Growing compact clusters of vitamin-rich cauliflower in your garden is as good as it gets. Cauliflower plants produce mild, sweet-tasting, dense florets that pack a punch in the nutrient category. As gardeners, we can all use a little help from our friends from time to time, and plants are no different. Vegetables like cauliflower can benefit from friendly neighbors in their garden beds in many ways.
Check out a gardener’s guide to cauliflower companion plants and discover how purposeful pairings in the garden can boost your plant production and increase your yields.
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is the method of planting diverse plant varieties near one another in a garden bed for mutually beneficial reasons. There are countless benefits to companion planting for cauliflower plants, enhancing your garden design’s attractiveness, fighting common pests, attracting beneficial insects, and amplifying the overall flavor of your prized vegetable plants.
Besides your plants’ benefits, companion planting uses your garden space more efficiently, allowing you to harvest more varieties in a given area. The diversity that companion planting provides is also excellent for pollinators, wildlife, and overall soil health. Discovering what cauliflower companion plants work well can significantly improve your garden’s productivity.
Cauliflower Companion Plants
We’ve compiled a list of beneficial plants that work well side by side in the garden bed with cauliflower, so you can get started right away on boosting your plants’ production.
Celery is a great friend to plants in the brassica family, making them amazing cauliflower companion plants. The aromatic leaves of the celery plant keep the white cabbage moth from infiltrating the garden bed. This destructive pest is a considerable problem when planting and growing cauliflower plants, as it munches through the leaves and destroys the plants’ viability. Growing celery plants near cauliflower can help significantly.
Cauliflower is a heavy feeder in the garden bed and can use up many nutrients in the garden. Legumes fix the soil with nitrogen as they grow and flourish, replenishing the nutrients that cauliflower plants readily consume. Consider planting some of these legumes alongside your cauliflower plants.
Spinach and Swiss Chard
Cauliflower grows well next to spinach and Swiss chard. These plants use different soil nutrients, and their roots extend to different soil layers. While they don’t necessarily boost each other, planting swiss chard and growing spinach near cauliflower creates a friendly neighborhood garden space and allows you to plant more in a given area.
Cabbage and Broccoli
A common question is, can you plant cauliflower and broccoli together? In the same family as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli have similar planting and growing requirements, so they make sisters in the garden bed.
Sage has a strong scent that deters some pests from afflicting cauliflower. Planting and growing sage can help attract beneficial pollinators to the garden adding biodiversity and boosting harvests.
Thyme plants can provide ground cover alongside cauliflower plants, keeping weeds at bay and keeping plant roots cool to prevent bolting. Thyme also has a strong aroma that masks the scent of cauliflower plants and tricks garden pests. This herb also attracts beneficial pollinators to the garden.
Marigolds are worth their weight in gold in vegetable garden beds. Not only do they add some eye-popping colors to primarily green plantings, but they have a bold scent that is unpleasant to deer, rabbits, and even some in-ground pests. Try growing marigolds in the garden because their odor adds a shield of protection for plants like cauliflower, causing pests to steer clear of the area.
Plants to Avoid Planting Near Cauliflower
Sadly, some plants are not meant to be interplanted and can cause the demise of or stunt your cauliflower plants’ growth if they are used as companions. Avoid planting these crops near your cauliflower plants.
Strawberries are also not the best companions for plants that are in the brassica family. Not only are they poor neighbors, but they are destructive neighbors, as they hamper the growth of crops like cauliflower. Strawberries also attract slugs which can wreak havoc on cauliflower plants.
Just like cauliflower, tomatoes are also heavy feeders of nutrients. If planted in close proximity to one another, the plants will compete for nutrients. This can reduce both of the crops’ ability to reach their growth and production potential.