Companion planting is an age-old planting technique that simply put means growing plants that benefit each other in close proximity. Almost all plants benefit from companion planting and using companion plants for broccoli is no exception. So what should you plant next to broccoli? Read on to find out about the benefits of broccoli companion plants and which plants make suitable companions to broccoli.
About Broccoli Companions
Utilizing companion plants for broccoli or for any other crop means growing plants nearby that have a symbiotic relationship. This beneficial relationship may be one-sided or benefit both types of plants.
Many times the benefit is that one plant acts as a pest deterrent for another plant. Repelling insects often have the benefit of preventing disease too, since many pests act as vectors for diseases. Companion planting also increases the diversity of the garden, which is nature’s way of thwarting disease and pest infestations.
Sometimes companion planting has the added benefit of improving soil either nutritionally or by aerating soil. Other companion plants become shade providers for more tender plants, which is the case when broccoli is used as a companion for other plants, such as leafy greens. Companion plants may also act as natural trellises, help retard weeds, or retain water which reduces the amount of management a gardener has to do. They may even improve the flavor of a certain fruit or vegetable.
All in all, the purpose of companion planting is to improve the health of the plant and boost yields in an organic manner without the need for pesticides and other chemicals.
What Should You Plant Next to Broccoli?
Broccoli enjoys the company of beans and cucumbers as well. Beets, as well as nasturtiums and marigolds make great companions since they do not require the large amount of calcium that broccoli craves.
Chamomile isn’t the only broccoli companion herb. Other aromatic herbs make excellent companions as their scented oils repel insect pests. These include:
Broccoli also does well interplanted with cool season crops such as lettuce, spinach, and radish. These can be planted under the broccoli plants where they will enjoy the cool shade during the late spring and early summer.
As we know, there is a yin to every yang and compatible gardening is no exception. There are some plants that do not enjoy broccoli or vice versa. Avoid planting the following near broccoli: