Dixana
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I'd like second this as a sticky!!! Great info gixx :)

mfedukovich
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Thanks! Great info!

My husband and I wanted to try out companion planting this year so this list is great! :D

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great... so I wonder whats going to happen since my potatoes are in the same bed as my pumpkins.... and the pumpkins are suddenly headed their way... hmmmmm
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Dono,

Polyculture is a good thing :wink:

You could add Borage to your list.

From Wikipedia,
Borage is used in companion planting.[7] It is said to protect or nurse legumes, spinach, brassicas, and even strawberries.[8] It is also said to be a good companion plant to tomatoes because it confuses the search image of the mother moths of tomato hornworms or manduca looking for a place to lay their eggs.[9] Claims that it improves tomato growth [10] and makes them taste better [11] remain unsubstantiated.


All well and good, but for the most part this stuff is hype and folk lore.
It is on a par to planting with the phases of the moon. Superstition.
Yes, religions as well.

Eric

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PunkRotten
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For plants that do not mix well, how much distance do they need? Would planting another plant in between them be adequate space?

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It's not only whats above ground, but below.

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layout anyone?

I've been stuggling with making a matrix of companion planting. Does anyone have a link to a site that shows an actual layout of companion planted garden?

I'm having a good time creating the matrix but it is a lot of time. Hopefully someone can save me the trouble.
Seed Sowing in Lubbock

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rainbowgardener
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Re: layout anyone?

seedsowing wrote:I've been stuggling with making a matrix of companion planting. Does anyone have a link to a site that shows an actual layout of companion planted garden?

I'm having a good time creating the matrix but it is a lot of time. Hopefully someone can save me the trouble.
Not only have I never seen such a thing, I'm not sure it could exist. You are in texas, so the garden that would work for you would be totally different from the one that would work for me here in Ohio. And then it depends on your soil, how much sun your garden gets, how much space you have and so on.

I would start by figuring our what are the main things you really want to grow, that are suited for your climate. Then look those up and start figuring out CALENDAR as well as things that grow with them. The calendar for me does a lot of determining what things are planted together. For example broccoli is a frost hardy, cold weather crop that is done by the time it gets hot. Tomatoes can't tolerate frost and are just getting well going by the time it gets hot. So (and this is all for my climate, just giving an eg) I plant transplant broccoli out into the garden in March, a month before the last frost. Then 4-5 weeks later I transplant tomatoes out in the same bed right behind the broccoli. By early June-ish, by the time the tomato plants are getting big and starting to need the room, I pull the broccoli. Companion planting guides will tell you broccoli and tomatoes don't do well together, but this works for me, perhaps because I pull the broccoli promptly, don't leave it idling along waiting for the last few little side shoots it might produce later.

Your calendar thing is a little more complicated in TX because you have basically two separate growing seasons, spring and fall, with kind of a lull in the summer when it is too hot for a lot of things. So you would want to be planting tomato seeds maybe Christmas time-early Jan, for a spring/early summer crop and then again in August for a fall/early winter crop.

So get the calendar all sorted out first and then see what fits together and then fill in all the spaces with stuff from the companion planting guides.

To make the companion planting thing work, it helps to spread things around. In other words, if you want to have 10 tomato plants, if you pack them all into one big bed you won't have much room to grow anything with them. If you have three different tomato areas, then you will have a lot more room to grow other things with them. And that works much better for organic growing - if you have 10 tomato plants together in one bed, they will spread diseases among each other easily and will be a magnet for every insect/pest in the county that likes tomatoes (and there are many! :shock: ) It you have a few tomato plants in several different spots, each surrounded by a bunch of other stuff with different smells (scatter onion and garlic all around your garden!), it will be a lot harder for diseases to spread and insects to find them.

Hope this helps a little! It gets easier with more years of experience with your garden!
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Thank You, Thank You!! The cucumber/sunflower will be perfect for me!

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How come carrots are not recommended with tomatoes? I heard they go good together?

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yup.... It's the title of a book on companion planting "Carrots love Tomatoes."
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floridahillnursery
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great list

Kudos on the list. Thanks :)

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jal_ut wrote:All well and good, but for the most part this stuff is hype and folk lore.

It is on a par to planting with the phases of the moon. Superstition.

Garden veggies grow best when given their own space and enough space.

But then writers for garden magazines need to have something to write about?
I use to think the same thing. NOVA did a TV show on this. Research shows planting by the moon really works. I will try to explain it myself. Plants do most of their growing in the dark, the darker it is the larger the harvest will be. You want your crop to mature in the dark of the moon to get maximum harvest. So you need to plant at a certain time of the month so the crop will mature in the dark of the moon. Some crops are 65 days, 75 days, 90 and 95 days, you have to plant each one at a different time to make them all mature in the dark of the moon. The old times know this works but they don't know why.

Research shows if a farmers field is next to a highway car head lights stunts the growth of the crop near the highway.

Also north south rows produce a larger crop than east west rows because east west rows never get any sun light on the north side of the plants. Certain crops like beans and corn benefit from this.

If you do a Google search for NOVA TV shows you will probably find it.

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Wow this is awesome! Companion planting and planting by the moon may be a bunch of hype. But my grandpa planted by the moon so I will too.

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We are finding out more and more about all the subtle and intricate kinds of communications that happen between/ amongst plants. I just read something that said that when oak trees come under attack by (whatever kind of insect pest it was attacking them), not only do they increase the amount of tannin in their leaves, to deter the insects, but they exude some chemical out from their roots, which signals the other oak trees in the neighborhood to increase the amount of tannin in their leaves defensively to prepare against attack. Given that level of subtle communication it isn't hard to believe in a lot of other plant interactions that we aren't aware of yet. (Here's one citation related to that:

https://io9.com/5792863/how-do-trees-communicate-without-the-lorax)

As just one more tiny example, we know that marigolds exude a substance which deters harmful nematodes in the soil.

"Another possible solution may be the solid planting of marigolds for 3 months in areas heavily contaminated with nematodes. The marigold, when grown on soil infested with nematodes, suppresses the population of these nematodes and reduces the numbers found in the roots of susceptible host plants. Three compounds of an a-terthienyl type, toxic to nematodes, have been identified in root exudates from these plants. Terthienyls are released from growing roots, even without their decay, but benefits require three to four months to become clear. There is some evidence that a-terthienyl is inhibitory to some plant-pathogenic fungi too. Marigolds also function as a trap crop since larvae which penetrate the roots do not develop beyond the second larval stage and do not lay eggs."

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/fallgarden/nematode.html


We also know that some plants are attractive to beneficial insects, either pollinators or predatory insects like lacewings, ladybugs, etc that eat the insects that eat your plants. So by planting the attractive wildflowers in with your veggies, you make sure the beneficial insects are around. We know that having lots of different smells and colors around helps confuse the insects that eat crops and makes it harder for them to find your crops.

"Herbs have been traditionally used as intercrops with crop plants on the assumption that their odour repels pest species" [laboratory testing with herbal extracts appeared to confirm this]
https://www.springerlink.com/content/l5ur031600128384/

There's a million more e.g.s and possible citations. I can't find the experiment I read awhile back that said planting just one other plant next to cabbage reduced the number of times cabbage moths landed on it, compared to a plant by itself. Even planting it in grass instead of bare ground cut down the insect predation.

All this is hard science. So don't get too dismissive of companion planting!


I've never really tried or researched moon planting, but given that people did it for thousands of years, I won't dismiss that one out of hand either, until I do/see research that doesn't support it.
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So when planting next to a plant that doesn't grow well with eachother how far apart is safe? (Its late and I jumped to the end)
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My Grandfather planted by the dark and light of the moon and I have done so in the past and yes I do believe there is something to that..some of the old time sayings are rubbish and some actually worked..he also told my sister in law when to take the bottle away from her kids.

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williamraed wrote: Garden veggies grow best when given their own space and enough space.
That's quite a dogmatic, blanket statement. Care to share with us on whose authority you make it or what evidence you have for it?

I plant everything jumbled together and very crowded in to 4x8' raised beds. If you translated the amount of herbs and veggies I get from one 4x8 into a per acre productivity number it would be astonishing. And I do it with no fertilizers (except some compost and mulch) and no sprays.

