Companion Planting

Photo provided by freephoto.com

Photo provided by freephoto.com

Companion planting is the practice of planting two different plants in close proximity to each other on the theory that they may help each other in some way. Some plants complement each other, giving off byproducts that the other plant needs. Those byproducts may be chemicals and micronutrients that the other plant may benefit from.

Other beneficial plants provide some protection against insects and planting a few of them near a desired plant may help to keep certain insects away. For example, I always plant some marigolds in amongst my pepper plants. This helps repel aphids from my plants and it kind of looks pretty as well. The bright splashes of color are fun amongst the green.

Here is a list of vegetables that you may plant or have planted in your garden and what goes well together and what does not:

Vegetables

  • Asparagus—Good Companions: Tomatoes, Parsley, Basil–Bad Companions: None

  • Beans (Bush)—Good Companions: Cauliflower, Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Cucumbers, and Potatoes–Bad Companions: Onions

  • Beans (Pole)—Good Companions: Corn and Radishes– Bad Companions: Kohlrabi, Beets, and Sunflowers

  • Beets—Good Companions: Bush Beans, Onions and Kohlrabi–Bad Companions: Pole Beans

  • Broccoli—Good Companions: Dill, Celery, Sage, Potatoes, Beets, and Onions– Bad Companions: Tomatoes, Pole Beans, Strawberries

  • Cabbage—Good Companions: Dill, Celery, Sage, Onions, and Potatoes– Bad Companions: Strawberries, Tomatoes, Pole Beans

  • Carrots—Good Companions: Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Peas– Bad Companions: Dill

  • Cauliflower—Good Companions: Celery– Bad Companions: Tomatoes, Strawberries
  • Celery—Good Companions: Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Leeks–Bad Companions: None

  • Corn—Good Companions: Potatoes, Peas, Bean, Cucumbers, Squash and Pumpkins– Bad Companions: Tomatoes

  • Dill—Good Companions: Cabbage—Bad Companions: Carrots

  • Eggplant—Good Companions: Beans—Bad Companions: None

  • Garlic—Good Companions: Roses—Bad Companions: Peas and Beans

  • Kale—Good Companions: Late Cabbage and Potatoes—Bad Companions: None

  • Kohlrabi—Good Companions: Onions, Beets and Cucumbers—Bad Companions: Strawberries, Tomatoes, and Pole Beans

  • Leeks—Good Companions: Celery, Onions, and Carrots—Bad Companions: None

  • Lettuce—Good Companions: Onions, Strawberries, Cucumbers, Carrots, and Radishes—Bad Companions: None

  • Melons—Good Companions: Corn and Sunflowers—Bad Companions: Potatoes

  • Onions—Good Companions: Beets, Carrots, Lettuce, Garlic, Summer Savory—Bad Companions: Peas, Beans

  • Peas—Good Companions: Radishes, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Beans, Turnips—Bad Companions: Onions

  • Potatoes—Good Companions: Beans, Corn, Peas, Cabbage, Cucumbers—Bad Companions: Hyssop

  • Radishes—Good Companions: Peas, Lettuce, Nasturtium, Cucumbers—Bad Companions: Hyssop

  • Spinach—Good Companions: Strawberries—Bad Companions: None

  • Squash, Pumpkin—Good Companions: Nasturtium, Corn—Bad Companions: Potatoes

  • Tomatoes—Good Companions: Asparagus, Parsley, Chives, Onions, Carrots, Marigold, Nasturtium—Bad Companions: Dill, Cabbage, Fennel

  • Turnips—Good Companions: Peas, Beans—Bad Companions—None

If you have already planted your garden and you have inadvertently planted bad companions, you will at least have some answers why things may not be going as planned. And if all else fails, grab some marigolds for your peppers and tomatoes. You won’t be sorry!

What plants do you like to plant together and why? Leave me a comment and let me know what you like to plant together.

5 Steps to a Terrific Vegetable Garden

Photo by Rae Allen, flickr

Photo by Rae Allen, flickr

When growing a vegetable garden, you want to do all you can to get the most for your hard work and effort. Here are five steps that you can take to ensure that your vegetable garden this year is successful.

Location, Location, Location

You will want to choose an area that will offer a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day. If you are planning to plant near a building, be sure that you choose the south side of the building. And be careful to stay away from large trees that will cast shadows over your garden.

Amend the Soil

Be sure that you place organic material such as compost in your soil. This will help to increase the water retention capacity as well as offer aeration for the roots of your vegetable plants.

Choosing the Right Plants

You will want to make sure that you choose the right plants for your area. Know when it is safe to plant different vegetables and avoid the danger of frost damage. Your local garden center will be able to help you know when it is safe to plant each type of vegetable.

Proper Spacing of Plants or Seeds

Your vegetables will need room to grow. Be sure that you follow the recommended spacing guidelines for each vegetable in order to see the best results.

Proper Watering and Fertilization Techniques

Know how to avoid underwatering and overwatering your vegetable plants. Your plants will need more water at first in order to become established and then again when the sun is extremely hot. Watch them closely so that they do not wilt and become overly dry.

If your plants begin to turn yellow, then you are overwatering them. In that instance, you will want to back off on your watering schedule.

Feed your vegetables on a set schedule with a good quality fertilizer. You can choose a water soluble fertilizer or a slow release fertilizer. Remember that if you choose a water soluble one that it will dissipate each time you water and will leach out and away from the plant.

Understand what the numbers on the fertilizer actually mean. There are three different numbers on a package of fertilizer and they all stand for something different. Understanding what those numbers mean will help you to get the most out of the product as you use it in your garden.

The first number on the package always stands for the nitrogen content. This is what causes green growth in your plants. This is very beneficial in corn.

The second number always represents phosphorus. This is what encourages blossoms and fruit production. You will want a higher number of this for your tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash plants.

The third number always stands for potassium. This helps improve the overall health of the plant. You will want to use this in minimal amounts as not much is needed by your vegetable plants in order to be healthy.

By following these five steps, you will have a vegetable garden that is sure to bring you great yields and pleasure. What do you consider to be the most important thing when preparing your vegetable garden?