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jal_ut
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

For sure try some things. Also keep a notebook and make notes and take pictures. In the notes also note the weather patterns and anything else of note like bug outbreaks etc. I hate to say it but a year or two down the road, The ol memory banks are apt to be asking..... now what was that again? So if we have made note of it we can refer back.
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Gary350
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I planted marigolds with tomatoes once it did not seem to do anything.

stephers
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Hello fellow gardeners!
New gardener here and I would appreciate your feedback about the companion planting lists you have here, in terms of how to do it. I see there are many plants that go well with tomatoes. I am wondering if the 2-2.5 feet space between plants refers to how far between a tomatoe plant and any other plant, or between tomato plants only. How far should companion plants be planted from tomatoes? Thank you! :?:

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jal_ut
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I repeat what I said earlier:

Garden veggies grow best when given their own space and enough space.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

stephers wrote:Hello fellow gardeners!
New gardener here and I would appreciate your feedback about the companion planting lists you have here, in terms of how to do it. I see there are many plants that go well with tomatoes. I am wondering if the 2-2.5 feet space between plants refers to how far between a tomatoe plant and any other plant, or between tomato plants only. How far should companion plants be planted from tomatoes? Thank you! :?:

Personally, I believe in the benefits of some companion plants. I think the 2.5 ft of space is between two tomato plants. You can stick other things in that space, depending on what it is. I always have rows of carrots down the outside of beds with tomatoes in them ("carrots love tomatoes" is the title of a companion planting book). Carrots and tomatoes grow well together because carrots are root crops, so need different nutrients at different times and don't compete with the tomatoes. Carrots don't get very tall so they don't shade the tomato plants, but the carrots being heat sensitive benefit from the shade of the tomatoes. Tomatoes also secrete a natural insect deterrent called solanine which kills insects that could otherwise harm carrots. Carrots break up the soil so that more air and water can go to the tomato plants’ roots.

Onion and garlic are good companion plants for almost everything, because the strong smell helps repel insects. I scatter them all around my garden. They don't take up much room and don't compete with other stuff or shade anything out.

You can plant spinach between the rows of tomatoes and the shade will help the spinach survive the heat longer. And then the spinach will be out of the way quickly.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

The insects laugh at my onions. IME planting anything to repel things does not work at all.

Onions don't compete well with anything. They really need their own space, for bulbing. I have also not found carrots to be heat sensitive.

I grow lettuce at the base of my tomatoes simply because it works and is an efficient use of space but not because they "like" each other. They are competing for nutrients and water and there are very limited circumstances where planting things together can be of any real overall benefit (except in folklore.) JMO.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

I am reposting this from the previous page, since people don't tend to look back:

Companion planting may be a mixed bag of lores from different sources. But there is plenty of scientific evidence (which I am not going to bother trying to look up and cite right now -- trust me or do your own research) for at least pieces of it.

Planting pungent things like onions and garlic and herbs among/ around your smaller tenderer crops like lettuce, cabbage, etc., does make it harder for insect pests to find them (note that snails and slugs are NOT insects and this may not apply to them). Planting nectar plants, especially those with nectar in tiny florets like the carrot family, tansy, sweet alyssum, buckwheat, and others, in and around your crops does help attract beneficial insects. Beneficial insects include pollinators, without which many fruits and veggies, like squash plants, will not produce at all. But it also includes many predators of the pest insects, such as the braconid wasps and tachnid flies. I haven't grown tomatoes here yet, but in my previous garden, I hardly ever saw a tomato hornworm that wasn't already parasitized by the braconids and dying.

Some marigolds do exude chemicals from their roots which keep bad soil nematodes away. You have to know which marigolds and it takes a lot of them.

Some things do work well as trap crops, to draw pests away from your main crops. Two examples that worked well for me: One was having velvet leaf planted in various places around my garden. The leaf miners LOVE them and leave everything else alone . AND grape vine including the wild grapevine weed, is a great trap crop for Japanese beetles. That's not such a good thing if you are trying to grow grapes. Otherwise it works well. I had a lot of wild grapevine and I hardly ever saw a Japanese beetle anywhere else.

Then some are just efficient, like Peter's lettuce and my spinach and various forms of mixed succession planting. Companion planting lore says broccoli and tomatoes don't do well together. But it works well for me to plant broccoli transplants very early on the outside of a bed. Then 4-6 wks later, when it is warm enough I plant the tomato transplants behind them. By the time the tomato plants are getting really big and need the room, the broccoli is done and can be pulled. I think it works because I pull the broccoli promptly, don't let it hang around too long, trying to get those last few side shoots.

As far as the rest of it, I don't know. But I know some of those "old wives" had a lot of wisdom and in our zeal for modernity, we have thrown a lot of baby out with the bathwater.
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

If there is some evidence that pungent plants actually do make a significant measurable difference in pest pressure (and more importantly yield) I would love to see it. It sure doesn't work for me.

Squash flowers are self-attracting. Pollinators love them as much as anything else for me.

I am not saying there is no evidence that planting things together may have positive and negative benefits... in some cases of course they do. Just that the most important fact that they compete for water and nutrients is usually ignored, and often companion planting guidelines are given without stating the reasons and without any scientific basis. The most important thing is to give plants the space they require.
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rainbowgardener
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Some Science of Companion Planting

You may not want a companion with garlic breath, but plenty of plants are happy with garlic as a companion. The pungent smell keeps insects from finding the sweet-smell of roses, peaches and more. Cornell Cooperative Extension experts note that pest deterrence through companion planting is difficult to prove, but said there is substantial anecdotal evidence of success.

In his Giant Book of Garden Solutions, plant expert Jerry Baker recommends planting garlic in rose beds to ward off cane borers, aphids, rose chafers and Japanese beetles. To repel peach tree borers, Baker recommends planting a ring of garlic around a peach tree trunk, but the garlic and the tree must be planted at the same time.

In The Garden Pests and Diseases Specialist, David Squire suggests planting garlic around carrots to mask the carrot smell and keep carrot flies away. Leeks and onions also help.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension experts note that planting garlic around celery and lettuce deters aphids. Planting garlic between tomato plants can keep away red spider mites, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Cornell experts also suggest planting garlic near cabbage to deter cabbage looper, cabbage maggot and imported cabbageworm. They also suggest garlic for keeping rabbits, slugs and snails away from the veggie patch.
https://www.networx.com/article/garden-p ... your-enemy

This is not evidence, but it does come from University extensions, who presumably aren't going to be recommending nonsense.

There is scientific evidence, it just takes a lot of time to track down.

Here is a study of trap cropping:
Perimeter trap cropping (PTC) involves using a trap crop, and possibly other border defenses, to encircle and protect the main cash crop like fortress walls. Six growers in Connecticut used PTC to protect commercial summer squash plantings from cucumber beetles and bacterial wilt damage. Grower surveys were used to compare PTC program results to the conventional "multiple-full-field-spray" system formerly used on the farms. Most growers using PTC stated that this system improved and simplified pest control, reduced pesticide use (93%) and crop loss, and saved them time and money compared to their conventional program.
93% ! You could say nearly eliminated pesticide use. Study titled "Demonstrating a Perimeter Trap Crop Approach to Pest Management on Summer Squash in New England" from U. Conn published in Journal of Extension, October 2004 // Volume 42 // Number 5 // Research in Brief // 5RIB2.
Most plants produce defensive chemicals that help fend off insects and diseases. These chemicals may be insect poisons, feeding deterrents or have fungicidal properties. The roots of some French and African marigolds contain a substance which is toxic to certain types of nematodes. Nematodes are soil inhabiting microscopic roundworms that damage many species of plants. Certain nematodes can be eliminated from a site by growing a thick crop of marigolds for one season prior to planting the vegetable or fruit crop, or by interplanting marigolds between crop rows.

