Good Companions

Since I have such a tiny area for gardening, I try to utilize every little bit of ground I can, so I often try to cram small veggies in between larger ones.

I had pretty good success with my two broccoli plants last year, even though I had to battle a lot of aphids, so this year I planted three.

Two were planted in the same bed. I planted carrot seeds around one of them. The other was pretty much left by itself, although I did plant some lettuce seeds later in the season. The third was in a separate nearby bed (only a couple of feet away), and I surrounded it with bush peas.

It was very interesting to see how they’ve done.

This is the one planted by itself – the leaves were devastated by aphids, and possibly other insects. I used Safer Soap on it, which helped a bit, but it still looks pretty ragged, with small leaves. It was the only one that had harvest-able broccoli on it a couple of weeks ago, though:


This is the one that had peas planted around it (the peas were harvested a couple of weeks ago, and the plants pulled up):


It had some aphids, though not as much as the first one. It has a very tiny head of broccoli on it. It’s tall and spindly, probably from not getting enough sun. The peas grew up pretty quickly around it, and it also gets a little less sun than the planting bed the first one is in.

But the third one, which had the carrots planted around it, has done really well. No sign of aphids or any other insects, other than a few small holes in some leaves:


The leaves are big and healthy, and there’s a nice head of broccoli formed, which is ready to harvest. The stem is nice and thick, as you can see in this close-up:


I’ve never seen anything about carrots and broccoli being good companion plants, but you can be sure I’ll try this again next year. It might just be coincidence that this plant did so much better than the others, but it’s worth trying again. Broccoli #1 is immediately to the right of this one. You can see some of the carrot leaves on the left edge of the top photo. Considering that they’re only about 22″ apart, it’s amazing how much better one did than the other.



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5 Responses to Good Companions

  1. Cookie says:

    Isn’t that fabulous?!

  2. Chris says:

    More experiments are required!

  3. jill says:

    Whatever the reason, the broc looks divine!

  4. margene says:

    Very interesting. We had a long row of broccoli without companion plants. One plant was covered with aphids and did not produce anything. (We pulled it out.) The other 10 had beautiful heads and have since produced smaller crops, no more aphids. We did have a nice group of lady bugs which might have made a difference. I have no idea why one plant was attacked and not the others. hmmm Planting carrots around broccoli isn’t a bad idea, regardless.

  5. redsilvia says:

    Isn’t it a whole field of study where it’s determined what plants to grow around others to get natural bug deterrent? Like the flowers they plant around the wine grapes here. Or am I wrong since I don’t grow anything?

    Either way, the garden looks lovely and your vegetables must be delish since they’re just feet from the kitchen. Yum!

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