Why You Want To Think Twice Before Planting Cabbage And Fennel Together

Fennel is fabulous at attracting pollinators into the garden, which can be great news for your other plants. Unfortunately, fennel isn't the best companion plant for many veggies, so if you're growing a vegetable garden, you may want to think twice before planting fennel anywhere near it. In fact, planting fennel next to cabbage can actually disrupt its growth. The same goes for beans and tomatoes, so unless you want to see stunted growth in your yield when it comes time to harvest your vegetables and tomatoes for your salad, make sure your fennel gives them a wide berth.

This is because fennel is an allelopathic plant. This means that not only can it inhibit the growth of many other plants, it can also kill them. The fennel secretes an aromatic chemical called anethole, which stunts the growth of nearby plants, even those that belong to the same family, like carrots.

The whole point of growing your own organic vegetables, though, is to reap the health rewards when you harvest them to add to your meals. Fennel is a great vegetable to grow in your garden for several different health reasons. It's full of nutrients like fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, provides a boost to your immune system, and is beneficial for your kidneys and heart. So, is there a solution to this dilemma? Yes, there is.

Good companion plants for cabbage

If you're not fussed about growing fennel in your garden but would like to know what other companion plants work well with your cabbage instead, you'll be pleased to know there are plenty of veggies and herbs to choose from, many of which would also go well with cabbage on your dinner plate.

It's important to have at least one companion plant for your cabbages that will help to repel pests, as one of the difficulties in growing cabbage is that so many pests love to dine on it. One of the best ways to combat this problem is to plant companion plants that attract beneficial insects into your garden to help manage the pest population. Potatoes, turnips, parsley, and sage all make ideal companion plants for cabbages — and there are many more.

Why not grow a herb garden next to your cabbage patch? Aromatic herbs and flowers like chamomile, chives, coriander, dill, mint, thyme, sage, and oregano are extremely beneficial. They will repel unwanted insects like spider mites and cabbage moths that will cause damage to your crop. They will also add flavor to your cabbage, along with nutrients and vitamins like calcium and sulfur. It's a win-win situation.

How to grow fennel in your garden safely

If you want to grow fennel in your garden, it's possible, even though it doesn't play nicely with so many other plants. The trick is to plant it away from your other veggies but still ensure that it is close enough to attract plenty of pollinators into your garden to benefit all of your other plants.

To achieve this, you could try having a separate vegetable patch for your fennel in a different part of your garden. Alternatively, it's possible to grow fennel in a container — you can place the container a little distance away from any plants the fennel is likely to have an adverse effect on. Your fennel doesn't have to be a complete loner in your garden, though. Many plants make good companions for fennel — for example, it is safe to plant fennel near lettuce, cucumber, peas, and sage.