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In vegetarian gardens all around the globe, Cole crops are ubiquitous. Except for you, Brussels sprouts, they’re delicious, nutritious, and relatively easy to maintain. Keeping your brassicas happy may be difficult, however. It’s a good idea to research companion plants.
Certain plants harm your cole crops, while others enhance them, making them tastier and bigger. Some also repel pests.
Here’s a detailed guide to choosing cole crops’ ideal companion plants.
A Bit About Cole Crops
Plants that belong to the Brassica family are known as crop plants, or brassicas. Cabbage, broccoli, kale, mustard, Brussels sprouts, collards, kohlrabi, turnips, and cauliflower are among the vegetables included.
These veggies are all fantastic to grow at home, but they also provide significant health advantages.
There are several unnamed or uncultivated kinds of Brassicas out there, since they can cross-pollinate and abound in variety.
Cole crops have been farmed since the time Greek intellectuals described kale in 400 BC, according to estimates.
Cole crops may be found all around the globe, although your local environment will determine which ones are suitable for your land.
Knowledge of the best companions for growing brassicas with other plants is required. You don’t want to mix plants that will harm one other. Everything you need for intercropping cole cops can be found in the following section.
Choosing Cole Crop Companion Plants
The technique of intercropping involves growing two or more crops together, which benefits each other. If you want optimum growth and a successful harvest at the conclusion of the growing season, you must place the appropriate plants close together.
Intercropping might help your land quality and harvest production if you succeed. Additionally, it allows for easier crop upkeep.
So, what are the key characteristics to look out for when selecting companion plants? You may want to mix ancient and new plants or various sizes of plants in addition to selecting the proper species. This prevents your crops from competing for the same light and nutrients.
Remember to space the crops far enough apart from each other and avoid overcrowding.
Becoming proficient with companion planting involves learning how to arrange and cultivate your crops.
If you have little space and want to cultivate several crops, some plants have naturally tall, vertical forms that can be beneficial. You can grow more crops in a limited space without them overwhelming you.
Taller crops may be used to shelter tiny plants from the sun. For shading shorter cool-weather brassicas that need protection during the hottest parts of the day, you can use squash, cucumbers, or asparagus.
Best Companion Plants for Brassicas
Brassicas can be grown in conjunction with a variety of other crops. Cole crops (and vice versa) benefit from these plants.
Since the climate is appropriate for both wheat and mustard (Brassica juncea), it is common to mix them in India.
This combination boosts productivity and allows for greater harvest when it comes to selling. However, to reap the benefits, you don’t have to be selling your plants. To speed up growth in your homestead garden, you may also plant wheat alongside mustards.
Remember that mustard develops quicker than wheat, so don’t plant the mustard seeds too closely together when it becomes mature to avoid excess.
For your garden, pairing Brassica with lentils is a fantastic idea. These two crops will not compete for the same sunlight because of their differing heights.
In addition, scientists discovered that growing lentils with mustard resulted in a bigger yield of both crops in the Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science.
Companion plants for sugarcane and brassicas include usu. Sugarcane yielded greater yields when planted with cabbage, according to one study in Science Direct. Wind-borne fungal spores were also protected by sugar cane. These two plants work together to help each other.
It’s preferable to grow cole crops and chickpeas together than to plant them separately. According to research, combining Brassica and chickpeas may result in a higher yield and better soil quality.
According to a research published in the Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, broccoli planted with outperformed broccoli grown solo.
Next to nasturtium, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale can be grown. Your cole crops will love this gorgeous plant. Butterflies, which keep caterpillars at bay, are attracted to Nasturtium, which is ideal for Brassica.
To discourage flea beetles from chewing away at your crops, mint produces a lovely fragrance that will act as a safety precaution. In addition, in your kitchen, you may harvest mint for fresh tea and cooking.
Brassicas planted with peas as companion plants yielded greater amounts, according to a 2015 research, so these two cold-weather buddies should be teamed up.
In one experiment,Psylliodes chrysocephala, Ceutorhynchus napi, and Brassicogethes aeneus beetles damaged growing brassicas less when they were interplanted with fava beans (Vicia faba) and grass peas (Lathyrus sativus).
According to one study, fennel aids in the control of mustard aphids.
Yet, another research at BioOne discovered that planting Indian mustard, fennel, dill, or buckwheat with kale to repel green peach aphids provides no benefit. Additional research is required.
In either scenario, combining the two won’t harm anything, so why not experiment with it and see what happens in your garden?
In trials, rapeseed and potatoes performed equally well when they were planted together.
Several of the pests that go for cole crops are repelled by garlic, chives, and onions because of their strong odor. Many individuals, however, grow garlic as a garden pest deterrent.
In a study at New Mexico State University, turnips and kale planted together yielded greater yields.
Polyculture is the polar opposite of monoculture, which involves growing many plants in one plot of land. When many plants are grown in the same location, it’s called polyculture.
By adding a wide variety of flowers to your veggies, you may encourage pollinators while minimizing or trapping pests.
In your brassica garden, choose flowers that will attract pollinators who are beneficial. The following are a few great options:
Plants to Avoid
You should never plant cole crops near tomatoes, strawberries, or other cole crops. Radishes should be avoided as well. Radishes and cabbage were grown together, but their productivity was reduced.
How To Grow Cole Crops for Success
Cool-season crops that flourish in colder climes are the most common crops grown by Cole. Bolting may occur if the weather becomes too hot, and your harvest will be ruined. Early spring or late fall are the most common times to plant Brassicas.
In certain places, particularly if you pick hybrids or cultivars selected for cool weather, you may even cultivate cole crops all year.
In rich, well-drained soil, plant cole crops. Before planting the seeds into the soil, test their acidity. A soil pH of 6.5 to 7.0 is ideal in most cases.
Water your cole crops generously, but don’t allow the soil to get too soggy when it comes to watering.
To boost growth and feed your plant, use a high-nitrogen fertilizer. If you’re concerned about the health of your crops, well-rotted manure can be applied every month.
Aphids, cutworms, and cabbage root maggots are all on the lookout. Because they feed on cole crops, it’s essential to keep these insects away from your plants.