QUESTION: What can you plant next to Brussels sprouts? I’m not sure what I should plant near them. Which plants will help pull pests away? -Paula S
ANSWER: Companion planting is one of the most effective tricks gardeners can use to make the most of their space, the plants in their gardens, and the time and energy they spend working with their plants. By planting crops next to one another that provide some benefit, whether it’s shading tender young seedlings, running off pesky garden insects, or providing nutrients for one another, your plants, your work, and your garden space are all doing double duty. The list below will get you ready to make the most of your Brussels sprouts with companion plants that make the best growing partners for this tasty vegetable.
Basil: Basil fights off lots of the insects that would love to make a meal of your Brussels sprouts with the scent we humans find so enticing.
Broccoli: Broccoli and all the other plants we’ve listed from the Brassica family are good neighbors for Brussels sprouts because they share similar care guidelines. But watch out for pests and diseases that plague Brassicas when you decide to plant two members of the same family together (with all the Brassica plants on this list) so that the risks don’t end up outweighing the benefits.
Cabbage: Cabbage is another member of the Brassica plant group that works well next to Brussels sprouts because the two plants like the same conditions.
Cauliflower: As a Brassica plant, cauliflower shares space well with Brussels sprouts because of their similar maintenance needs.
Collard greens: Collard greens are another Brassica plant that can double up with Brussels sprouts because they’re cared for similarly.
Kale: Kale’s a Brassica plant, so it needs a lot of the same care as your Brussels sprouts will, making your job easier when the two are planted together.
Marigolds: Marigolds are a natural way to keep a wide range of garden pests out of the way of your plants, because lots of bugs can’t stand the smell of marigold flowers.
Mint: The aroma of mint in the garden will keep a long list of insects that tend to chomp on Brussels sprouts at bay.
Mustard greens: Use mustard as a trap crop for pests of Brussels sprouts. Just make sure to uproot the greens and relocate the once you notice that the targeted pests have started to dine on them, or they’ll end up spreading to the Brussels anyway.
Nasturtium: If you struggle with whiteflies or squash bugs in your garden, adding nasturtiums next to your Brussels sprouts is a worthwhile decision as the nasturtiums will send these bugs running.