In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about companion planting for Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassica family and are heavy feeders. Common pests these plants are at risk from are aphids, cabbageworms, cabbage loopers and flea beetles. Companion plants can help manage these pests and optimize the space in your garden.
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Good Companion Planting for Brussels Sprouts
When looking for good companion plants to go alongside your Brussels sprouts crop there are some key things to consider. First, Brussels sprouts are heavy feeders and take a lot of nutrients from the soil. Therefore, you will want to make sure nearby crops do not take a whole lot from the soil themselves, causing both plants to fight for resources. The second thing consider is that Brussels sprouts are a cool season crop and will appreciate a little shade from neighboring crops during the hottest months of the year. The final things to consider are the pests that may bother your sprouts. Crops that can help control aphids, cabbageworms, cabbage loopers and flea beetles are great companions to consider.
Try Leafy Greens When Companion Planting for Brussel Sprouts
As mentioned previously, Brussels sprouts are a cool weather crop and should be planted in the early spring or late summer. Leafy salad greens share this same characteristic and can be planted right alongside your Brussels sprouts crop. Additionally, these greens will help control weeds and keep the soil from drying out. Since leafy greens do not pull a lot of resources from the soil they can coexist nicely alongside Brussels sprouts.
Lettuces makes for an excellent garden mate for Brussels sprouts. They offer all the benefits mentioned above that leafy greens provide for sprouts. With this pairing, you will have plenty of greens for your kitchen.
Spinach is another leafy green that will control weeds and help the soil retain moisture. Your Brussel sprouts will benefit from this, and spinach can be planted along with lettuce if you want both leafy greens.
Swiss Chard offers the same benefits to Brussels sprouts as the other leafy greens mentioned. It can also be grown with them so that you can throw all of your leafy greens around your sprouts. They are all great for companion planting with Brussels sprouts.
Radishes are a Good Companion
Radishes are an excellent neighbor for Brussels sprouts. They repel flea beetles which will help keep your plant safe. Their leafy tops also provide shade for the soil to help it retain moisture. Radishes will get along great with this plant inside your garden.
Beets Can Help Your Brussels Sprouts Thrive
Beets are another root crop to consider when companion planting for Brussels sprouts. The tap roots of beets penetrate deep into the soil and release helpful nutrients like magnesium into the soil that Brussels sprouts need. These colorful rooted plants can even planted in-between your Brussels sprouts to really make the most of this nutrient boost.
Legumes Add Nitrogen to the Soil for Brussel Sprouts
Legumes are well known for fixing nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen is something Brussel sprouts need plenty of to grow their leafy green sprouts. Therefore, planting legumes near these plants will provide them with extra nitrogen in the soil to help them thrive. Legumes can really bring a boost to your Brussels sprout crop.
Pole and Bush Beans
Pole and bush beans are legumes that make for amazing companions to Brussels Sprouts. Bush beans can be planted closer to your sprouts because of their shorter height. They will provide that valuable nitrogen to the soil while shading it to help it retain moisture. Pole beans must be grown with support a little further away from your sprouts.
Peas are another legume that can be planted with Brussels sprouts. They offer many of the same benefits as pole beans and also need to be grown on supports slightly away from your sprouts. They are worth considering when planning your garden around Brussels sprouts.
Celery is Great When Companion Planting for Brussel Sprouts
Celery is often recommended as a companion plant for members of the Brassica family. This is because it repels many of the pests that often attack members of this family. Pests such as aphids, cabbage loopers and cabbageworms, that are a threat to your Brussels sprouts, all hate the smell of the celery plant. Planting your celery near your sprouts can help mask them and keep them safe from these hungry bugs.
Aromatic Herbs Are Great Companions for Brussels Sprouts
When companion planting for Brussels sprouts you can never go wrong by choosing aromatic herbs. Most offer a wide range of pest control benefits. Some will repel harmful insects or attract beneficial ones. You can even pair them with Brussel sprouts in the kitchen because many are common in many recipes.
Mint, known for its strong distinct minty smell, is a great choice as a garden neighbor for Brussels sprouts. This herb’s scent repels cabbageworms, cabbage loopers and flea beetles. All of which want to snack on your sprouts.
Dill can also benefit your sprouts by repelling cabbageworms and cabbage loopers. It also attracts beneficial insects that prey on aphids, which can help keep your crop safe. This tasty herb has many uses in the kitchen and is a great addition to any garden.
Another aromatic herb that can help your Brussels sprouts is rosemary. Like dill, its smell repels cabbageworms and cabbage loopers. Its lovely flowers will attract pollinators to your garden as well. Rosemary is used in tons of tasty recipes and will spice up your dishes.
Lavender has wonderful flowers with a sweet calming scent. Flea beetles, cabbageworms and loopers won’t find this scent so nice through. Lavender can help keep these pests away from your Brussels sprouts.
Looking for a herb that pairs just as well with Brussels sprouts in the garden as it does in the kitchen? Consider thyme when companion planting for Brussels sprouts. Just like many of the herbs mentioned above, it deters the pests that will try to harm your sprouts.
This delicious spice deters both flea beetles and cabbageworms. You can add this to your garden to help your sprouts thrive. Afterwards, you can add it to your dishes to help them be better as well.
Basil is yet another garden and kitchen savior to pair with Brussels sprouts. Offering similar pest control benefits and being a great addition to many recipes.
