huricanelane
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Companion Planting

I am considering trying to do some companion planting this year, but i have some questions about its implementation.

If i want to plant some companion plants, basil and tomatoes for example, do i use the same plant spacing that i would for if the row was just tomatoes, or do I plant them closer together?

The reason I ask is the full sun areas in my garden is not as large as I would like, so those spots are a premium.

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hendi_alex
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I always thought of companion planting as a strategy that generally went with high density gardening where plants are placed closer together and often mixed in close quarters such that harvest is maximized and desease and pests are minimized. But I don't think that many gardeners follow one absolute method. My gardening consists of some traditional row planting, some planting done in the square foot gardening method, but most in a hodgepodge of beds containing varous mixes of vegetables and flowering plants. I generally buy a flat of marigolds and walk around the beds sticking a plant here a plant there, whereever an open spot exists.

IMO, you can companion plant however you please. If I wanted row planting but also wanted some benefit of companion plants, then I would find those openings around the tomatoes for example, and stick the desired companions there. Basil may do just fine growing in some of the semi shade provided by the tomato plants. If you are looking for a more disciplined approach to companion planting then perhaps a book on the subject or an hour or so following google links would be worth your time.

Here is what looks like a decent site for information:

[url]https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/complant.html[/url]
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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jal_ut
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Companion planting is good, but plants will do better if they are not crowded. One concept of companion planting is to plant something that will mature quickly next to something that is longer season. Like radishes next to squash.

The companionship of tomatoes to basil is best in the kitchen. Basil has long been known as the tomato herb. For a companion planting use parsley with tomatoes.

Aromatic herbs such as tomatoes, sage, and rosemary are said to repel the cabbage moth, so plant cabbage near tomatoes. Bear in mind that both of these plants are heavy feeders and get quite large. For best production, do not crowd them. It is enough that the companion be nearby.

Onions are said to do well planted close to beans. Cucumbers and potatoes near Corn. Beets with kohlrabi or onions.

Marigolds are said to repel some insects. Scatter some all over the garden, or make a row around the edges. I like to take a flat of marigolds and when I am planting seed in the garden, mark the rows with a marigold on each end.

Non compatible plants are sunflowers next to any broad leaved plants. Pole beans with beets or kohlrabi, tomatoes with fennel or kohlrabi.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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hendi_alex
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"plants will do better if they are not crowded."

Depends upon how you define "crowded." Also, depends upon how you define "plants will do better." To a traditional gardener, intensive planting or square foot gardening would appear "crowded" and the plants may not necessarily grow as large as that specimen plant in its own nine square foot planting area, therefore may not appear to [do as well] as when given lots of space. But the idea behind square foot gardening is to [maximize production], not necessarily grow the largest or most beautiful plant, or even grow the most productive individual plant. Lots of average sized plants, growing in a somewhat crowded condition, will tend to give greater yields than if the same area is planted using wider spacing or traditional row plantings.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

huricanelane
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Thanks everyone for your replies. My situation is that I am using raised beds, and this year I want to increase the amount of herbs I do. The choice was to do a raised bed devoted to herbs, or use the companion planting and have them in various raise beds with other plants.

Right now I plan to do the second option which is what I was hoping to do.I will do normal spacing and then fill in with companion plants. I plan to plant basil, parsley, and marigolds with my tomatoes; peas with my carrots and maybe peas with my cucumbers.

Would broccoli be considered in the cabbage family in companion charts?

Charlie MV
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Anyone ever planted climbing beans with corn?Does it work well?

2cents
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Beans and corn.

The concept is good, the result was poor.
Beans grow too fast, too far ahead of the corn. The corn is not tall enough for the pole or climbing beans.
If you plant corn 30 days ahead of the beans, there are shading issues and the beans don't do well. Also with this method, as the corn leaves break out into full leaf it pulls at the bean stems and some bean stems break. Leaving a wilting bean plant on your corn.
I've just nor had great success with this method.

I do put bush beans and corn together. I use the handle of a hoe poke down an inch placing 3 bean and 2 corn seeds, every 4 inches in off set rows. The beans are done before the corn is ripe. I don't pull those beans just cut the stems and move them to the compost.

Charlie MV
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Thanks $.02

veggiegardener
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If you crowd your planting then you will end up with alot of more average sized. But if you space them out you would most likely end up with bigger growings.

So its really a matter of taste I think here. I suppose it averages out in the end but you would have more if you crowded them. Just make sure things are not too crowded. Hope this helps some :)

cynthia_h
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hurricanelane,

please let me advise you NOT to plant mint in the bed with the other herbs, but rather in a container.

Mint in all of its varieties is highly invasive and will, eventually, take over from other herbs. It's not the worst thing in the world; after all, mint is a pleasant plant! But if you were hoping for, say, basil and parsley and tarragon, they stand a poor chance against mint. I wage a constant "Stay back!" campaign against my mint, which is planted in a container with--yep--basil, parsley, and tarragon.

The mint got a root prune/removal and a top prune/shear about a month ago. The parsley seedlings are now brave enough to poke their heads above the surface...

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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