Broccoli Companion Plants – What to Grow Near Broccoli (And What to Avoid)

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Growing a vegetable garden takes a little bit of planning and a lot of care. Consider finding broccoli companion plants to increase the chances of a successful crop this year.

Brassicas in general prove to be a challenging type of crop in our garden here in PA zone 6b.

To date, when trying to grow broccoli, our biggest problem continues to be the dreaded white cabbage butterfly. I am thinking row covers will be our best defense.

At any rate, let’s check out the best and worst companion plants for broccoli!

Broccoli Companion Plants - Large heads of broccoli
Broccoli Companion Plants – Large heads of broccoli

What growing conditions does broccoli need?

Broccoli likes growing in full sun (6-8 hours) in well-draining, sandy or clay loam soil. Relatively moist soil works well, with broccoli needing about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week.

What is a good companion plant for broccoli?

Some good companion plants for broccoli may include beets, radishes, potatoes, onions, lettuce, and celery. Herbs like chamomile, dill, sage, and rosemary also grow well with broccoli.

What should not be planted near broccoli?

Other brassicas should not be planted near broccoli. Also avoid planting strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, corn, and cucurbits near broccoli.

What makes broccoli a good planting companion?

The biggest companion planting benefits of broccoli to other plants is providing shade for leafy greens like lettuce and spinach. The shade helps to slow the process by which these plants bolt and go to seed during the hotter summer months.

Broccoli also loves calcium in the soil, so plants that don’t need much calcium tend to grow just fine around broccoli.

Best Broccoli Companion Plants

As you plan your garden layout, consider choosing good broccoli companion plants to maximize space and benefits.

In many combinations, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers can all play a role in the garden ecosystem.

Think about what else you plan to grow and find a few planting companions to broccoli.

Vegetable Companion Plants for Broccoli

Pairing up vegetables in the garden helps to make the most of your space. Try these companions for broccoli:

  • Beets – Beets require little calcium, making them great partners for broccoli. Broccoli takes up loads of calcium from the soil, so this pairing works well together.
  • Celery – Some believe that celery growing nearby can improve broccoli’s flavor.
  • Lettuce – Shade from broccoli helps cool-weather crop lettuce to delay bolting as the summer heats up.
  • Onions – Onions also help to improve broccoli’s flavor, according to popular belief.
  • Potatoes – Likewise, potatoes growing near broccoli might also enhance the flavor.
  • Radishes – A small footprint makes radishes ideal to grow nearby towering broccoli. The shade from broccoli also keeps radishes cool.
  • Rhubarb – Rhubarb is believed to deter whiteflies, which can benefit broccoli.
  • Shallots – Like onions, shallots may also improve the flavor of broccoli.
  • Spinach – Cool-weather spinach enjoys the shade that broccoli can provide.
  • Swiss Chard – Anecdotal advice suggests Swiss chard is a good match as well.

Companion Planting Broccoli with Herbs

Growing broccoli near herbs can create benefits in the garden as well.

Chamomile is believed to improve broccoli’s flavor. And, strong, aromatic herbs in particular can help to ward off problematic insects in the garden.

Consider these companion herbs for broccoli:

  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage

Worst Companion Plants for Broccoli

As with just about any crop, you can also find bad broccoli companion plants.

Avoid planting broccoli near any of the following vegetables:

  • Other Brassicas – Brassicas share many of the same pests. Avoid drawing in a pest overload by planting too many brassicas together.
  • Corn – As a relatively heavy feeder, corn does not make a good companion for broccoli.
  • Cucurbits – Likewise, members of the cucurbit family do not tend to grow well with broccoli as heavy feeders also. This includes pumpkins, melons, squash, and cucumbers, to name a few.
  • Nightshades – Nightshades including peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants do not work out well as broccoli companions in most cases. As heavy feeders, nightshades decimate the soil from its nutrient supplies.
  • Strawberries – Strawberries are believed to slow the growth of broccoli.
Broccoli florets
Broccoli florets

Broccoli Companions: Things to Consider

The best broccoli companions are the ones that your family will enjoy most from your garden.

Look at these suggestions for what to grow near broccoli and decide which ones would be most enjoyed. Look for combinations that keep all the plants nearby happy.

Keep in mind that growing broccoli under row covers may protect it from cabbage moths and other pests.

Do you have any favorite broccoli plant pairings to recommend? Feel free to share any tips or ask questions about companion planting broccoli in our comments below. We love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

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