion plants for spinach, but this should give you a good idea of what works. Just as we’ve suggested peas, you can also use tomatoes, peppers, and other vertical plants.
When you’re getting your spinach seeds ready for the growing season, make sure you have a range of companion plants on standby to increase yields.