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Companion Plants for Bok Choy: Top Picks

To provide some shade for your bok choy plants, consider growing some beans, corn or cucumbers on the western side.

Bok choy is a versatile Asian vegetable that’s relatively easy to grow in our Australian gardens.

It loves a sunny spot in the garden but if you’re growing it in a region that has hot, dry summers, it will benefit from some afternoon shade to stop it bolting to seed too quickly.

For this reason, you might want to consider growing some taller companion plants next to your bok choy to protect it from the harsh afternoon sun.

Companion plants for shade

To provide some shade for your bok choy plants, consider growing some beans, corn or cucumbers on the western side. Climbing beans are best because they’ll provide plenty of shade once they’re growing up their support structure.

Even cucumbers can be grown on a trellis or other type of support and will provide some much-needed relief from the hot afternoon sun. Just be sure to keep the water up to these because they can be quite thirsty.

Bok Choy garden | Fruit & Vegetables

Other suitable companions for bok choy

Other companions that will grow well with bok choy are those that appreciate similar conditions and won’t compete with your Asian greens for either water or nutrients.

These include:

  • Root crops like beetroot, onions and carrots
  • Fruiting crops like strawberries
  • Herbs like marjoram, coriander, mint, rosemary, sage and thyme
  • Other leafy greens like celery, lettuce, spinach and silverbeet

Root crops are particularly useful for growing with bok choy because the latter has a shallow root system so these plants won’t be competing for the nutrients in the soil.

Many herbs like sage and rosemary can help to repel sap-sucking insects such as aphids. Nasturtiums are also quite good at this and can make a good companion plant if you can keep them under control.

Nasturtiums flowers | Fruit & Vegetables

Fruiting plants such as strawberries have similar water requirements but take up different nutrients from the soil. While bok choy relies mainly on nitrogen for its lush green growth, strawberries need plenty of potassium to encourage fruiting.

Other leafy greens such as spinach and silverbeet like similar conditions to bok choy and also need a fertiliser that’s high in nitrogen. While they’ll compete for water and nutrients, if you supply a good amount of both, these plants should grow happily together.

What plants don’t make good companions for bok choy?

There are certain plants that you shouldn’t grow near your bok choy.

Primarily, you want to avoid growing other brassicas such as cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts near your bok choy. All of these plants attract the same pests.

It’s also not a good idea to plant dill near your bok choy because this herb is attractive to cabbage worms that can cause harm to your bok choy.

FAQ

What is the best Fertiliser for bok choy?

Bok choy needs lots of nitrogen to grow well. Organic fertilisers such as compost, aged manure or blood and bone work well. Seasol Powerfeed is also a good choice.

Can you grow bok choy with spinach?

Yes, both bok choy and spinach like similar conditions and can be grown together. Providing both these plants with some afternoon shade and a fertiliser high in nitrogen is recommended when grown in hotter areas.

How much room does bok choy need to grow?

Bok choy takes up very little space in your vegetable garden. Individual plants can be spaced around 15 cm apart.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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