Those pests! They certainly have an unyielding spirit, with the holes they constantly leave on your beautiful broccoli plant. You probably want to avoid pesticides but can’t figure out what other route to take.
Welcome to the world of companion planting. An age-old planting technique requires growing different plants that are beneficial to each other nearby.
You do not want to make a mistake and harm your chances for a good broccoli harvest, so it is essential to know what plants make the best companions for your broccoli and why companion planting is so beneficial to your broccoli’s growth.
Come with me as I’ll discuss all that in this article!
- What Is Broccoli?
- Why Is Companion Planting Important for Broccoli?
- Best Broccoli Companion Plants
- Companion Plant #1: Leafy Greens Like Lettuce, Swiss Chard, and Spinach
- Companion Plant #2: Nasturtium and Geraniums
- Companion Plant #3: Chamomile
- Companion Plant #4: Beets
- Companion Plant #5: Rosemary
- Companion Plant #6: Potatoes
- Companion Plant #7: Onions
- Companion Plant #8: Garlic
- Companion Plant #9: Rhubarb
- Companion Plant #10: Cucumber
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Broccoli?
Only one of the most healthy plants available! Growing and maturing fully in 100 to 150 days from seed, broccoli can be considered an easy-to-grow plant.
From fiber to vitamin C to vitamin K to iron and potassium, it is a nutrition powerhouse that boasts more protein than other vegetables.
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, along with kale, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts.
Its botanical name is Brassica Oleracea var. Italica, and you can enjoy it raw and cooked. However, many claim it is at its best when lightly steamed.
Broccoli is loaded with nutrients believed to prevent cancer, lower cholesterol levels, and boost eye health. Hence, it is an excellent addition to your garden.
Why Is Companion Planting Important for Broccoli?
Well, there is the fact that certain companion plants can serve as pest deterrents. It saves your vegetables from disease-carrying pests and stays healthy until harvest time.
Some other benefits of companion planting for broccoli are:
- Helps to balance nutrient levels in the soil
- Aerates the soil
- Improves flavor
- Provides necessary shade/ground cover
The big idea here is that companion planting helps the plants on both sides grow more and obtain more nutrients than usual.
Why would you settle for less when you could have more?
Best Broccoli Companion Plants
The best companion plants for broccoli are listed below.
Companion Plant #1: Leafy Greens Like Lettuce, Swiss Chard, and Spinach
The benefits go both ways with these plants. The broccoli helps to extend the growing season of the greens by providing shade from the sun.
The leafy greens occupy space close to the ground, so they can cool the soil by shading it and prevent weeds from sprouting.
Companion Plant #2: Nasturtium and Geraniums
With their peppery, astringent scent, these plants repel all things that can harm your broccoli, like cabbage worms and whiteflies.
They also need little calcium to grow, making them ideal since they will not use any of the calcium your broccoli needs.
Companion Plant #3: Chamomile
Chamomile is said to improve broccoli’s flavor.
It should be planted about 8-12 inches from your broccoli to give the flowers space to grow.
Companion Plant #4: Beets
Beets are a beautiful companion plant because while broccoli requires lots of calcium, beets (Beta vulgaris) do not need nearly as much.
The broccoli also helps the beet by infusing essential minerals into the soil that aid its development.
Companion Plant #5: Rosemary
Rosemary and other aromatic herbs like basil, mint, thyme, and sage repel insect pests with their strong scent and flavor.
Their smell can also discourage cabbage moths from laying eggs on your broccoli plant.
Companion Plant #6: Potatoes
Potatoes often don’t fare well with other plants in the garden since they tend to hog a lot of nutrients from the soil.
Broccoli also needs a lot of nutrients, but they fare well together because they have different demands.
Where broccoli requires calcium and nitrogen, potatoes require magnesium and phosphate. Their different nutritional needs mean they coexist peacefully in the same soil.
Companion Plant #7: Onions
Onions grow well with broccoli and are said to improve their flavor.
Companion Plant #8: Garlic
Garlic adds flavor to your broccoli, and its strong scent will repel pests, ultimately preventing your broccoli plant from disease.
Companion Plant #9: Rhubarb
Rhubarb repels the cabbage whitefly and other leaf-eating bugs because their leaves contain toxic oxalic acid.
Refrain from breaching the two plants too close together – allow at least 12 to 18 inches of space- because they will suffer if they need more space, light, and nutrients to thrive.
Companion Plant #10: Cucumber
We can plant cucumbers with broccoli since they provide mutual benefits.
The cucumbers help to shade the broccoli, and the broccoli keeps the cucumber vines from becoming too leggy. Cucumbers also help aerate the soil and improve drainage.
A note of warning, though. Cucumbers are heavy feeders and may compete with broccoli for nutrients if the soil is not supplemented with organic matter and fed frequently. Ensure to give it enough space for growth too.
Do not pair your broccoli with plants like beans since they add too much nitrogen into the soil or any plant within the brassica family because pests will quickly infest plants in one family at once.
With its rich nutrients, broccoli should certainly be a part of your daily diet. It is undoubtedly more accessible if you get it fresh from your garden and practice simple hacks that make it even more nutritious and flavorful.
Companion planting is an effective way to achieve this healthy balance, as it helps you manage your garden space, deter pests, and increase the nutritional value of your plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Broccoli needs lots of calcium, and since carrots also do, they often compete.
Tomatoes, Eggplants, Beans, Pepper, Cauliflowers, Watermelon, Mustard greens, Squash, Strawberries, and Cabbages.
There has to be space for the plants to grow. Planting them too close together deprives them of freedom and causes them to compete.
The convenience of having freshly picked broccoli available for 6-8 months makes your toil worth it at the end of the day. Plus, broccoli is a nutritious addition to your diet.