People write in here all the time with their problems with diseases and pests. Aside from the fact that I can't grow zucchini because of the squash vine borer, I have very little of that. Can I prove that is because of the way I grow things all intermingled with herbs? Nope, but it sure is consistent with what the theory would predict.
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what to plant with eggplant

anyone know what to companion plant with eggplants :?:

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Tomatos also love being planted with Marigolds. with that note you can enjoy the crop and the beauty of the colorful flowers. Where ever I can I try to plant flowers with vegetables because of the fact that they attract insects we need and get rid of the ones we don't what.
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Carrots and tomatoes go well together. And aromatic herbs are wonderful to mix in with your veggies.
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:?: Thanks so much for such a valuable reference. It's not something one comes across frequently. One question I am left with is minor but still... Are sweet potato companions the same as regular potatoes?
Thanx again.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

If i were to plant some basil in my garden this season thinking of my tomato plants well being, where would the best spot for basil be? Should i plant in seperate beds anywhere in my garden or can i plant them in side by side my tomatoes?
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Basil and tomatoes grow well together. Allegedly the flavor and vigor of both are improved by being together. The one thing you have to be careful of is not to have the basil so close to the tomato plant that the tomato will shade it out when it gets big; both of them like lots of sun.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I put them in between plants and just where every I can squeeze them. As Rainbow said they may do as good but I have other basil in their own area for real production.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

gixxerific wrote:I put them in between plants and just where every I can squeeze them. As Rainbow said they may do as good but I have other basil in their own area for real production.
hey i like that idea. i get 20 seeds in a pack anyway. i can plant one by each of my tomato plants and keep a small bed of em too. Great idea. Would the roots from the basil interfere with the tomatoes roots if planted to the outside of the cage?
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Greens, basil doesn't mess with my tomatoes maybe the other way around. Basil does not have as deep of a root system as tomatoes so they should be fine. I like to do the same with marigolds as well.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Thanks this is a good start, I Have been tinking about companion planting a lot lately. Some of it may be
folklore, but I can see some real science in a lot of it. I plant bitter herbs like oregano around plants I do not want eaten and it helps keep the deer and rabbits away. Obviously companion lanting is a complex thing in that one has to look at a number of factors; as you said.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I love this guide and I used it last year to plant my garden. However, I'm having some trouble viewing it all. For some reason I can only see down to Chamomile and that entry cuts off. Is there a link to the whole list or something I'm missing?

I'm trying to remember what is good to plant near Eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and winter squash (Pumpkins and Delicata).

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

That's quite a dogmatic, blanket statement. Care to share with us on whose authority you make it or what evidence you have for it?
Only that I have 64 years of growing experience. Do you suppose one could see and try lots of things in that much time?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

That wasn't addressed to you, but it was about this statement:

Garden veggies grow best when given their own space and enough space

which you might also subscribe to.

You are a terrific gardener James, and produce amazing results in your short season. I respect what you do and have learned from you. But I also see you moving a little more towards organic methods over the years you have been hanging out here, so maybe you are learning a little bit from us too. :)

What you do clearly works for you. AND what I do works for me. I just posted in a different thread about getting one 10 x 5 bed planted, with a lengthwise rows of carrots, garlic, spinach, broccoli/cabbage, plus 3 tomato plants and 2 pepper plants, 3 parsley plants, some onions and some flowers. And since then I've been organizing things and seeing how much basil I have, I may try to shoehorn in a couple basil plants as well. When the spinach is done, beans will go in and when the broccoli/ cabbage is done, maybe a squash will go in. And I may throw in some marigolds and nasturtiums.

That's a ton of stuff in one little bed, pretty much all jumbled together. And it all works for me and does amazingly well. I plant with compost and mulch and may add some compost mid season and/or some compost tea. Otherwise I don't fertilize, I don't spray with anything and I have very little trouble with pests or diseases other than squash borers and squash bugs. I think my crowded jumbled little bed produces an amazing amount of food over a long season (I've already been eating the over-wintered spinach for a good while and once the warm weather stuff is done, it will get planted back in onions, garlic, spinach and broccoli to over winter) and it does it with very little effort or problems, compared to a lot of people who write in here with all the troubles they are having.

So that and a big body of literature on companion planting is why I objected to the blanket statement that veggies need to be all separated with plenty of space around them.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

What you do clearly works for you. AND what I do works for me. I just posted in a different thread about getting one 10 x 5 bed planted, with a lengthwise rows of carrots, garlic, spinach, broccoli/cabbage, plus 3 tomato plants and 2 pepper plants, 3 parsley plants, some onions and some flowers. And since then I've been organizing things and seeing how much basil I have, I may try to shoehorn in a couple basil plants as well. When the spinach is done, beans will go in and when the broccoli/ cabbage is done, maybe a squash will go in. And I may throw in some marigolds and nasturtiums.
Here is my wager: I will bet that if you were to plant that much stuff in a space 10 feet by 20 feet, IOW four times as much space, that your plants would all do much better.

