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Companion Planting -- within one square??

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Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  varmit on 7/27/2011, 4:41 pm

For example, Broccoli is one plant per square foot. Got that. However, does that mean that onions could not be planted around the rim of the square foot area? Since Broc is fruiting above ground and onion below... Explanations please.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  CindiLou on 7/28/2011, 2:30 am

Broccoli gets quite leafy. I would not plant onions around it. Maybe radishes when the broccoli is smaller.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  HouseofWool on 7/28/2011, 9:30 am

Both broccoli and cauliflower dominate the square they are in as well as their neighbors.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  camprn on 7/28/2011, 10:18 am

I planted shallots under the brassicas at the intersections of the grid lines. I do not expect to get good shallots from these.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  ModernDayBetty on 7/28/2011, 10:46 am

I did this with all my grids afer I read that it helps keep pests down. This is my first year so, this is my only experience doing this in a sfg. Most of my onions are very small. Some are just now starting to grow, the perimeter of the onions being just bigger than a quarter. In my sfg there is no consistency with which ones are bigger/smaller. Some in wide open spaces are tiny, some bigger. While the same is true for some in very shady areas, like under my zucchini. I did notice that the boxes with the most amount of onions did have the least amount of bugs, until a lot of my plants got large. Now it doesn't seem to be helpful.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  westie42 on 7/28/2011, 12:01 pm

Nature works that way why shouldn’t we. There are other schools of gardening that are built around this concept. Had you not companion planted your bug problems would have begun earlier and most likely would have grown quite worse by now. The companion aspect teams with fully utilizing space in all my gardens. It is especially beautiful and beneficial in the flower beds where the cultivation of the beneficial insects begins.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  boffer on 7/28/2011, 12:44 pm

I'm still wondering if the OP was interested in maximizing the use of the space, and was not referring to plants liking/not liking each other?

When it was time to transplant my broccoli this spring, I ran out of squares. So, I just stuck them in the middle of squares full of leaf lettuce. Other than trimming a lower leaf or two, it worked out quite well. It's hard to tell in the pic, but the broccoli and lettuce are sharing squares in the second row.



On the other hand, I tried using carrots as grid lines in a box full of brassicas...they are pretty sad looking, and I doubt I'll even get baby carrots.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  varmit on 7/28/2011, 2:26 pm

Thank you all for these suggestions.



I was interested in maximizing the space per square. I think there is some mention of combining plants which take above ground room with those using under the ground -- within reason of course -- but couldn't find it when reading again. Seems natural to combine radishes with lettuce or broc -- and there are so many more combos to consider. So, my question.



I do have a companion comparison listing telling which to put together and which not. Would it help if it were posted?

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  quiltbea on 7/28/2011, 2:45 pm

I transplant lettuce seedlings and sow radish seeds all over the place. Beneath broccoli and cauliflowers in the spring and later beside the tomato and pepper plants. Anywhere there is a spare spot, and its neighbor can provide shade, I tuck in a lettuce plant. We love salads so having lots of lettuce available is fine with our family. The leaf lettuce can be cut back to an inch above soil and then will regrow.

I have some now into their 3rd growth. I hope to get a 4th.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  westie42 on 7/28/2011, 7:39 pm

A fourth crop would be fabulous. There are lots of places that list companion and non companionable plants. I would readily use anything that is a companion that size wise fit well or anything neutral too avoiding anything listed as non companion.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  littlesapphire on 7/28/2011, 8:41 pm

I think planting small plants under another larger plant would be great, but I don't know about onions. Maybe it's just the kind I planted, but my onions were HUGE this year:



Kind of hard to tell from the picture, but they're about four feet tall and totally toppling over. But they're Egyptian walking onions, and that might make them different.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  Goosegirl on 7/28/2011, 10:40 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:I think planting small plants under another larger plant would be great, but I don't know about onions. Maybe it's just the kind I planted, but my onions were HUGE this year:



Kind of hard to tell from the picture, but they're about four feet tall and totally toppling over. But they're Egyptian walking onions, and that might make them different.



Those Egyptian Walking Onions are going to need their own space, or they need the box to themselves.....trust me on this one! Personally, I wouldn't waste precious box space on them, since they would probably stay alive on top of concrete! Find a spot where nothing else seems to grow and throw them there. They will survive and thrive. (they can crowd out and kill quack grass)



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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  Rhianna78 on 1/10/2012, 1:48 pm

In my butchered attempt last season I only did companion planting of herbs & flowers next to my veggies. I got good yields (while they lasted) of the herbs & the flowers were beautiful but I lost the garden to a flood so I can't speak of the actual yield from the veggies.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  martha on 1/10/2012, 2:08 pm

I have been struggling and struggling to figure out companion planting because of the question I believe OP was asking. I have also been trying to figure it out starting by the square. My biggest problem is figuring out the "don't plant withs..."

DH suggested I start with the pickiest vegetables. This, combined with planning a box at a time, instead of a square at a time, makes a huge difference in my ability to come up with a plan.

The trick is to figure out what companions are based on protection, and which are based on conflicting needs - two heavy feeders, for instance.

In trying to figure out the jigsaw puzzle, just a tiny sample of my notes go something like this - cucumbers should not be planted with sage, and preferably not with any aromatic herbs. But a lot of the things cucumbers like to live with, would love to live with herbs. And summer savory is specifically know to protect something - I think maybe radishes and tomatoes - from mites.

