Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Companion Garden

Well, Spring will be here before we know it. I am especially excited to get started on my flower and vegetable gardens this year. I have my greenhouse set up and have my cold weather veggies started. My wonderful DH cut down an old tree and is clearing the land for my garden plot.

I am going to try planting a companion garden this year. I discovered this concept while researching different gardening methods. It utilizes a common sense approach to gardening using natural methods to enhance flavors, offer pest protection and produce a higher yield and growth.

Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves etc. that can alternately repel (anti-feedents) and/or attract insects depending on your needs. In some situations they can also help enhance the growth rate and flavor of other varieties. Experience shows us that using companion planting through out the landscape is an important part of integrated pest management. In essence companion planting helps bring a balanced eco-system to your landscape, allowing nature to do its' job. Nature integrates a diversity of plants, animals, and other organisms into every ecosystem so there is no waste. The death of one organism can create food for another, meaning symbiotic relationships all around.

By using companion planting, many gardeners can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. Below is some basic information about what plants grow best together and what benefits they may have.

Plant Companion(s) and Effects

Asparagus, Tomatoes, parsley, basil

Basil, Tomatoes (improves growth & flavor); said to dislike rue; repels flies & mosquitoes

Beans ,Potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, cabbage, summer savory, most other veggies & herbs

Bean ,(bush) Sunflowers ,(beans like partial shade, unless you live up north, sunflowers attract birds & bees for pollination), cucumbers (combination of heavy and light feeders), potatoes, corn, celery, summer savory

Bee Balm, Tomatoes (improves growth & flavor).

Beets, Onions, kohlrabi

Borage ,Tomatoes (attracts bees, deters tomato worm, improves growth & flavor), squash, strawberries

Cabbage Family (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi) Potatoes, celery, dill, chamomile, sage, thyme, mint, pennyroyal, rosemary, lavender, beets, onions; aromatic plants deter cabbage worms

Caraway, Loosens soil; plant here and there

Carrots, Peas, lettuce, chives, onions, leeks, rosemary, sage, tomatoes

Catnip, Plant in borders; protects against flea beetles

Celery, Leeks, tomatoes, bush beans, cauliflower, cabbage

Chamomile, Cabbage, onions

Chervil ,Radishes (improves growth & flavor).

Chives, Carrots; plant around base of fruit trees to discourage insects from climbing trunk

Corn ,Potatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash

Cucumber, Beans, corn, peas, radishes, sunflowers

Dead Nettle, Potatoes (deters potato bugs)

Dill ,Cabbage (improves growth & health), carrots

Eggplant, Beans

Fennel ,Most plants are supposed to dislike it.

Flax, Carrots, potatoes

Garlic, Roses & raspberries (deters Japanese beetle); with herbs to enhance their production of essential oils; plant liberally throughout garden to deter pests

Horseradish ,Potatoes (deters potato beetle); around plum trees to discourage curculios

Hyssop, Cabbage (deters cabbage moths), grapes; keep away from radishes

Lamb's Quarters ,Nutritious edible weeds; allow to grow in modest amounts in the corn

Leek, Onions, celery, carrots

Lemon Balm Here and there in the garden

Marigold The workhorse of pest deterrents; keeps soil free of nematodes; discourages many insects; plant freely throughout the garden.

Marjoram, Here and there in the garden

Mint, Cabbage family; tomatoes; deters cabbage moth

Nasturtium ,Tomatoes, radish, cabbage, cucumbers; plant under fruit trees; deters aphids & pests of curcurbits

Onion ,Beets, strawberries, tomato, lettuce (protects against slugs), beans (protects against ants), summer savory

Parsley ,Tomato, asparagus

Pea ,Squash (when squash follows peas up trellis), plus grows well with almost any vegetable; adds nitrogen to the soil

Petunia Protects beans; beneficial throughout garden

Potato, Horseradish, beans, corn, cabbage, marigold, limas, eggplant (as a trap crop for potato beetle)

Pot Marigold Helps tomato, but plant throughout garden as deterrent to asparagus beetle, tomato worm & many other garden pests

Pumpkin Corn

Radish ,,Peas, nasturtium, lettuce, cucumbers; a general aid in repelling insects

Rosemary Carrots, beans, cabbage, sage; deters cabbage moth, bean beetles & carrot fly

Rue Roses & raspberries; deters Japanese beetle; keep away from basil

Sage ,Rosemary, carrots, cabbage, peas, beans; deters some insects

Soybean Grows with anything; helps everything

Spinach Strawberries

Squash, Nasturtium, corn

Strawberry, Bush beans, spinach, borage, lettuce (as a border)

Summer Savory, Beans, onions; deters bean beetles

Sunflower Cucumber

Tansy,Plant under fruit trees; deters pests of roses & raspberries; deters flying insects, also Japanese beetles, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs; deters ants

Tarragon Good throughout garden

Thyme Here and there in garden; deters cabbage worm

Tomato,Chives, onion, parsley, asparagus, marigold, nasturtium, carrot, limas

Valerian Good anywhere in garden

Wormwood As a border, keeps animals from the garden

Yarrow, Plant along borders, near paths, near aromatic herbs; enhances essential oil production of herbs

Resource: The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, J.I. Rodale (editor) .

I am also learning about year-round gardening. It is possible to have a year round garden with lots planning and care.

I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

No comments: