How to Grow Basil and Kale Together (Companion Planting)

Companion planting is the practice of growing two or more plants together for mutual benefit. When done correctly, companion planting can improve the growth and health of your plants, as well as deter pests and improve the soil.

One great example of companion planting is pairing basil and kale together. Basil is a fragrant herb that deters pests, while kale is a hardy green that improves the soil quality. Together, they make a great team!

What Is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is the art of growing two or more plants nearby for mutual advantage. Companion planting can help your plants grow and thrive, prevent pests and enhance the soil quality.

There are many benefits to companion planting, including:

  • Improved growth: Companion planting can help plants grow better by providing them with the nutrients they need. For example, nitrogen-fixing plants like legumes can help improve the soil quality for other plants.
  • Deterrent to pests: Some plants release chemicals that deter pests. By companion planting these plants with others, you can help protect your crops from insect damage.
  • Improved soil quality: Companion planting can also help improve the soil quality by adding organic matter and improving drainage.

What Are Basil and Kale?

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a fragrant herb that is commonly used in cooking. It is a member of the mint family and has a wide variety of medicinal uses.

Kale (Brassica oleracea) is a hardy green that is often used in salads or as a cooked vegetable. Kale is high in vitamins A, C, and K and contains calcium and iron.

Basil and kale are both easy to grow and make great companion plants!

The Benefits of Companion Planting Basil and Kale

For a good reason, basil and kale are two of the most popular leafy greens. Not only are they both packed with vitamins and minerals, but they also have a delicious flavor that can enhance any dish.

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But did you know that these two greens also make great companions? That’s right, companion planting basil and kale can offer many benefits, including improved growth, bigger harvests, and even pest control.

So, companion planting is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a way to get the most out of your basil and kale plants. Here’s everything you need to know about how to grow basil and kale together.

How to Grow Basil and Kale Together

Basil and kale are two of the most popular vegetables to grow in the home garden. Both are relatively easy to grow and offer a delicious, healthy addition to any meal. But did you know that these two plants can actually be beneficial to each other when grown together?

Companion planting, a technique that has been used for centuries, is the practice of growing different plant species together in order to maximize their growth potential and minimize pests and diseases. When done correctly, companion planting can lead to a more bountiful and healthier garden.

So, why not give it a try with your basil and kale? Here are a few tips on how to get started:

Choose the right location

Basil and kale both prefer full sun, so choose a spot in your garden that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Prepare the soil

Both plants prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, mix in some compost or aged manure to help improve the drainage and nutrient content of the soil.

Sow the seeds

Basil seeds can be sown directly in the ground, but kale seeds will need to be started indoors in seed trays or pots. Once they have germinated, transplant the seedlings into the garden bed.

Water regularly

Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, as this can lead to root rot. Water in the morning so that the plants have time to dry off before nightfall.

Fertilize annually

Apply a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 in early spring, just before new growth begins.

Harvest often

Both basil and kale are best when used fresh, so harvest leaves regularly throughout the growing season. Use pruning shears to cut individual leaves or the entire plant back by a few inches to encourage new growth.

Store properly

Basil leaves can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, while kale will keep for up to two weeks. To store longer, wash and dry the leaves then place them in airtight bags or containers in the fridge. We’ll go into more depth later on about storing your greens.

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When Are Basil and Kale Ready to Harvest?

Basil and kale are typically ready to harvest 60-90 days after planting. However, you can start harvesting leaves as early as 30 days for basil and 45 days for kale.

To determine if your greens are ready to harvest, simply check the size of the leaves. For example, basil leaves should be about 2-3 inches long, while kale leaves can be 3-4 inches long or larger.

If you want to use the entire plant, wait until it has reached its full size before harvesting. For basil, this is typically 12-18 inches tall. For kale, 18-24 inches tall.

Once you’ve harvested your greens, it’s important to store them properly to ensure they remain fresh and delicious.

Harvesting Tips for Both Basil and Kale

As we mentioned earlier, both basil and kale are best when used fresh. That means harvesting the leaves on a regular basis throughout the growing season.

The best time to pick is in the morning. This is when the greens are the freshest and have the most moisture.

To harvest, simply cut the leaves from the plant using pruning shears. For basil, you can either cut individual leaves or snip off the entire plant about 2-3 inches above ground level. This will encourage new growth and provide you with a second harvest later in the season.

Kale can be harvested in a similar way, although you may want to wait until the leaves are a bit larger before cutting. If you want to use the entire plant, wait until it has reached its full size (18-24 inches tall) before harvesting.

How to Store Basil and Kale

Once you’ve harvested your greens, it’s important to store them properly to ensure they remain fresh and delicious.

Basil leaves can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, while kale will keep for up to two weeks. To store longer, wash and dry the leaves then place them in airtight bags or containers in the fridge.

You can also preserve basil and kale by freezing or drying them. To freeze, wash and dry the leaves and place them in freezer bags. Frozen greens will last for several months.

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To dry, Hang the plants upside down in a dark, well-ventilated space until the leaves are crisp. Once dry, crumble the leaves and store them in an airtight container. Dried basil and kale can be used in soups, stews, and other cooked dishes.

As you can see, there are many ways to enjoy these delicious greens, whether you grow them yourself or buy them from the store. So get out there and start planting!

Tips for Success on How to Care for Basil and Kale

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) and kale (Brassica oleracea) are two of the most popular plants in home gardens. They are also two of the easiest plants to grow together. Companion planting is a great way to get the most out of your garden space and maximize your plant yield.

Here are some tips on how to care for basil and kale when grown together:

  1. Choose a sunny location for your garden bed. Both basil and kale prefer full sun exposure.
  2. Amend the soil with organic matter before planting. This will help improve drainage and increase nutrient availability for your plants.
  3. Plant kale first, as it is a slower-growing plant than basil. Sow the seeds directly in the garden bed, or start them indoors and transplant them later.
  4. When planting basil, sow the seeds directly in the garden bed, start them indoors, and transplant them later.
  5. Water both plants regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not soggy.
  6. Fertilize kale every few weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Basil does not need to be fertilized as often, but you can give it a light feeding of compost tea or fish emulsion once a month.
  7. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Aphids, whiteflies, and slugs are common pests that can attack both plants. In addition, downy mildew is a disease that can affect both basil and kale.
  8. Harvest kale when the leaves are 6-8 inches long. You can cut the entire plant down to 2-3 inches above ground level or selectively harvest individual leaves as needed.
  9. Basil is ready to harvest when the leaves are big enough to use. You can snip off individual leaves as needed or cut the entire plant back by half its height to encourage bushier growth.