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Companion Planting
March 21, 2013
9:44 am
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Ag Adventure
Big Chicken
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Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with companion planting in their gardens? I am trying to go as pesticide free (and labor free) as I can this year, and if anyone has any tried and true combinations I would love to hear them! A lot I have found online seems so contradictory!

Thanks!

March 21, 2013
12:00 pm
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Joelle
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happy-flowerHello,  this may or may not be of help to you, I am sure you will get a lot of help from the members here, there so many great gardeners on CITR. I have been involved in planting gardens for about 60 years, I dont like any kind of pest control chemicals, I like to go to my garden and pick and eat a tomato etc. if I want to with out worry. I plant a lot marigolds among my vegetable plants, it has always worked for me. I watched a progam last eveing where one of the local nurserys were showing what is avaiable now for planting, I can hardly wait to get back in our garden—-as soon as it quits snowing wink

  "Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some sort of battle."

March 22, 2013
11:27 am
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Ag Adventure
Big Chicken
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I have a bunch of marigolds already started! I have heard that borage and delphinium are good too. Any thoughts?

It teased me with a 70 degree day last week. I have the itch too!

April 6, 2013
8:50 am
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lavenderblue
WNY
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As a frustrated farmer with no land, I want to make the best use of my gardening containers. I have a, maybe, three by five foot wooden planter box that is two feet deep on my back deck.  In the past, I’ve planted beans or carrots or tomatoes or lettuce in it. One crop, usually, at a time.

Now I’m thinking maybe something that will stay put like asparagus or parsnips. Do spring onions make good companion plants with either of those?  I’d also like what ever the companion plant is to bear longer than the main plant since both parsnips and asparagus have a short harvest season.

Any suggestions?  ( bearing in mind that this is a tiny little box that I’m working with here)

 

Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.  Ogden Nash

April 9, 2013
1:46 pm
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Ag Adventure
Big Chicken
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Parsnip 1/2″ deep 55 soil temp 1″-2″ apart garlic, onion, potato, radish, pepper, bush bean, pea, lettuce, chive, shallot
Onion bury bottom 1/3″ SI 6 weeks before transplanting, transplant 4 wks before last frost 3″ apart beets, cabbage, carrot, celery, cucumber, lettuce, pepper, squash, strawberry, tomato AVOID: bean, pea, parsley

I don’t have anything on asaparagus, but this is what I have on parsnips and onions. I don’t see why you couldn’t try onions and parsnips! Please let me know how they do! 

I did have an organic farmer friend check out my full list of companions and he said they looked good. If you want to see all of the combinations I found the link is:

 
If you decide against parsnips and asparagus you might look into the three sisters combo (corn, beans, and squash) from what I have read they all like to be up close and personal.
 
I hope that helps!
April 9, 2013
1:51 pm
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Miss Judy
West Central MO
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I read that tomatoes, parsley and basil were good companions for asparagus…I’ve never planted asparagus so I am just going on what someone else wrote…also if you are doing a permanent  patch it said that strawberries ,rhubarb and horseradish went together.

 

April 9, 2013
3:01 pm
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brookdale
Eastern Maine
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This is the voice of experience talking…be very careful putting horseradish near anything else. It spreads like crazy and takes over everything it’s near. I had it and rhubarb near each other, now a few years later I have lots of horseradish, but the rhubarb is gone except for a couple spindly little stalks. Better to put each one in their own patch not near anything else with plenty of room to spread.

Remember, if it rains on your picnic it's also raining on your garden!

April 10, 2013
9:53 am
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Ag Adventure
Big Chicken
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brookdale said
“This is the voice of experience talking…be very careful putting horseradish near anything else. It spreads like crazy and takes over everything it’s near. I had it and rhubarb near each other, now a few years later I have lots of horseradish, but the rhubarb is gone except for a couple spindly little stalks. Better to put each one in their own patch not near anything else with plenty of room to spread.”

Thank you! I was actually going to try horseradish this year! That’s great to know!

 

April 10, 2013
9:17 pm
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lavenderblue
WNY
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Good information, guys.  Looks like parsnips and onions. I’d love asparagus and onions but I can’t find much info on that combination either. Ag Adventure, I’d like that chart printed large and laminated. All gardeners should stop by Ag’s blog and take a look.

I’d love tomatoes and asparagus together if they do well together, but space is way too small.

IIRC my mom told me that the bulbs on the top of Egyptian walking onions are acually shallots. Does anyone know for sure?  Alternating rows of parsnips and EWO would work great in my miniscule spot.

I actually have horseradish but I never use it because it was planted right behind the car and I worry about exhaust fumes It doesn’t spread but that could be because of the Jerusalem artichoke and Japanese knotweed that is mixed in with it. Yeah I know. A patch of land the size of my thumbnail and some of the most noxious spready stuff planted in it. (My front yard is covered in spearmint)

 

 

Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.  Ogden Nash

April 11, 2013
11:06 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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My aunt who always had asparagus said it needed an undisturbed bed and takes years to get to where it really produces good crops, but it would take more research for me to say for sure, just passing on second hand info really, though she had a fairly large bed of it which she replanted sections of and cut it selectively to keep it going for a long time…   some research is in order I think!

