The Symbiotic Relationship of Broccoli & Garlic
Here is our example of a healthy symbiotic relationship between broccoli, and a local heirloom variety given to us by Wendy Williams named properly '˜Old-man-Garlic'.
Broccoli is a large plant, and requires a lot more specific nutrients than other plants. Broccoli generally uses more
calcium so avoid planting next to heavy feeding crops like asparagus, cantaloupe, sweet corn, pumpkin, and watermelon. In a healthy soil, or a garden where the farmer will supplement with additional nutrients, planting broccoli with other members of the Brassica family such as Brussels sprout, cabbage, and
cauliflower is acceptable. Preferably, the holistic gardener can pair broccoli with lighter feeders, such as nasturtiums and beets, which require very little calcium from the soil. Mustard greens, rue, and grapes negatively affect broccoli, and others of the Brassica family.
The nightshade family does not grow well next to the Brassica family of vegetables, which include tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. In the pictures the broccoli planted closest to the tomato plants were the only broccoli plants to receive damage from insects. While all those neighboring broccoli planted in, and around the garlic did better with almost no
damage to leaves, and stems. This can be for many reasons, for one the neighboring tomato plant most likely blocks sunlight, steals nutrients, and provides a bug breeding ground for the first assault on the closest broccoli in proximity. This does not hinder the fact that companion planting works, but aids to the fact that this holistic approach has more value than just a spiritual connection of symbiosis, and highlights the importance of properly pairing plants with specific species for success. Companion planting bases its information off anecdotal evidence, and is in many aspects a new and growing field of science. Monitor how well your plants respond to the different methods, and tailor your planting patterns accordingly.
This covers the what not to do's to improve your broccoli production, now we can delve into the plants that can benefit, and enhance
broccoli's ability to fight pest, and disease. The strong aromas of herbs dill, sage, rosemary, basil, mint, garlic, and thyme all are said to help improve resistance to infestation from pest, and disease. Other plants that live in harmony with broccoli are bush beans, cucumber, lettuce, potato, radishes, and shallots. Flowers that thrive with broccoli include plants like marigold and nasturtiums. The garlic accumulates sulfur, allowing fungus, and pest to be stalled in their overtaking of the garden. Sulfur is used throughout the greenhouse, and gardening industry in sprays, and sulfur burners. The strong stench produced by sulfur accumulation strongly repels bugs within a certain radius of the garlic clove.