So I am coming up with plans for boxes, and then I will break them down into squares. (One advantage I have is that my boxes that are longer than 4' have physical dividers, so they are only sharing MM on the most minute level.

I am not yet ready to try to figure out what shouldn't share air space. I understand the things that like to share air-space - flower A attracts bees, therefore improving pollination for vegetable B. But I don't know if any of the negatives are about air space, or just nutritional needs.

I am not talking here about things like growing lettuce with tomatoes, because the tomatoes help shield the lettuce from the hot sun. Actually, last year I had some lettuce that got very leggy growing underneath a tomato plant, but it never bolted and it never got bitter. What I don't know are if any of the combinations to avoid are based on the plants breathing the same air.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  jkahn2eb on 1/11/2012, 8:58 am

I planted marigolds around tomato plants last in the fall. Not sure how much help.

In Nov I dropped garlic around one of my tomato squares.

Anyone try borage around their tomatoes to repel hornworms? Read some excellent reviews: http://rareseeds.com/borage.html

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  southern gardener on 1/11/2012, 12:04 pm

Here is a link to companion planting. It also gives the "who doesn't like who", which I find very helpful http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html#ALFALFA:

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  littlejo on 1/11/2012, 1:05 pm

I always plant a radish or 2 when I plant a new square of anything, only because I'm the only 1 that eats them (I could not eat a whole square by myself)

I've planted onions in a few squares of their own, then I took the rest and planted in between other veggies that had some mm showing, utilizing the empty space. I will see which plants make bigger onions.



I made the 'big' mistake. My tomatoes were in a 2 ft box, along a fence(only 2 ft high) I made a large trellis for the tomatoes. On the backside, by the fence, I planted cukes. They did not like the fence. They would grow overnight, thru the tomatoes, to the tall trellis. I spent each am pulling the vines back to the fence. The cukes will be planted either in a box of their own, or with some low growing root crops this yr.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  sfg4uKim on 1/11/2012, 1:15 pm

I always loved Mel's suggestion in the original book to plant a tomato in the center of the square, four lettuces in each corner & 2 radishes in between each lettuce (8 total). Then you would harvest the radishes and then the lettuces (you would cut the whole thing while young) before the tomato needs the root space.

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Companion planting results plus notes on winter garden

Post  varmit on 1/11/2012, 1:57 pm

Thanks again for all the information. The weather and my lack of knowledge have taken over this issue for the moment.
Planted a winter garden, but probably too late as nothing has grown in the normal time span. Will need to pull all the radishes and toss them to the compost -- good flavor, but texture is BLETH...
However, various cabbage types look like they're now coming along -- especially the Chineese cabbage and Bok Choy. Broccoli is starting to look happy. Snow peas have re-grouped, meaning they threatened to die from the cold, but with a better covering are now green and tentatively growing up the twines. Cilantro and some onions are fine. New Zealand spinach is tentative, but hanging in there.
A note on covering for cold nights in my 8a or 8b area: First covered everything with inches of shredded paper -- recycled every kind of paper. This worked well, but is tedious to do twice a day - put on, pull off and repeat again. Additionally, it was told to me that each plant needed about an inch of open soil around the stem to protect from bugs, etc. Finally, I realized that a number of sprouting seedlings were being pulled up with the paper in the am. SO, onward to a better idea, which so far is working well.
Found a couple of quilts at one of our second hand shops and put on/pull off each day, but quicker and more easily and quicker. Total cost was $5 for the two, btw. Left the shredded paper around each of the plants to help keep the surrounding soil at a more even temperature. Currently, we do not have to worry about the soil drying out as our humidity is up around 30 to 45% and sometimes much higher. Since this change over, the plants are looking much healthier and robust.

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Easy

Post  CharlesB on 1/11/2012, 2:09 pm

@martha wrote:I have been struggling and struggling to figure out companion planting because of the question I believe OP was asking. I have also been trying to figure it out starting by the square. My biggest problem is figuring out the "don't plant withs..."

Just don't plant the don'ts right next to each other.

I don't grow a lot of herbs but I had a problem with Tomato Hornworm so I grew Borage and Marigolds to help with it. They did and I really like them both now. Will always grow them nearby because of all the beneficials (good insects) they bring in.

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

Post  martha on 1/11/2012, 5:07 pm

So, Charles, I can plant within the same box, just not in adjacent squares? That would sure give me a lot more flexibility!

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In my opinion

Post  CharlesB on 1/11/2012, 7:16 pm

@martha wrote:So, Charles, I can plant within the same box, just not in adjacent squares? That would sure give me a lot more flexibility!

Yah.

Wikipedia's list is actually quite good at showing the big no-no's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants

I am a big believer in looking at your plant setup as a whole system. Where you want to foster an environment that is desirable to what you want there and repulsive to what you don't want. So I pay much more attention to what I can plant to bring in the array of insects I want than what two plants won't like each other.

If I want to grow some brassica's in the same box as solanaceae's I'd just put other stuff between them.

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Parsley and Cilantro?

Post  daryl.weaver on 1/14/2012, 7:55 pm

I love both these herbs, but 4 plants of either is a LOT. I'm thinking they would share one square (2 each) quite nicely, especially since they are similar plants. Thoughts?

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Re: Companion Planting -- within one square??

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