If you're looking for companion plants for arugula, look no further! After reading this post, you'll know which plants are beneficial to your arugula and which to avoid!
Arugula is also known as Rocket and I'm pretty sure that's the coolest plant name. It is a cool-season crop that belongs to the Brassica family (broccoli, kale, etc). This hardy vegetable can be grown in adverse weather conditions and is quick to germinate - arugula seeds will sprout in as little as five days.
Arugula is tangy, peppery, and flavorful. It's absolutely great in salads, but can also be cooked and used like spinach.
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What Is Companion Planting?
Companion gardening is the practice of planting two or more plants together for the benefit of one or both plants. By planting arugula with certain plants, you can help increase the growth and vigor of your arugula while also reducing the likelihood of pests and diseases on the tender arugula greens.
It's like a FOOD FOREST, but on a smaller scale!
What Are The Benefits?
There are many reasons why companion planting is beneficial, but some of the benefits specific to consider when you plant arugula are:
- help to deter garden pests like flea beetles
- improve growth and vigor, and in some cases, even flavor!
- help to attract pollinators and beneficial insects which will then prey on pests.
- improve soil health, through nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling
- provide optimal growing conditions, such as shade or ground cover.
Best Arugula Companion Plants
Here are some of the best options for plants to place near your arugula
The allium family includes onions, garlic, and chives. Alliums are great companion plants for arugula, their natural fragrance helps to deter cabbage whitefly and aphids from snacking on your greens. Sow arugula in between onions in your garden rows!
Be aware that alliums don't play nice with beans!
Beets are called betterave in French, and that might be the second-best plant name after rocket. They make a great companion plant for arugula because they occupy a different growing space than arugula. They also offer shade to the arugula, improving harvest in hot weather.
Avoid planting beets if you're using bush or pole beans as a companion.
Both bush and pole beans fix nitrogen into the soil. The bush beans will also provide shade for the cool weather-loving arugula, this can prolong your harvest season by preventing premature bolting.
If you're growing beans, avoid using alliums as another companion.
Carrots occupy a different growing zone than arugula! Their fronds (greens) offer shade to the rocket, much like bush beans, extending the harvest season in hot weather.
Celery is a great companion plant because both celery and arugula like to grow in the same conditions. So if you're making the effort to make a suitable environment for arugula, you might as well grow celery because it will benefit from your efforts too!
Chervil is an annual herb with a delicate flavor similar to licorice or anise. It's a great addition to salads, pasta dishes, and soups. Chervil pairs well with many other herbs, as well as carrots and arugula.
As an added bonus, it's an excellent arugula companion because it helps to repel slugs and attracts predatory wasps.
Grow these flowers a few feet away from your arugula as a sacrificial crop. If you do get aphids, they will be attracted to the bright nasturtium flowers and will leave your arugula alone!
These flowers are also short in stature so they create a ground cover habitat for beneficial spiders and beetles.
Radishes are a quick-to-grow companion / sacrificial crop. The benefit to growing radishes within several feet of arugula is that many pesty beetles who love leafy salad greens will instead snack on radish leaves instead of your greens crop. I haven't personally tested this, but I have been told that radishes grown near arugula tend to have a less woody texture.
While sunflowers make terrible RHUBARB COMPANION PLANTS, they make great companions for your arugula! These sunny, bright flowers attract beneficial insects, in the form of bees as pollinators in your garden and ladybugs to eat up those pesky aphids! Beneficial insects can keep your arugula safe without pesticides.
What To Avoid Planting Near Arugula:
Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers
Members of the nightshade family prefer more acidic soil than arugula and it may be difficult to hit the right balance to please both plants. In general, compromise leads to both plants suffering.
Strawberries are a fine ground cover, but they are a poor companion plant for arugula. Their spreading growth pattern tends to take over your arugula. If arugula does survive, it won't be shaded during the hot days and is likely to bolt.Buy Seeds
Arugula companion plants can be beneficial or harmful. It's important to think about which ones help arugula plants thrive and grow for a longer period of time or hurt arugula growth due to soil pH preferences, shade considerations, pest attraction, etc. Pay attention to companion planting guides, like the one above, to make sure you're getting the most out of your growing arugula in the vegetable garden.