You are planning to plant broccoli this year and what to know about the best companion plants for broccoli. Companion planting is a generations-old practice of planting specific crops near other crops that can help out one another.
For the longest time, I didn’t care what I planted with my broccoli for the longest time. This was until I realized that being more strategic has lots of benefits.
For instance, some plants may help protect vulnerable ones by deterring pests, stimulating growth, or welcoming bees to the garden.
Here is what you should plant with broccoli.
The Best Companion Plants for Broccoli
The best companion plants for broccoli are:
Spinach can be sown in hot or cold temperatures. It prefers sunny locations. Plant spinach in spring after the last frost. The ideal spacing distance for spinach is 12 inches (30cm), according to Utah State University.
Spinach shades the soil as it grows quickly and helps to create the ideal conditions for broccoli.
Beets can be planted from early spring to late summer. They grow best in 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. Plant beet seeds 2 inches apart (5cm), says Maryland University. It can be harvested after 50-60 days from seedlings.
As beets have a deep root system, they help loosen broccoli’s soil. Broccoli prefers well-draining soil.
I love growing fresh beans in the garden. Beans or Phaseolus vulgaris, according to Minnesota Unversity, can be planted once the soil is warm after the last frost in spring. The ideal temperatures for planting are between 70°F – 90°F (21°C – 32°C). Beans can be harvested 65 days after planting.
Beans fix nitrogen and help to keep the soil quality on point. This benefits broccoli.
Cucumber enjoys a sunny location. Plant it 12-18 inches apart (30-46cm). The ideal time to plant cucumber is early June once temperatures reach 65°F (18°C).
Cucumber is great at repelling pests such as flea beetles and aphids. These are common pests infesting broccoli.
Carrots grow best in well-draining soil. These vegetables grow best in bright direct sun. Provide at least 6 hours. 10-12 hours of direct sun is best. They need to be planted deep into the ground. They are a fall crop and should be planted 10-12 weeks before the first frost.
Carrots also have a root system that reaches deep into the ground. Such plants help to loosen the soil.
The best season to plant onions is early spring. Space onions between 1-8 inches (2.5-20cm). Onions grow best in 8-10 hours of full sun. 6 hours of full sunlight is the minimum.
Onions are great at repelling pests. They emit sulfur, and insects hate that. Therefore they are great to be planted with broccoli.
Dill is a plant that grows best in well-draining, acidic soil. The latin name for dill is Anethum graveolens. Seeds should be planted directly into the soil as it is difficult to transplant dill. Dill grows best in full sun. The optimal spacing distance for dill is 9-12 inches (23-30cm).
Dill attracts beneficial nematodes such as ladybugs and lacewings. These insects protect broccoli from pests.
Early April – May, as well as August, is best to plant radishes. Plant radishes 1 foot deep (30cm). They prefer cooler locations and semi-shade.
Radishes are a plant that is planted deep with a deep root system. Such plants help to loosen compact soil, which benefits broccoli.
Basil is an all-time favorite to be planted in a herb garden. Grow basil in lots of sun and humidity. Plant after the last frost in late spring to early summer. The ideal planting temperature is 59°F (15°C). Basil should be planted 6 inches apart (15cm).
Basil has an intense scent that pests such as aphids and thrips detest. It is, therefore a beneficial plant to plant with broccoli as it repels pests.
What To Plant With Broccoli?
Broccoli does best when companion-planted with crops that do not require a lot of space. Since broccoli is full and robust in early summer, plant crops near that enjoy shady locations, including lettuce, greens, radishes, and spinach varieties.
Compatible Companion Plants For Broccoli
Use companion plants when growing broccoli to help your plants thrive and increase your potential harvest later.
Using compatible companion plants for your crops can help keep pests at bay and make your vegetables taste better, believe it or not!
So, what companion plants does Broccoli like?
To improve the flavor of your broccoli plants, try planting near potatoes, onions, and celery. It does make your produce taste better!
