Companion planting is a very useful planting method that helps increase productivity in crop production. By companion planting, two or more different plants get to help each other in absorbing nutrients and in controlling pests as well as in cross pollination.
One of the more popular plants that are used for companion planting is broccoli. It’s a very versatile vegetable that’s full of many essential vitamins, minerals and even antioxidants. It’s also quite easy to grow if you have enough room in your garden.
First, you need to get broccoli seedlings or plants. Buying a seedling or a plant will really depend on your level of expertise in gardening. Those who are still novices or not too comfortable with their skills can buy younglings that they can just remove from the pot and transfer to the garden. The key is not to traumatize the plant when removing it from the pot. When you use this method, make sure that you do it in the late afternoon when the temperature is quite cool. Hot temperatures will surely traumatize the younglings. You can, of course, just buy seedlings but you’ll have to start from the beginning (growing plants out of seeds). Of course, make sure you buy the right varieties for your garden. There are a number of broccoli varieties and you should choose one that is right for the environmental conditions of your garden.
You should also make sure that you’re going to plant during the season when broccoli grows best. This would usually be during spring or fall. Harvest season is best during autumn. Harvesting at this time will result in broccoli that tastes sweet.
There should be enough room for the plant to grow. A distance of about 2 feet apart from each other is enough space for them to grow fully.
Being a companion plant, plant the broccoli beside plants that are compatible with it. Plants like potatoes, beets, cabbage, and onions. It also ‘plays’ well with chamomile and peppermint. Make sure that you do not plant broccoli near a wall or pole. Plants that do not jive well with broccoli include tomatoes, strawberries and turnips so don’t plant them together.
There are some things that you should know about growing broccoli. First of all, it will demand your attention. It needs your constant care if you want to grow a full head of broccoli. It also needs a lot of nutrient rich soil. It also needs a lot of fertilizer. But you can use organic alternatives like poultry manure compost or alfalfa meal. Broccoli will be ready for harvest after 14 weeks.