Flea beetles do not like the scent of parsley and will avoid it. Additionally, its leafy foliage will shade the soil and help it retain moisture. It makes an excellent garden mate for Brussels sprouts.
Cilantro is another herb that repels flea beetles, cabbageworms and cabbage loopers. Having foliage that is just as bushy as parsley, it will also help the soil retain moisture by sheltering it from the sun.
The final herb that we will mention is sage. Like many on this list, it repels the pests that harm Brussels sprouts. You can use it in many recipes or even dry it around your house to enjoy its soothing scent.
Certain Flowers Can Really Boost Your Garden
Flowers are always a wonderful addition to any garden. However, some flowers bring more to the table when it comes to companion planting for Brussels sprouts. Certain flowers have pest control benefits or will attract predator insects to do the work for them. Some flowers can even act as a trap crop, attracting pests to it and away from your Brussels sprouts.
Marigolds are one the best companion flowers to grow. These bright and warm beauties do much more than just attract your eye. They are well known for repelling all kinds of harmful insects. Cabbage loopers and cabbageworms are no exception and this will help your Brussels sprouts thrive. They also control aphids by attracting ladybugs that prey on them. Finally, pollinators will flock to marigolds and help pollinate your garden.
Another flower that is great at repelling pests is nasturtiums. Cabbage loopers, cabbage worms and flea beetles all prefer to stay away from them. They are also a trap crop for aphids and will draw these pests away from your sprouts. You can enjoy these wonderful flowers while they help control pests in your garden.
Petunias are a great trap crop for harmful pests and look absolutely stunning. Plant these flowers a little ways away from your Brussels sprout crop and let all the insects that would normally munch on your sprouts have their feast on the fast growing petunias. The petunias will still look amazing and attract plenty of pollinators while your Brussel sprouts stay safe and sound.
Chamomile is a flowering herb known for its delightful tea. However, it also attracts predatory insects that eat aphids. This helps keep them under control so that they do not ruin your crop of Brussels sprouts. In addition, chamomile’s flowers will bring pollinators to your garden.
Another flowering herb that you should consider when companion planting for Brussels sprouts is borage. Borage’s aroma deters cabbage beetles and loopers which helps protect your sprouts. Plant these in your garden and enjoy their little blue flowers.
Alliums Offer Many Pest Control Benefits
Alliums can be an excellent choice when looking for plants to help your Brussels sprouts. Their pungent smell repels many pests, including ones that will endanger your sprouts. Alliums can be heavy feeders and need a lot of nutrients from the soil, so don’t put them too close to your Brussels sprouts. Growing these plants in the vicinity can bring many pest control benefits.
Onions are great when companion planting for Brussel Sprouts. The smell of this plant will keep flea beetles, cabbageworms, cabbage loopers and aphids away from the area. As long as they are not too close, your Brussels spouts will benefit greatly from them being in your garden. Just remember that both are heavy feeders and will compete for resources if not given enough space.
Like onions, garlic keeps all the main Brussels sprout pests at bay. Your sprouts will also appreciate this pungent plant as a neighbor. Just remember, both require a lot of nutrients, so give them some space of their own.
Chives have the same pest control benefits as onions, however, slightly weaker. The good news is that chives can be planted a little closer because they don’t suck as many nutrients from the soil. This plant will even grow nice purple flowers and attract pollinators to your garden. Chives are perennials, so expect them to pop back up each year where ever you plant it.
Shallots are a smaller onion counterpart and can be treated the same way when looking for companion plants for Brussel sprouts. A little bit of space and the two will coexist happily in your garden.
Scallions, also know as green onions, are another allium you can use for pest control. However, they are another plant that takes a lot of nitrogen from the soil. Therefore, give your Brussels sprouts and scallions some room between them.
The final allium we will mention are leeks. This is another option for pest control and also a heavy feeder that will need some space from your Brussels sprouts.
Bad Companion Planting for Brussels Sprouts
Now we will look at some pairings to avoid when companion planting for Brussels sprouts. Some neighbors just cause trouble for your sprouts because they need a lot of nitrogen and nutrients from the soil and do not like to share. Others might attract pests that will attack your Brussels sprouts. While many plants do get along great with Brussels sprouts, these plants should be avoided.
Other Brassica Attract Similar Pests
Members of the Brassica family all attract and suffer from similar pests and diseases. If you plant too many of this family in one location, you’re basically putting a giant buffet sign up. This can lead to an infestation that ruins your Brussels sprouts and other brassica crops. Try to plant these crops away from each other and use some of the good pest control companions to mask their scents. It’s also good practice to not plant Brassica crops in the same location where a Brassica crop grew during the previous season. Diseases and pests may still be in the soil and ruin your crop.
Strawberries and Brussels Sprouts Need Space
Strawberries tend to crowd out the area they are growing in. Brussels Sprouts like their space and take many nutrients from the soil. This results in the two competing for resources and both crops struggling. Give them space and pick a different neighbor when companion planting for Brussels sprouts.
Nightshades Have Different Soil Requirements
Nightshades such as tomatoes, peppers and potatoes are also heavy feeder crops that do not like to share soil space with other plants that take a lot from the soil. Additionally, they like soil that is a little acidic. Therefore, if you plant your Brussels Sprouts and nightshades too close together they will drain resources from each other and both with suffer. Not to mention, keeping the soil an optimal pH for both plants is hard to do when they neighbors. It’s best to let these two have different garden companions.