Cabbage Companion Plants (A Quick Guide)

Ready to plant cabbage but need to know about cabbage companion plants? Cabbage is a simple vegetable to cultivate in your backyard garden because it requires little upkeep and can withstand a frost or two. Growing companion plants alongside your cabbage will aid in the growth of the crop. 

Companion planting is a terrific strategy to keep your garden abundant while also keeping it safe from pests. It also adds variety to what may otherwise be a monotonous environment. Cabbage, too, has a variety of companions. Let’s talk about it!

A permaculture field of Cabbage and Spring unions growing in plant companionship.

What is a cabbage?

Cabbage (brassica oleracea) is a leafy green vegetable that grows biennially but is usually grown as an annual. Cabbage belongs to the brassica family, like lettuce, spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts. They are cool-season crops, like other brassicas, and are not harmed by snow or cold conditions.

They have evolved to thrive all year in a variety of regions due to their long history of cultivation. Cabbage leaves can be smooth or wrinkled, and the color ranges from green to red and purple. You may buy a variety of cabbages to plant online.

What are the benefits of companion plants?

Companion planting is a tried-and-true gardening technique for enriching and protecting sensitive plants. In order to discourage pests, draw pollinators, and boost growth, farmers and gardeners plant particular crops alongside each other.

Companion plants can either aid in the growth of a certain crop or grow better beside it, and can perform a variety of tasks in the garden, including the following:

  1. Pests such as cabbage worms, cucumber beetles, Mexican bean beetles, carrot flies, and cabbage moths can wreak havoc on vegetable gardens. Several companion plants repel insects and should be utilized to keep pests away from crops.
  2. Pollinators such as honey bees and ladybugs can be enticed to visit vegetable gardens and pollinate the crops with a little help. 
  3. Crops absorb vital nutrients from the ground as they grow. Companion plants can replenish nutrients like nitrogen in the soil, allowing other plants to thrive.
  4. Many companion plants emit compounds that help the plants surrounding them grow faster or taste better.
  5. Low-growing plants act as a blanket over the soil, shielding it from the sun and maintaining it cool for plants that like milder temperatures.
  6. Tall and leafy plants  can provide much-needed cover for sun-sensitive plants underneath them.

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What can you not plant next to cabbage?

So, when it comes to planting cabbage with other plants, which ones are the worst? Here are a handful of plants to stay away from.

  • Lettuce – Pests may be attracted to lettuce crops, preventing healthy growth on cabbage heads.
  • Strawberries – Both will compete for nutrients. If they’re planted together, their tiny roots will entwine.
  • Tomatoes – These also compete for nutrients with cabbages. Their roots don’t mix well, and cabbages will limit the growth of tomatoes. Tomatoes also attract hornworms.
  • Rue – It is a more effective trap crop that will attract whiteflies and other pests. It also seeps chemicals into the soil and draws calcium (which is necessary for cabbage growth) from the ground.
  • Corn – Corn provides too much cover for sun-loving cabbages. Cabbage development will be hampered by a lack of sunlight.
Marigold plants nestled between red beet and carrot plants. Marigolds are companion plants and deter nematodes from attacking root crops.

What grows good with cabbage?

Companion plants provide natural checks and balances in your garden, keeping the overall system healthy without the use of chemicals. Companion plants that grow good with cabbage include:

  • Beans – Plant them on the southern side of your yard to protect your cabbage leaves from the harsh afternoon light.
  • Borage – It attracts pollinators such as bees and other helpful insects.
  • Brassica – Other brassicas, such as swiss chard, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,  kale, and other cabbage relatives, grow nicely with cabbage since they have similar needs.
  • Celery – It’s scent repels insects, preventing them from eating your crop.
  • Beets – They add critical elements to the soil, which cabbages may slowly absorb over the growth season. Beet leaves also make a great contribution to the compost pile.
  • Dill – It is also a popular food source for beneficial insects. As a result, it repels cabbage moths, worms, and loopers, as well as other pests with a voracious taste for brassicas.
  • Marigolds – Mosquitoes, whiteflies, and nematodes will be repelled by marigolds. They can also help with aphids, squash bugs, Japanese beetles, cucumber beetles, and squash vine borers, among other garden pests.

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