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Companion planting is an ancient planting technique that means growing plants that benefit each other nearby. Here it is important to enhance each other’s growth or provide some form of pest protection. Strategic companion planting is especially important in small gardens. If you have less space in your garden, companion planting will be your solution! Almost all plants enjoy companion planting. Broccoli companion plants are no exception. So, what should you plant alongside broccoli? Read on to learn more about the benefits of broccoli companion plants. Also, see which plants are suitable companions for broccoli.
Advantages of Using Broccoli Companion Plants
Using companion plants for broccoli or other crops means growing plants nearby that have a symbiotic relationship. This beneficial relationship can be one-sided, or it can benefit both plant species. Sometimes companion planting has the added benefit of improving the soil. Either nutritionally or by aerating the soil. Other companion plants become shade providers for more tender plants. That is the case by using broccoli as a companion for other plants, such as leafy greens. Companion plants can also act as natural trellises, delaying weeds or retaining water. Like that, they reduce a gardener’s management burden. They can even enhance the flavor of a particular fruit or vegetable.
Top 11 Broccoli Companion Plants
Broccoli is a very friendly plant because it can be grown with almost any other type of plant. The exceptions are plants with very high calcium requirements, as broccoli consumes a lot of calcium from the soil. Calcium is one of the few nutrients broccolis need to survive.
There are a few opinions on whether other members of the cabbage family are good companions. On the one hand, all these plants have similar nutrient and water needs. That means planting them close together should be an effective strategy. Other experts suggest it’s best to keep them separate in the garden, as many of the same pests feed on these plants to prevent mass insect attacks.
In general, it’s best to transplant broccoli with plants that don’t take up much space. You’ll learn which plants those are and what to look for in the next section.
What should you plant next to broccoli?
Dill, celery, potatoes, and onions are companions of broccoli, which enhance the taste of broccoli. Furthermore, chamomile is also said to enhance the flavor of broccoli.
Broccoli also enjoys the company of beans and cucumbers. Beets, as well as nasturtiums and marigolds, are great companions. The reason for this is that they don’t need the large amount of calcium that broccoli craves.
Chamomile is not the only companion herb to broccoli. Other aromatic herbs make excellent companions, as their fragrant oils repel insect pests. These include sage and mint.
Rosemary repels cabbage flies that lay their eggs on broccoli. Cabbage worms are also thwarted by planting geraniums around broccoli plants.
Broccoli also works well as an interplanting with cool season crops such as lettuce, spinach, and radishes. You should plant these under the broccoli plants. Here they will enjoy the cool shade in late spring and early summer.
11 Bad Broccoli Companion Plants
As we know, every yang has a yin and compatible gardening is no exception. Some plants do not like broccoli or vice versa. Among them, the most important are:
Some plants have a reputation for harming the growth and flavor of broccoli. Beans, for example, tend to fix nitrogen in the soil, and the soil may be too rich in nutrients for broccoli. This also includes tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, and strawberries.1
Some heavy-feeding plants are also not good to plant near broccoli, which is also a heavy feeder. These include chard and shallots, among others.
- Sanchez, J. A., del Pino, M., & Calvo, F. J. (2022). Increasing plant diversity does not always enhance the efficacy of omnivorous mirids as biocontrol agents. Journal of Pest Science, 1-10.