Spring is now here and it is time to start planting in your garden. I want you to think about your garden as a whole system rather than individual plants. When we think about it as a system we begin to understand how nature goes about planting plants. Nature does not plant carrots in a row. We have a bean plant growing up an apple tree. Squash covering and holding moisture for corn. Understanding the symbiotic nature of the plants will enable us to plant more plants in less space with fewer chemicals and less water. How about them apples for a lazy garden.
I (to the dismay of my wife) am a lazy gardener. I want to plant and then harvest. If I had my preference, I would not plant either, but I will take what I can get. Therefore I am always trying to find ways to have plants compliment each other to get maximum yield. I have found by succession planting and companion planting I am able to decrease my workload and pests and increase my belly.
Companion planting is one way to increase the food on my table. The following are some good companion plantings.
- Asparagus and Basil
- Carrots and peas
- Corn and squash
- Cucumber and corn
- Onions and carrots, lettuce
- Radish and peas
- Peppers and onions
Along with companion plantings there are plants which should not be planted by each other.
- Beans and onion
- Cabbage and Dill
- Carrots and Dill
- Corn and Tomatoes
- Onions and peas
- Irish potato and squash, tomato, cucumber
There are also plants which are beneficial to your garden pest control.
- Onions and garlic are natural pest repellers. Plant in the midst of your veggies
- French Marigolds kill bad nematodes.
- Mexican Marigold. Do not plant near brascia.
- Four o’clock for Japanese beetles.
- Chrysanthemum for nematodes. Also provide some shade
- Mint repels moths, aphids and attracts beneficials. Very invasive so please plant in a pot. I speak from experience.
Herbs for culinary use, beneficial insect use, and they smell great.
- Rosemary. Best used dry. Attracts beneficials. Use in bread.
- Oregano. Takes forever to germinate and grow but once in the ground it spreads well.
- Basil. Wonderful smelling. Dried basil reminds me of summer.
- Cilantro. Mine overwintered. Great in mexican dishes. I use mine to make fresh salsa.
It is always good to plant as many beneficial flowers as possible. Salvia is great for bees. Marigolds, Nasturtiums are also great flowers to put in the garden. Nature has a system for everything. Try to make your garden a system not just 5 veggies planted in rows.
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother