Broccoli takes up a lot of space in the garden and is often seen as a low-value plant to grow for this reason.
For families that love broccoli, growing it is not negotiable but companion planting can help you make the most of your garden space so you can have your broccoli while getting a harvest of other great foods as well.
Companion planting with broccoli is easier than it seems when you are willing to put some planning into your garden beds.
Why Should You Companion Plant Broccoli?
Broccoli takes up a lot of space in the garden as it needs to be spaced rather far apart. Companion planting helps to make the most of the space in your garden.
If you plan to allow some of your broccoli to go to seed you will notice that it makes a great plant for attracting beneficial insects like lacewings and ladybugs to your garden helping nearby plants to thrive.
Planting fragrant plants near your broccoli can help to repel unwanted insects and protect your broccoli from being destroyed by an infestation.
How To Best Companion Plant With Broccoli
Broccoli is one of the hardest plants to companion plant as it doesn’t do well with shared spaces. For the best results when companion planting broccoli ensures that there is plenty of room to spare around each plant for airflow.
If you do not do this you will end up with powdery mildew, blight, and other issues.
You can plant broccoli at the center of your garden bed with the proper spacing and use short plants to fill in gaps between rows and add barrier plants along the outside of your broccoli garden bed to help protect it from pests.
Avoid planting your broccoli with anything that will be dug up out of the ground for harvest as broccoli is a bit sensitive to shifts in the soil and its roots need protection.
The Best Companion Plants For Broccoli
Onions make an amazing companion plant for broccoli. for the best results till your soil and plant your onions before the last frost.
They will be well established by the time your broccoli beds go in so you can plant your broccoli along the inside of the bed where they will have some protection from pesky insects that love fresh young broccoli. Onions are also said to greatly improve the flavor of broccoli.
Garlic, like onions, are another early plant that helps to repel unwanted pests including deer and rabbits from your garden making it a great plant for placing along the outer edges of your broccoli bed.
Spinach makes a great companion plant for broccoli. The tall broccoli plants will help provide shade for your spinach to help extend the growing season, and with the spinach being slower growing it doesn’t shade or block airflow to your broccoli.
Dill helps to repel insects from your garden bed to help prevent pests like cabbage worms from destroying your crop. Plant dill along with other good repellent plants along the edges of your garden beds to maximize space.
Dill can grow a bit tall so avoid planting it along the south side of the garden bed where it could shade your broccoli plants.
Mint is a great companion plant for broccoli. It will spread out quickly acting as a living mulch while staying low enough to not block the sun that your broccoli plants need so much for survival.
The fragrance of mint helps to repel unwanted insects that would otherwise snack on your tender young broccoli.
Lettuce that grows lower than broccoli can make a great companion plant for your broccoli. You should avoid growing them too close together to keep the airflow open.
Broccoli will shade your lettuce to help extend how long it can grow. Lettuce has a mild flavor and aroma that will not affect the overall flavor of your broccoli.
Bad Companions For Broccoli
Beans should be avoided with broccoli. While beans are a great addition to most parts of your garden they can enrich the soil with too much nitrogen harming and stunting the growth of broccoli. Plants in the legume family should all be avoided for this reason.
Strawberries, corn, tomatoes, and peppers are all bad to plant around your broccoli. These foods are very heavy feeders and will pull out the nutrients you need from your soil. you want to ensure that your broccoli doesn’t have competition for much-needed nutrients.
Large heavy feeding vine plants like pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons should be avoided near your broccoli for multiple reasons.
These plants are heavy feeders and will compete for the nutrients in the soil starving out your broccoli and the large vines will smother your plants preventing the proper amount of airflow your broccoli needs to grow well.
With this list of good companions, you should now be armed with some ideas of what to plant with your broccoli this season.
And if you want to learn more about growing broccoli, check out these next: