In places that have Texas type weather this time of year, I have a few gardening tips straight from the pages of the Almanac!
As you know, I dearly love this book and find so many tips and tricks in it, that I find it almost a necessity!
With the garden season on us, I figured we could all use a refresher in companion planting! More is better when it comes to knowledge, don't you think?
Tips for Your Vegetable Garden
Some plants, especially herbs, act as repellents, confusing insects with their strong odors that mask the scent of the intended host plants.
Dill and basil planted among tomatoes protect the tomatoes from hornworms, and sage scattered about the cabbage patch reduces injury from cabbage moths.
Marigolds are as good as gold when grown with just about any garden plant, repelling beetles, nematodes, and even animal pests.
Some companions act as trap plants, luring insects to themselves. Nasturtiums, for example, are so favored by aphids that the devastating insects will flock to them instead of other plants.
Carrots, dill, parsley, and parsnip attract garden heroes -- praying mantises, ladybugs, and spiders -- that dine on insect pests.
Much of companion planting is common sense: Lettuce, radishes, and other quick-growing plants sown between hills of melons or winter squash will mature and be harvested long before these vines need more leg room.
Leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard grown in the shadow of corn
Sunflowers appreciate the dapple shade that corn casts and, since their roots occupy different levels in the soil, don't compete for water and nutrients.
Incompatible Plants (Combatants)
While white garlic and onions repel a plethora of pests and make excellent neighbors for most garden plants, the growth of beans and peas is stunted in their presence.
Potatoes and beans grow poorly in the company of sunflowers, and although cabbage and cauliflower are closely related, they don't like each other at all.
I hope this reminds us a little of how smart planning can make a difference in how successful our gardens can be! Here's to a happy growing season!
Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio. We can talk about all the garden fresh salads coming our way! OK?