Consider some other companion plant tips when gardening, too
- Beets are a great companion for broccoli and bring magnesium to the mix. Plus, they don’t use the calcium in the soil as broccoli does, so they cohabitate well.
- Plant chamomile to dry for tea year-round. Chamomile also positively impacts broccoli plants, making your finished harvest taste better. Try it!
- Repel cabbage worms and loopers with something that smells astringent, like geraniums or nasturtium flowers.
- The shade that matures broccoli plants provide is an excellent companion for loose-leaf lettuce varieties. Radishes are another crop that does not require much space and thrives in the shade of broccoli plants.
You can also practice healthy pest control with companion planting- no chemicals needed!
To prevent cabbage flies from gathering and laying eggs near your broccoli plants, plant aromatic herbs nearby that will deter them.
Some great options include dill, rosemary, mint, and oregano.
A Bit About Broccoli
Broccoli, or Brassica oleracea, is a type of cabbage, as are cauliflower, collards, and Brussels sprouts.
Broccoli is easy to maintain and delicious to eat- so why wouldn’t you want to try growing it in your garden?
Another perk of this cool-season vegetable is that broccoli fully matures in 55 to 80 days from being transplanted into the ground, approximately 100 days when grown from seed.
In milder climates, you may have an early and late broccoli crop, and this plant prefers temperatures that are not typically higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Broccoli is frost tolerant and has survived when the temperature has dipped low- even as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but not for prolonged periods.
It does fine in partly shady conditions but prefers full sun. The flexible nature of broccoli makes it a great crop for gardens in almost any climate.
As for soil, broccoli likes rich soil that is slightly acidic, and ideally, the pH would hover slightly above 6.0 for optimal growth and harvest. The soil should just be moist and well-drained.
Add organic fertilizer that is rich in nutrients and low in nitrogen.
Broccoli needs a lot of calcium when developing so it helps when you enrich the soil with calcium-rich compost or fertilizer and plant broccoli near plants that don’t use a lot of calcium.
Some examples include marigolds, beets, and nasturtium flowers.
Plants To Avoid Planting With Broccoli
There are a few plants that you do not want to grow with or near your Broccoli, as it may invite pests, bolster nitrogen in the soil, or take nutrients away from your broccoli, impacting the yield of your harvest later.
Nightshades do not seem to do well with broccoli in most gardens or growing situations. Some common nightshade plants include eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes.
Also, planting cabbage or cauliflower too near your broccoli can impact both plants, as they compete for similar soil nutrients.
Insects that plague cabbage plants, like aphids, caterpillars, and worms, are just as damaging to young broccoli plants.
Other plants to keep clear of your broccoli are strawberries. Strawberries require a lot of nutrients, so they easily take over and deplete the resources your broccoli needs to thrive.
Also, be aware of plants that add nitrogen to the soil, like beans, as this can compromise your broccoli.
Frequently Asked Questions About What To Plant With Broccoli
What is the Secret to Success When Growing Broccoli?
The key to success in broccoli is to try growing it in a spot where you have not previously grown this type of plant. This includes gardens or beds where you have grown cabbages, Brussels sprouts, kale, or other greens. Start in a new location for best results and circulate your beds every four or five years, minimally.
Should you Fertilize Broccoli plants?
You should fertilize the soil before you plant your broccoli plants. Broccoli requires a lot of nutrients, which may not be found in the soil at your home, so enrich it with a good-quality, low-nitrogen fertilizer.
When Should You Plant Broccoli?
Broccoli is a cool-season plant, so start your plants around six to eight weeks ahead of the expected last frost for your region. Start the plants inside, then transplant them outdoors around a half-inch deep for a mid-summer harvest.
Are you planning your summer gardens? Consider broccoli; it is easy to grow in most climates and good for you, too. When planting broccoli consider to plant it with beneficial companion plants. With this list of the best companion plants you should be well equiped.
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Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.