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Companion planting questions

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Companion Planting & "Veggie Families"

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/7/2013, 8:33 pm

I'm babysitting my 15-year-old neice and when I tried to explain companion planting, she decided they were "veggie families" -- not just as in species that are already related, but as in also the in-laws who marry in.

Since, I'm finding conflicting answers online -- radishes are good with carrots, radishes are bad with carrots, do the following make sense as veggie families planted in 4'x8' beds -- in other words in your experience, will any one plant hurt the others (or ask for a messy divorce in neice-speak)?

We know about the Four Sisters -- late corn for corn meal, pole beans for drying, winter squash, and sunflowers.

And their close cousins, the Five Sisters -- sweet corn, bush beans, summer squash, sunflowers, and parsley.

The Onion family -- leeks, shallots, carrots, radishes, celery, rosemary, petunias, and sage.

The Salad family -- peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, marigolds, & petunias.

The Toms family -- tomatoes, peppers, cukes, eggplant, chives, carrots, radishes, borage, oregano, parsley, tarragon, marigolds, & zinnia.

The Peas family -- peas, carrots, celery, radishes, & mint.

And the Melon bed -- watermelon, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, bush beans, and cukes.

Assuming I work out the trellising, anything jump out at you -- as in, Oh, No, don't plant THAT with THOSE.
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Companion planting questions

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/7/2013, 8:36 pm

1) If Tomatoes should not be planted with corn, how far away is "far enough" in a high-density garden like SFG?

2) If we're rotating crops through the beds, does it make any difference if you move -- for instance -- a corn bed into a tomato bed the next year?

3) Since fennel shouldn't be planted next to anything? How far away is far enough?

4) For those with a separate perennial herb bed, do you sacrifice some perennial herbs in the "general population" of veggies because -- for instance -- oregano is good underplanted peppers? But at the end of the year, when you work your beds, you'll probably lose the perennial herb when everything else is pulled out...?

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Re: Companion planting questions

Post  Pollinator on 5/7/2013, 9:22 pm

Ah Red Clay, you are just thinking too hard. Don't worry about what "likes" what and what "doesn't like" what. A lot of that stuff is just voodoo. You don't have to be a wizzard - just use common sense.

Some basic principles - plant together species that do well in similar conditions - sun lovers in sunny spots, shade lovers together. Don't plant tall plants where they'll block the light for smaller plants. Plant lots of nectar and pollen-rich flowers along with your veggies, to help build up your pollinator populations. And finally, there are a few plants that actually help repel pest insects - such as dwarf French marigolds with squash bugs.

I've been gardening for over sixty years, in quite a few different environments, and I've broken many of those "companion planting" so-called rules without consequences.

So relax.
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Re: Companion planting questions

Post  camprn on 5/7/2013, 9:40 pm

@Pollinator wrote:Ah Red Clay, you are just thinking too hard. Don't worry about what "likes" what and what "doesn't like" what. A lot of that stuff is just voodoo. You don't have to be a wizzard - just use common sense.

Some basic principles - plant together species that do well in similar conditions - sun lovers in sunny spots, shade lovers together. Don't plant tall plants where they'll block the light for smaller plants. Plant lots of nectar and pollen-rich flowers along with your veggies, to help build up your pollinator populations. And finally, there are a few plants that actually help repel pest insects - such as dwarf French marigolds with squash bugs.

I've been gardening for over sixty years, in quite a few different environments, and I've broken many of those "companion planting" so-called rules without consequences.

So relax.
+1, except I have been gardening for only about 35 years. Shocked

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Re: Companion planting questions

Post  littlejo on 5/7/2013, 10:41 pm

I plant an empty square, as they are harvested. I usually don't plan except for plants that require a trellis. I try to plant legumes(they get nitrogen from the air) in the different beds to be sure each bed has nitrogen. I don't plant onions near beans because the beans will have an onion flavor.

I have the book 'Carrots Love Tomatoes' by Louise Riotte. It is a good book, and it gives some reasons why you could companion plant.
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Re: Companion planting questions

Post  littlejo on 5/7/2013, 11:22 pm

I'd try to keep companion planting questions to 1 thread, for the admin. may combine them for you.

1 + 2. The reason not to plant corn with tomatoes- the corn earworm and the tomato fruitworm are identical. Planting them in same bed, 1 after the other, should not make a difference.

3. Fennel should not be planted in vegetable garden, plant by itself, could not find anything that likes it.

4. You have to be careful. Sometimes I just cut a plant stem with a knife rather than digging the roots.
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Companion Planting/ Tomatoes and Beans

Post  Cajunsmoke14 on 10/20/2013, 10:04 am

I read somewhere the other day that beans and tomatoes are good companions in a SFG. That you can plant a tomato and beans in the same square.

You put the beans on the north side so they don't shade the tomatoes, and they can share the same trellis, that when the tomatoes are ready to vine or be tied, the beans will be harvested.

Has anyone heard of this?
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Re: Companion planting questions

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/21/2013, 1:08 pm

You must be speaking of bush beans and determinate tomatoes? Because pole beans get plenty big enough to shade tomatoes. And they grow at least as fast as tomatoes too, so if they have an opportunity to shade 'em, that's just what pole beans will do.
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Re: Companion planting questions

Post  Cajunsmoke14 on 10/22/2013, 5:56 pm

Actually I found where I read it, The article says peas and tomatoes, not beans. Thanks for the info though.
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Re: Companion planting questions

Post  littlejo on 10/22/2013, 6:06 pm

@Cajunsmoke14 wrote:Actually I found where I read it, The article says peas and tomatoes, not beans. Thanks for the info though.
I don't know what area you're in, but, the peas that I grew in SC would sure enough shade the tomatoes. I think the thing is, both beans and peas just love MM, and so do toms. Peas, as long as they start growing in the early spring, and either have a heavy mulch or some lettuce to shade their feet, will grow well into July.
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