Which Companion Plants Are Ripe for Cool Season Gardening?
If you're looking for some great companion plants to add to your garden this cool season, look no further! There are a few things to consider when gardening in the cool season. The first is what plants you want to grow. Some plants, like annuals, will only last one season and need to be replanted every year.
Perennials, on the other hand, come back year after year. The second is what type of soil you have. Cool season plants prefer soil that is on the cooler side, so if you have clay or sand soil, you may need to amend it with some organic matter. The third is what type of mulch you use. Mulch helps insulate the soil and keep the roots of your plants warm. Be sure to use a light-colored mulch to get the best results this cool season. If you’re looking to plant long-lasting vegetables before light frost arrives, you’ve come to the right place.
In this blog you’ll learn:
- Why it’s important to plant cold-resistant crops during the winter
- Which months are considered party of “cool season”
- Which vegetables make poor choices for cool season crops
- Which companion plants go well together for cool season gardening
- How Frame It All can help you protect your crops during cool season
Which Months Are Considered Part of “Cool Season”?
The term “cool season” generally refers to the months of October, November, and December in the northern hemisphere. We’re talking about months that lead up to warm season grass and sunshine. In the southern hemisphere, the cool season generally corresponds to the months of April, May, and June. During these months, the average temperatures are generally lower than they are during the rest of the year, making them ideal for certain activities such as growing cool-weather crops.
Which Crops Don’t Hold Up During Cool Season?
Crops that don’t hold up during cool season include corn, tomatoes, and melons. Each of these crops have different needs when it comes to temperature, and if they don’t get what they need, they can’t produce a good crop.
Corn needs warm temperatures to grow, so if it gets too cold, the ears of corn won’t fill out. Tomatoes need hot temperatures to grow, so if it gets too cold, the tomatoes will be small and won’t have much flavor. Melons need warm temperatures to grow, so if it gets too cold, the melons won’t be as sweet.
5 Great Companion Plants for Cool Season Gardening
When it comes to cool season gardening, there are a few key companions that can help your plants thrive. Chief among them are nitrogen-fixing plants like clover and alfalfa, which help to improve soil quality and provide a valuable food source for pollinators.
Additionally, plants like garlic and chives can help to deter pests, while others like dill and fennel can attract beneficial predators. Finally, don’t forget the power of herbs – they not only add flavor to your meals, but can also lend a helping hand to your plants.
Arugula is a cool season crop that is best planted in the spring or fall. This crisp, leafy green has a peppery flavor that is delicious in salads, on sandwiches, or as a garnish. Arugula is a low-maintenance crop that is relatively pest and disease resistant. With proper care, arugula will provide a bountiful harvest of fresh greens all season long.Remember, it’s best to plant the right crops to attract beneficial insects and keep them coming back.
A few of the companion plants that plant best with arugula include: Bush Beans, Beets, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber Dill, Lettuce, and Spinach.
You should avoid planting arugula alongside strawberries.
Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that can be grown in most moderate climates. The main planting season is in the spring, but asparagus can also be grown during the fall and winter in some areas. Asparagus prefers cool weather and can be one of the first vegetables to be harvested in the spring. In areas with warm winters, asparagus can be planted in the fall and harvested the following spring.
You can plant your asparagus with the following companion plants: basil, nasturtium, parsley, and tomatoes.
You’ll get the poorest results when you plant asparagus with onion family crops.
Broccoli is a tasty, nutrient-rich vegetable that can be planted during the cool season. This hardy vegetable can withstand frost and is tolerant of cold temperatures, making it a great choice for gardeners in cooler climates. Broccoli is relatively easy to grow and can be started from seed, transplants, or crowns. With proper care and attention, your broccoli plants will produce bountiful harvests of this delicious vegetable.
Broccoli works best when planting with these companion plants: beet, bush bean, celery, cucumber, carrot, aromatic herbs, kale, lettuce, nasturtium, onion, potato, spinach, tomato
Cabbage is a cool season crop that is great for planting in the fall. Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that can withstand frost and can even be left in the ground over winter in some areas. Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to slaws to soups. Cabbage is a nutrient-rich vegetable that is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Cabbage is also a low-calorie vegetable that is low in fat and sodium.
Always plant cabbage with these companion plants: beet, bush bean, celery, cucumber, and carrots.
Avoid planting cabbage with pole beans and strawberries.
Carrots are our last (and most loved) crop that works well for cool season gardening. Carrots are a versatile root vegetable that can be grown in a variety of climates. They are especially well suited for cool weather growing, as they are tolerant of frost and cold temperatures.
Carrots can be planted in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, and will continue to produce through late fall. When selecting a carrot variety for your garden, choose a variety that is well suited for your growing conditions.
Remember to always plant carrots with their companion plants: beans, cabbage family, leaf lettuce, marigold, pea, nasturtium, onion family, peppers, salsify, tomatoes, rosemary, radishes, and sage
Be sure to avoid planting carrots with celery, parsnip, dill, and anise.
If you want to see the entire list of cool season companion plants and the crops you should avoid planting together, check out our free short Know and Grow Guide.
Ensure Your Crops Grow Best With Frame It All’s Raised Gardens
If you’re looking to get the best results from your cool season planting, we recommend taking a look at our Raised Gardens. With 48 square feet of available planting area in three separate gardens beds, this may be all the garden you will ever need to grow a good variety of your favorite veggies, herbs or flowers; from luscious tomatoes to fragrant herbs or a complete salsa or spaghetti sauce garden.
With this 4' x 12' Raised Garden Bed, you’ll be able to grow your favorite cool season vegetables in no time at all.
Also, don’t forget to access our Know Grow Guide which shows how to grow the same amount of produce in only one quarter of the garden space compared to conventional gardening and much more extremely helpful information for gardeners of all levels of expertise! The guide’s “Plant, Friends and Enemies” chart shows you how to mix and match your plantings, listing all plants that happily coexist together by height and compatibility and how to space them apart.