Saturday, March 14, 2009

Your Plants Like to Choose Their Own Neighbors

Just like people, vegetables (and plants in general) prefer some neighbors to others. Sometimes the friendly neighbor attracts beneficial insects that will attack the common predators of your plant, sometimes the two plants use very different resources to grow, allowing you to get the most nutrient use from your dirt. Sometimes they literally help each other to grow more vigorously, and subsequently, into more flavorful produce.

You'd much rather plant your tomatoes next to a Fred and Ethel than Steve Urkel, right? Well, I'm here to help! I realize it's a lengthy list, but hopefully it'll help as you think out your garden plans. These tips are by no means a comprehensive, scientific list of plant facts, just some tips I've gathered from internetsville to use in my own garden.

ASPARAGUS: Friends: Aster family flowers, basil, comfrey, coriander, dill, marigolds, parsley, tomatoes. Foes: Onions, garlic and potatoes

BASIL: Friends: Tomatoes, peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. Foes: Rue, sage.

BEANS: Enriches the soil with nitrogen from the air. Friends: Brassicas (cabbage family), beets, carrots, celery, chards, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grains, marigolds, peas, potatoes radish, strawberries, summer savory. Foes: Members of the onion family (garlic, shallots, or chives), gladiolus. Fennel with bush beans.

BEE BALM: Friends: Tomatoes.

BORAGE: Friends: Tomatoes, squash, strawberries and most plants.Tips: Adds trace minerals to the soil, which means it's good addition the compost pile.

CARROTS: Friends: Flax, lettuce, onions, sage , tomatoes. Foes: Dill, parsnips.

CHAMMOMILE: Friends: Cabbage family, cucumbers, onions.

CHARD: Friends: Bean,cabbage family, onions.

COMFREY: Friends: Avocado and most other fruit trees. Tips: Accumulates calcium, phosphorous and potassium (great as a fertilizer tea, great addition to compost). High medicinal value.

CUCUMBERS: Friends: Beets, beans,carrots, corn, dill, nasturtiums, peas, radishes, sunflowers.Foes: Aromatic herbs, potatoes, rue, sage.

DILL: Friends: cabbage, lettuce, onions, cabbage, sweet corn and cucumbers.Foes: caraway, carrots, tomatoes

EGGPLANT: Friends: Amaranth, beans (especially green beans), marigold, peas, peppers, redroot pigweed, spinach, tarragon, thyme.

GARLIC: Friends: Apple trees, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, pear trees, peas, roses, tomatoes, vetch.

GRAPES: Friends: Basil, beans, blackberries, clover, elm trees, geraniums, hyssop, mulberry trees, oregano, peas. Foes: Cabbage, radishes

NASTURTIUMS: Friends: Cabbage, cucumbers, fruit trees, tomatoes.

OKRA: Friends: Cucumbers,eggplants, melons, sweet bell peppers.

ONIONS: Friends: Beets,cabbage family, carrots, chamomile (sparsely), dill, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, strawberries,summer savory, tomatoes. Foes: Asparagus, beans, peas.

PARSLEY: Friends: Asparagus, carrots, chives, onions, roses, tomatoes. Foes: Mint.

PEPPERS, HOT: Friends: Basil, chard, cucumbers, eggplant, escarole, okra, oregano,parsley, rosemary, squash, tomatoes.

PEPPERS, SWEET: Friends: Basil, carrots, geraniums, lovage, marjoram, okra, onions,parsley, petunia, tomatoes. Foes: Apricot trees, fennel, kohlrabi.

PUMPKINS: Friends: Corn, jimson weed, marigold, melon, nasturtium, oregano,squash. Foe: Potatoes.

RADISH: Friends: Beets, broccoli,bush beans, carrots, chervil, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, nasturtiums, peas, pole beans, spinach, squash. Foes: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower,hyssop, turnips.

ROSEMARY: Friends: Beans, cabbage, carrots, sage.

SAGE: Friends: Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, rosemary, strawberries, tomatoes.Foes: Cucumbers, onions, rue.

SQUASH: Friends: Borage, corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, marigolds, melons, nasturtium, oregano, pumpkin.

SUNFLOWERS: Friend (BFF?): corn

TOMATOES: Friends: Asparagus, basil, bee balm, bean, borage, carrots (can stunt the growth of your carrots but the carrots will still be of good flavor), celery, chive, cucumber, dill (until mature, mature dill retards tomato growth), garlic, gooseberries, head lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, sow thistle, stinging nettle. Foes: Cabbage family (especially cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi), corn, potatoes, walnut

TURNIP/RUTABAGA:Rutabagas take much the same culture as turnips but require a longer growing season. Friends: Clover, hairy vetch (provides ladybug shelter, which feast on the turnip green pest aphids), peas, radish. Foes: Hedge mustard, knotweed; do not rotate with others in the cabbage family.

These facts were gathered from Amy Garner's Blog. Hope you enjoyed!

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