When planting a garden, it can be difficult to arrange your plants in the most optimal way. You have a limited amount of space, which means you can only plant a limited number of crops.
Let’s say you choose to plant cabbage in your garden. What else can you plant alongside it without causing overcrowding?
Let’s go over the best companion plants for cabbage!
What Are Companion Plants?
Companion plants are plants that are safe to plant alongside each other in your garden. Basically, they’re a way to get the most bang for your buck in terms of garden space!
Certain plants can’t be placed next to each other, so it’s important to research whichever plant you’re most committed to planting.
For example, if you know you want to start out with cabbage, you’ll need to find companion plants that pair well with cabbage—and with each other!
Some companion plants for cabbage might not be good companion plants for each other. It’s important to establish a garden with plants that benefit each other, not harm each other.
Sometimes, companion plants can also improve pollination for the entire garden.
The Best Companion Plants for Cabbage
Beets are one of the best companion plants for cabbage out there!
Beets are fairly simple to grow, which means you’ll be able to handle them even if you’re new on the gardening scene.
Beets are known to help prevent some diseases that cabbage is vulnerable to, such as clubroot and blackleg, because these diseases mainly affect plants in the brassica family. They can also encourage more prolific cabbage harvests, since they don’t compete for nutrients.
Popeye isn’t the only one out there who benefits from keeping spinach around!
Spinach is packed to the brim with nutrients, to the point that it’s considered a superfood.
By adding spinach into your daily diet, you can improve your ability to fight disease. Spinach can help prevent cancer, heart disease, and even improve high blood sugar!
Even if you don’t care for the flavor of cooked spinach, you can blend raw spinach into your smoothies to disguise the flavor. You can also mix it in salads, add it to sandwiches, and find many other ways to sneak it in.
So not only does spinach make a great companion plant for cabbage, but it also makes for a healthy, versatile addition to your garden.
The one downside to spinach as a companion plant for cabbage is that it’s also a favorite food for aphids. These are tiny garden pests that are quick to invade and hard to get rid of.
If you find yourself struggling with an aphid problem, one way to effectively rid yourself of them is to release ladybugs into your garden!
While it may seem counterintuitive to let more bugs loose, ladybugs are actually incredibly helpful to your garden. They eat aphids for breakfast—literally!—and help pollinate your plants, as well.
When it comes to cabbage companion plants, thyme is a good choice to plant around the borders of your cabbage patch.
Thyme’s smell is pleasant to humans; there’s a reason we use it in cooking, candles, and many other things around the home.
However, to a particular cabbage pest—namely, cabbage moths—the smell is abhorrent. Because of this, you can keep your cabbages much safer by planting thyme nearby.
Choosing carrots as one of your companion plants for cabbage is one of the best decisions you can make.
Why? Because carrots take up nearly no space above the dirt in your garden, which is where cabbage takes up the most space.
You can plant plenty of carrots alongside your cabbage without these plants crowding each other out.
Because most of the plant is hidden underground, carrots rarely attract pests of any sort. They don’t add any additional hazards to your garden space.
Do keep in mind that because of the way cabbage spreads out, it will block the carrots directly beside it from receiving the sun they need.
To avoid losing your carrot crop, once you notice them being covered by the cabbage’s shade, make sure you harvest them quickly.
Scallions are another great space-saving choice as companion plants for cabbage. They don’t spread out; instead, they grow vertically.
Scallions are another plant that can be vulnerable to aphid infestation. Again, investing in a ladybug population may be a good choice for your cabbage companion plants.
Garlic makes a fantastic companion plant for cabbage because of its pest-repelling abilities…and because it takes up very little space.
Garlic is a compact plant that grows mostly upward, so it doesn’t take up much spread in the garden.
Thanks to its strong smell, it’s rarely a target for pests. It’s best to plant garlic around the perimeter of your garden to create an acerbic barrier around your other plants.
(Imagine a place surrounded by a noxious wall of garlic breath. You wouldn’t want to get anywhere close, either!)
Dandelions aren’t the first thing you’d think of for companion plants to cabbage. In fact, most people think of dandelions as weeds and nuisances in their gardens, nothing more.
In actuality, dandelion greens are quite nutritious, and they make a great addition to salads and other recipes.
They’re also undesirable to most garden pests, which makes them another good “guard” plant.
The Benefits of Companion Plants
As mentioned, companion plants are helpful because they save room in your garden while allowing you to plant multiple specimens for future harvest. These plants can brush elbows with each other without sapping nutrients from each other.
Certain companion plants are also helpful because they keep pests away from your more vulnerable plants!
If you can track down companion plants that are known to be resistant to pests and disease, all the better for your core plant.
Certain diseases are transferable between plants. By investing in companion plants that are disease-resistant, you can lower the risk of your core plant contracting any diseases.
The same goes for pest-resistant plants. Think of them as a barrier protecting your core crop. Whether because they smell abhorrent to certain pests or have other qualities that make them undesirable, the less pest-friendly you can make your garden, the better.
Cabbage Companions FAQ
Which plants should never be planted with cabbage?
You should avoid planting any plants in the same family as cabbage (Brassica plants). These plants will share vulnerabilities to the same diseases and pests, and this puts your cabbage at higher risk for destruction.
Tomatoes are also a poor choice for a companion plant for cabbage, but not for the same reason. Tomatoes and cabbage tend to battle it out for similar nutrients, and this can disrupt both plants from thriving.
Are there any plant diseases that affect both cabbage and companion plants?
Most companion plants are chosen specifically to avoid spread of disease and pests. You should only run into disease issues if you plant cabbage alongside plants in the same family.
Give Your Cabbage the Best Companion Plants!
Now you have a great place to start when choosing the best companion plants for cabbage!
You can fill up your garden with a variety of unique, delicious, and pest-resistant plants to have on hand for all your vegetable and herb-related endeavors.For more information on companion plants, visit our companion plant section now!