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Companion plants for Malabar Spinach?

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Companion plants for Malabar Spinach?

Post  Ginger Blue on 6/2/2016, 3:24 pm

I realize lots of folks consider "companion planting" to be the stuff of folklore and myth, but I'm willing to try just about anything to help my garden grow organically.

That being said, are there any experienced Malabar Spinach growers here, who can give advice about what to plant nearby (and/or what to avoid)?  Since Malabar Spinach isn't really spinach, I'm at a loss...

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Re: Companion plants for Malabar Spinach?

Post  sanderson on 6/2/2016, 4:08 pm

Hi Ginger, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here Did you check out the Search feature? There are a handful of Malabar spinach threads. Just remember that it vines, otherwise it probably doesn't matter health wise what you plant next to it. Maybe others will know. I only have New Zealand spinach.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t11865-friday-rookie-topic-malabar-spinach?highlight=malabar

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Re: Companion plants for Malabar Spinach?

Post  Ginger Blue on 6/2/2016, 4:43 pm

Thank you for the warm welcome, sanderson! happy hi

I did use the Search feature and scanned the results prior to posting, but didn't see any info readily available regarding companion plants.  Even though it vines, I'm hoping to incorporate neighboring plants which will send good vibes, nutrients, or general encouragement through the soil.

Tetragonia is also in my garden plan - and is another new-to-me plant - so I'd appreciate any insight you can provide about companions (or other advice) for it. happy2
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Re: Companion plants for Malabar Spinach?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 6/2/2016, 6:19 pm

First - I haven't grown this... Comments from people that have actually grown this trump my hypothesizing.

That said, I would pair it with something that doesn't vine so that it doesn't get shaded -- perhaps even something that would appreciate shade. It sounds like it likes high organic matter soils (MM should be perfect!), so I'd guess it's a "heavy feeder" -- so pair it with a "light feeder" - a plant that doesn't need a lot of nutrients. Taxonomically, it's quite distant from true spinach, but still more related to spinach than other common garden vegetables. So, based on my reasoning I'd suggest companion planting with bush beans, lettuce, parsley, scallions, or nasturtium. Maybe radish or carrots -- I hesitate because I don't know how sensitive malabar spinach is to root disturbance. I'd avoid planting it near sunflowers and Jerusalem artichokes, and try to space most large brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale) further from it rather than closer.
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Re: Companion plants for Malabar Spinach?

Post  Ginger Blue on 6/2/2016, 8:31 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:First - I haven't grown this... Comments from people that have actually grown this trump my hypothesizing.

That said, I would pair it with something that doesn't vine so that it doesn't get shaded -- perhaps even something that would appreciate shade. It sounds like it likes high organic matter soils (MM should be perfect!), so I'd guess it's a "heavy feeder" -- so pair it with a "light feeder" - a plant that doesn't need a lot of nutrients. Taxonomically, it's quite distant from true spinach, but still more related to spinach than other common garden vegetables. So, based on my reasoning I'd suggest companion planting with bush beans, lettuce, parsley, scallions, or nasturtium. Maybe radish or carrots -- I hesitate because I don't know how sensitive malabar spinach is to root disturbance. I'd avoid planting it near sunflowers and Jerusalem artichokes, and try to space most large brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale) further from it rather than closer.


Thank you BeetlesPerSqFt!  Given the absence of input from growers with personal experience, I fully appreciate your hypothesis. It’s obvious you’ve done some homework on this (I read your comments on the “Companion Planting thread).

It sounds like we’re thinking along the same lines.  I have a trellised spot available for this crop near peas, cucumbers (grown vertically), and bush beans, with carrots, icicle radish, and a variety of culinary herbs and flowers planted in close proximity. Brassicas and sunflowers will be at least 7 feet away.  If the ‘spinach’ grows as I hope, it will provide hot afternoon shade for pepper bushes.
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Re: Companion plants for Malabar Spinach?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/2/2016, 10:07 pm

glad you\'re here Ginger Blue! From Ohio

Beetles is very knowledgeable, I have no experience with Malabar spinach at all. However the logic is sound.

Good luck! I would try to avoid toxic combos...not sure if that is companion planting? Glad you found us, Ginger!
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Re: Companion plants for Malabar Spinach?

Post  yolos on 6/3/2016, 7:06 am

I have almost no experience with Malabar spinach.  But I am growing it for the first time this year.  I planted it on the same trellis with my cucumbers.  My observation so far is that the cucumbers grew faster and taller than the Malabar and the cucumber leaves are shading the Malabar.  Also, cucumbers like a moist growing environment but I don't know if Malabar likes that.  I only have two plants in the ground so no loss if it gets overrun with cucumbers.
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