There are various new methods to gardening these days, most of these methods of planting are beneficial to the plant. An example of this is companion planting. like humans, plants grow and get better when placed together, especially for their mutual benefits.
Companion planting simply means pairing two or more plants together for mutual benefits i.e., pest control, better yields, etc. companion planting not just allows you to grow plants from the same species together but also plants from other species.
Hence, you can grow vegetables and herbs together, for what they have to offer one another. While some plants can do well with one another, some do not. Some plants are better planted alone than with others.
Here are some benefits of companion planting
- Fast growth: Some plants are known to release some chemicals that encourage plants around them to grow faster and taste better
- Provide shade: Certain plants, especially plants that grow tall and leafy are known to serve as shade for plants that are sensitive to the sun around or beneath them.
- Improve soil nutrients: Plants naturally take up nutrients from the soil when they are planted, however, some plants are known to add nutrients like nitrogen to the soil, for other plants around them to benefit from.
- Insect repellant: Some plants like herbs, marigold flowers, are known to repel insects with their scents, when grown with other plants, these plants tend to chase off the insects on the plants around them.
Our focus right now is on kale and cauliflower. Can they be planted together? if yes, what benefits do they tend to give one another? If no, why? All of these are what we’ll be discovering, however, before we do so, we need to have an in-depth knowledge of these plants.
Can kale and cauliflower be planted together?
The answer is NO. You cannot plant kale and cauliflower together, mainly because they are from the same family, what are the things that could go wrong when planted together?
We earlier mentioned that companion planting is putting two or more plants together for the benefits they have to offer one another. Kale and cauliflower are from the same family, does this mean they can be grown well together?
- Pest: Kale and cauliflower are from the same family; hence they attract the same kind of pests and insects. Planting them together can increase the risk of insect and pest infestation. It is best to plant them with herbs or other vegetables that are not susceptible\ to the same insects or pests.
- Nutrition: Plants take up nutrients from the soil and while some are heavy feeders, some are not. Kale is a heavy feeder and planting kale close to cauliflower may cause your cauliflower to suffer a lack of nutrients.
- Another companion: Why settle? Other companion plants are very beneficial to both kale and cauliflower. Why plant these plants together when you can have a better garden by planting them with other vegetables or herbs.
This green, leafy vegetable is from the Brassicaceae family, the same as cabbage, broccoli, and brussels sprouts, which are mainly grown for their edible leaves.
They are also known as cruciferous vegetables. Kale is popularly grown in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa for centuries and in some places like America, it was mainly used as a garnish. It also comes in either green or purple leaves.
Kale is majorly known as a biennial; this means it stays in a place for up to two years, however, it is often planted as annual in some places, some types of kale can also be perennial, they come back every year. To get the best of kale, you can plant them in early spring or late summer, they do very well in cool weather and produce highly nutritious leaves in this season.
Although kale is tolerant to partial shade, it thrives best in full sun.it will also be best to plant your kale in a soil pH of 6.5 to 6.8, this will prevent your kale from diseases, however, kale can grow in 6.2pH if you do not have to worry about diseases.
You can amend the soil with rich compost, just before you plant. You also need well-drained soil to get ready for panting. You can either plant the seed directly or transplant it. While planting directly may take 55-75 days to mature, transplants help speed up the whole process to about 30 – 40 days.
Kale enjoys getting enough water, you should give your plant about 1 – 1.5 inches of water weekly. If you do not have a backyard or a garden space to plant, you can make use of a pot or container for your kale, kale can be planted in a pot or indoor, as long as it gets enough sunlight and well-drained soil. There is nowhere you cannot plant kale, including in a raised bed.
Of the same Brassicaceae family, cauliflower is an annual vegetable that is also referred to as cruciferous, it only reproduces by seed, it is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. They are usually about 0.5-meter-tall and have round leaves.
Cauliflower is majorly planted for consumption. Cauliflower comes in different colors; purple, orange, green, etc., however white is the most common. It grows best in nitrogen-rich soil and enjoys full sun. they are mostly attacked by clubroot, fungal diseases, aphids, cabbage whites, etc.
Cauliflower grows best in the moist, well-drained sun with a pH between 6 -7, you should plant your cauliflowers in rows with a spacing of 18inches apart. You can improve your soil by mixing compost or rich organic matter. You should give the plant about 1 – 1.5 inches of water weekly.
Also, be reminded that cauliflower enjoys full sun of at least 6 hours daily, however, the best time to plant your cauliflower is in the spring, this way, they can grow and escape the hot temperature of summer.
The time of planting to the time of harvesting your cauliflower may take about 85 – 130 days from seed, and 55 – 100 days from transplant, as long as your plant is growing in good condition. Like kale, you can grow your cauliflower in any container, as long as your container or pot has at least one drainage hole at the bottom, to prevent your plant from rotting.
Most farmers make the mistake of placing these plants side by side mainly because they are from the same family, however, this is the reason they shouldn’t be together, we know it is tempting to try to manage land or water or other resources, however, the end is more harmful than beneficial.
Instead, it is advisable to plant these vegetables with other herbs or vegetables that are quite beneficial to them.