We had walking onions but mostly for the curiosity of it and I never used the tops to cook with but I have heard that the bulbs can be used in similar ways to shallots, but are NOT actually shallots.  Hopefully others will speak up!

Located in N.E. Ohio

April 16, 2013
11:40 pm
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Miss Judy
West Central MO
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My grandmother always told me to be careful with horseradish because it would take over the place…I can’t get the stuff to grow! one time Grandma had a new neighbor plow her garden in the fall…he got a little close to her horseradish and drug the roots all over her garden…the next year she had horseradish in every row!

I want to do companion gardening this year…I am hoping that my sq ft garden/raised beds will take to this. 

April 17, 2013
7:01 am
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Joelle
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brookdale said
This is the voice of experience talking…be very careful putting horseradish near anything else. It spreads like crazy and takes over everything it’s near. I had it and rhubarb near each other, now a few years later I have lots of horseradish, but the rhubarb is gone except for a couple spindly little stalks. Better to put each one in their own patch not near anything else with plenty of room to spread.

Hi Bookdale, I have never had any luck with rhubarb either, I have planted it in different locations  on our property and done all of the things I read I should do, but no luck. I remember my Grand Parents and Aunt and Uncle had so much rhubarb and they never did anything to it, there again they both had dairy farms and great soil. My horseradish does quite well, I enjoy grinding the roots at make a jar or two, I give most of it away.

 

  "Be kinder than necessary, everyone is fighting some sort of battle."

May 1, 2013
11:02 am
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Peach
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I also found information that I was reading contradictory–until I figured out how to read it.  For example, Alliums (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives…) are good for tomatoes, peppers, brassicas (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts) , and others.  But, tomatoes and brassicas do not like being together.  I have a couple of suggestions–this is what I am doing:

1.  Prioritize what you want your companion planting to do.  Do you want to companion plant for enhanced flavor?  Do you want to companion plant for overall pest control?  Or do you want to companion plant for a specific pest?

For me, all three of these are goals, but my number 1 Priority is annihilating squash bugs.  So, I looked for companion combinations that repel squash bugs.  I found that the following are effective for this pest–

Dill–when used with cabbages, corn, lettuce, onions, cucumbers and asparagus.  But avoid dill with carrots, tomatoes, and cilantro

Tansy–when used with beans, cucumbers,corn, squash.  But this herb is toxic when consumed, and I have animals, so I will not be using this.  

Nasturtium–when used with cucumbers, squash, melons, beans, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, etc.  But avoid for radish and cauliflower.  I will be using this wherever I have those vegetables planted.  But I will not be planting tomatoes, beans, and brassicas in the same garden.  

2.  For overall pest control, I will be planting Borage.  It flowers (not very pretty), and repels many pests, and attracts predatory insects (good bugs) and honeybees for pollination.  I will also be planting Rosemary around beans, cabbage, and thyme.  But Rosemary and Basil do not like each other.  So, all those years that I planted all my herbs, lettuces, and onions in the same garden, I was really shooting myself in the foot!  Like I said, it is confusing.  I will also be planting Marigolds in all of my gardens.  I actually like to ring all the gardens with a border of marigolds, like soldiers standing at attention, keeping the bad bugs away.  Keep in mind that Marigolds do not smell good, so they may not work for everyone.  

3.  For flavor enhancement, I place basil throughout the garden.  It is said to make tomatoes taste better.  It is also good for asparagus, peppers, and oregano.  Last year, I planted a basil seedling next to each tomato seedling.  This did not work so well–the tomatoes quickly took off, shading the basil, which never prospered.  I think this year, I will try to plant it between the rows.  Since asparagus is so picky about having neighboring plants, I think I will put basil in containers next to the asparagus.  Asparagus also likes tomatoes, parsley, marigolds, coriander, Aster family flowers, and nasturtiums.

 

I might also mention that I start my garden from seeds (except asparagus and alliums), which makes it inexpensive to put a few hundred companion plants around.  It could get pricey if you are buying transplants.  

Happy Planting!

May 1, 2013
2:30 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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My Aunt who had wonderful asparagus always planted it quite a ways away from the rest of her garden, in a long, wide row.  She never cut it low either, said that hurt the root, she just snapped it off pretty high and left the rest till later in the year when she cleaned up the plot and spread old manure and mulch over it for the winter.  She had it planted in segments, so the oldest segments might get dug up and replaced after a few years.  I’m not sure exactly how many segments she had going on, but I’d guess it was probably 5 ‘chunks’.  I know this isn’t exactly companion planting, but Peach’s talking about growing asparagus, made me remember her method, and man, that lady had one amazing garden! 

There would definitely be room to plant other plants between or among them, and if I remember correctly she did have dill on one end, but that could have just been a convenient place for it in some years!  I helped her from time to time but I’d probably have learned a lot more if I’d hung out there more, but it was during those teen years when I was busy with my own ‘stuff’ an awful lot! 

Located in N.E. Ohio

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