It is very obvious that all those plants in such a small space are indeed in heavy competition for sunlight and root space. Perhaps we don't understand how crowded the roots are because we can't see them? Take a look at this paper:

https://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrar ... 37toc.html
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Apologies, my bad. I removed a bunch of posts by a member who was copying and pasting, all in one pass. So that removed the full and true context for rainbow's post. Sorry about that. :eek:

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I can't argue that, because I don't have more space, so I can't do the experiment. My veggie garden is that bed and four others, plus a bunch of flower beds that veggies and herbs are starting to sneak in to :) . But it is a little hard for me to imagine. Last year, the one 10 foot row of spinach gave all the spinach two of us could eat (eating spinach in salads, omelets etc several times a week) plus some to freeze for several months. Two tomato plants gave hundreds of full sized tomatoes. The beans did get kind of crowded out and did not do real well, but the pepper plants did great. I had enough garlic to eat for months and still have some for seed - this year my garlic was started from my own home grown garlic for the first time. The squash I put in there last year did not make it, but as noted I always have trouble with the vine borers, I don't think that's a function of crowding. But leaving out the squash and beans, everything I had in that bed last year was healthy and thriving and very productive.

Too early to say about this year, except the spinach doesn't seem like it will last as long. Cold spring meant it was slower to get going and then quick warm up, it is trying to bolt already.

This bed is only raised about 8", but it is a spot where a tree used to be. I burned the tree and roots out, which left a lot of hole to fill, so it is soft loose soil a long way down. It is my most productive bed, because the ones in the backyard are too shady, don't get enough sun. So they do ok, but not as great.

My lot is 1/3 acre, but the back half of it is a steep wooded hillside, useless for growing much food (though I am working on putting in some nut trees, etc). The remainder has house, deck, patio, and lots of flowers, a bit of lawn, a gigantic old lilac tree. And yet I grow a whole bunch of food, including a ton of herbs in containers on the deck, and outside the veggie beds, raspberries, asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb. Two of my veggie beds sit on top of the concrete patio to make use of that space.

I am working on using as much as possible everything my "land" produces, so I am making jelly from the lilac blossoms (and last year I made chrysanthemum flower jelly), using the black walnuts from the big old tree, eating the edible weeds, etc. The more I do that the more amazed I am at the bounty of my little city lot.

So I got a little off the track, but I think you get my point.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I feel the way people garden depends a number of factors, space being one of them. Some very creative gardening comes from getting the most out of small spaces.
most people do not use farm tractors to garden with like we do, I feel lucky to live where I do.
To me it is way cool to see people growing in the city.

Oh my! I just looked out the window and just a few feet from my house are three deers eating my lawn; one reason I put no poison on the lawn.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Tom I am one of those that get's creative and does well in a smaller area. It is not easy. But what James said is very true. With more space I could do better. I squeeze everything together as tight as possible within reason. The plants really need there space, there is enough competition going on already within the soil to be fighting another plant.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

If I had the space, I would do the experiment, to have a little more evidence. But I honestly believe that my plants benefit from the diverse plantings.

IMHO, if you plant 6 tomatoes in a space where 3 should be, you don't do them any favors and they do compete with each other and suffer. But if you plant 3 tomatoes in that space, plus a row of carrots and some garlic/onions, a pepper or two, some marigolds and/or nasturtiums, some basil, some lettuce or spinach (that will be done before the tomatoes are very far along), not only do you get a lot more food from the space, but everything benefits and you have less problems with with pests and disease.

Perhaps those of you with land could do the experiment. Plant most the way you usually do, but save out one little patch to be densely interplanted as above and see what you think of the results.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

planting things like marigolds help keep the bugs at bay.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

This link was posted somewhere on our forum before, but this may be a good place for it too:

Weeds -- Guardians of the Soil
by Joseph A. Cocannouer
:arrow: https://journeytoforever.org/farm_librar ... dsToC.html
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Re: Companion Planting Guide

If nothing else the flowering plants that attract beneficial insects is worth the cost of admission by itself.
By all means plant flowers for the bees. Alfalfa and clover are especially good. They are also good to produce nitrogen for your soil.

The bees in this country are in trouble and lack of food plants (flowers) is one of the reasons they are losing the game.

Do any of you keep bees? It is an interesting sideline for avid gardeners. Worth looking into.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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