15 companion plants for spinach

Wondering what to plant beside your spinach in the vegetable garden? Fortunately, there are some perfect companion plants for spinach to plant nearby.

Good companion plants for spinach include strawberries, peas, radish, lettuce, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and eggplant. These plants each have characteristics that tend to repel pests, attract beneficial insects, and/or provide other benefits in the garden. Avoid planting potatoes near your spinach plants.

Read on to learn all about the best companion plants for spinach!

Companion plants for spinach

Spinach companion planting basics

Spinach, also known as Spinacia oleracea, is a member of the Amaranthaceae family. The Amaranthaceae are flowering plants, including beets, quinoa, and of course, spinach. These plants are highly compatible with members of the brassica family: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and others.

1. Peas

Planting the spinach in the shade of a pea trellis structure in your vegetable garden can help delay bolting in warm, sunny conditions. Pea plants also draw nitrogen out of the air and make it available in the soil which is particularly helpful to green leafy plants like spinach.

2. Eggplant

Eggplants are ideal because they don’t compete heavily for nutrients with Spinach—allowing them both to grow as they need without issue. Eggplants can also offer shade to spinach plants in the heat of summer, delaying bolting.

3. Lettuce

Spinach planted with lettuce can prevent common diseases from spreading. They tend to attract different kinds of bugs that have no interest in spinach which is ideal for its optimal health.

4. Radish

Radishes are a good companion plant for spinach because of their unique leaves that attract bugs like leaf miners that usually love feasting on spinach. Radish is used as a “trap” companion plant to distract leaf miners away from the spinach.

5. Kale

Like lettuce, kale, and spinach planted near one another can prevent common plant diseases from spreading.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli is a part of the brassica family, a genus of plants that includes cabbage and mustard. They work well with spinach because they don’t compete for the same nutrients.

7. Cauliflower

Like broccoli, cauliflower is a part of the brassica family as well. Spinach and cauliflower will not be fighting for the same nutrients, allowing them both to grow to their full potential.

8. Cabbage

Cabbage is another brassica that pairs well with spinach in the garden.

9. Strawberries

Various berries tend to work well with Spinach nearby, but the ultimate berry to pair it with is the strawberry plant. They take nutrients from a different level of soil than Spinach—leaving the nutrients Spinach needs. Strawberries also provide groundcover for the strawberries, keeping weeds down and trapping in soil moisture to help the Spinach to grow even more. They also work well together to prevent common plant diseases.

10. Oats

Oats don’t need as much nitrogen as spinach, leaving the spinach to soak in all of the nitrogen it needs without issue. You can grow oats in the summertime, where the tall plants can be used in a row beside spinach to shade the plants and keep them from bolting too soon.

11. Cilantro

Cilantro flowers attract beneficial insects like parasitic wasps, lacewings, ladybugs, and others. These beneficial bugs eat aphids which often attack salad greens in the gardens. They also pair together well because they prevent leaf damage and common plant diseases from spreading.

12. Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum is also in the brassica family so the spinach doesn’t need to fight for the same nutrients as spinach making it an ideal environment to thrive. This ornamental is also highly attractive to beneficial pollinators.

13. Carrots

Carrots, as with cilantro, attract aphid predators and away from the spinach leaves. Carrot plants have a strong scent that can camouflage the spinach and act as a trap crop.

14. Crimson clovers

Crimson clovers tend to improve soil because the roots hold the soil in a steady place, diminishing chances for erosion while also allowing natural openings to improve drainage. Crimson clover is also a nitrogen-fixing plant, drawing nitrogen down into the soil for the spinach plants.

15. Sunflower

Sunflowers attract native bees which is important if you’re seed-saving from your spinach plants. The bees will be drawn to the sunflowers and then also pollinate the spinach flowers around them. Sunflowers also attract birds in the fall as the birds eat the seeds. These birds may eat some of the pest insects that potentially damage or infect spinach.

Good companion plants for spinach in the garden

Bad companions to avoid planting nearby

Potatoes tend to attract unwanted guests such as flea beetles that will eat holes into your spinach. Major damage done by flea beetles can cause wilting or stunting in your plants. Even a few holes from these beetles can make spinach leaves look unappetizing.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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