Destructive insects often locate their food by smell. Many plants, especially culinary herbs, produce strong scents which may confuse insect pests looking for a host to feed on. Garden vegetable plants such as garlic, onions, chives, and herbs such as catnip, horehound, wormwood, basil, tansy, and mints all produce scents which seem to repel insects or mask the scents which attract insects. A certain level of insect protection can be achieved by carefully interplanting some of these as companions to vegetables.
This is from Cornell University: https://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsh ... plant.html

Again they don't cite their sources, but it is a University, I doubt they are making this stuff up. The article goes on to recommend trap cropping and use of flowers in the garden to attract beneficial insects and says: "Avoid monoculture in terms of space and time. A one-hundred foot long row of broccoli presents a large target for a cabbage moth that is flying by, but the same number of cabbage plants scattered over several thousand square feet, and interplanted with other crops, is less obvious and attractive to the insect. Pests which routinely plague large, commercial plantings of crops may never be a problem in the diversified home garden."

ATTRA (appropriate technology transfer for rural areas, the national sustainable agriculture information center funded by the USDA’s Rural Business--Cooperative Service, put out a pdf on companion planting: https://www.asu.edu/fm/documents/arboret ... anting.pdf

It says:
there is general agreement today on the validity of several mechanisms that create beneficial plant associations.
They list among these trap cropping, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, biochemical pest suppression, physical spatial interactions, nurse cropping, beneficial habitats, security through diversity.

At different times when I have looked, I have seen controlled studies, showing cabbage plants were protected by having herbs growing around them, etc. But the nature of the internet is that this stuff doesn't stay up for ever. Often when you go looking for a study you found before, it is no longer available. Without access to scientific journals it is hard to have access to the data. But it is there!
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

If you think about it many of the companion plants are also good for supporting beneficial insects. Marigolds, composites, onions, flowering herbs like mint and thyme, fennel, dill, chammomile, yarrow have small nectar producing flowers that attract beneficial insects to the garden when they flower and it is often those insects which control the numbers of pests on the plants athough it won't be zero, if you keep your plants healthy and give them the room to grow damage will be minimal.

Other times the antagonists are really because the plants like different conditions some like acidic soil and some like alkaline, some like to dry between waterin and others like to be continuously moist. Some like a rich soil and others prefer a poor soil.
I learned the hard way not to plant kale and cabbage together they will grow just not nicely. fennel and dill are fine around other plants until they bloom then the things around it stunt. Case in point dill helps tomatoes when it is small by deterring pests, but when it blooms it stunts them. Fennel will stunt most plants within 10 ft of it.
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jal_ut
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

rainbowgardener wrote: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.
"Garden veggies grow best when given their own space and enough space"

But...... if you will go back to the first of this grand discussion, you will see that those are my words. so if you go on about those words please don't say it was not addressed to me who wrote those words! Sheesh!
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Gary350
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

A tomato plant is still a tomato plant no matter if you plant it in Illinois, Florida, Wyoming, Maine, or some place else. Same thing for other plants. The only thing that changes is, soil, weather conditions, bugs, angle of the sun, animals, etc. What works for me may not work for you and what works for you may not work for anyone else. I like to take a common sense scientific approach to gardening. Just because a book says, do this or do that, or the garden forum says, do this or do that, you need to stop and think about that a few minutes, will that work for me? What are you trying to accomplish with Companion Planting? WHAT does your garden need? Try experiments year after year to see what happens and keep notes, make drawings, take pictures.

THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH .I like to plant my tomatoes in rows 3 feet apart, and plants 3 feet apart but i have noticed the hot sun and 97 degrees temperatures in TN my plants and tomatoes get sun burn. This will probably work much better for someone that lives in northern USA where it does not get so hot. I have also noticed tomato plants that are 3 feet apart do not provide much shade for the soil so the sun dries the soil and the plants have less moisture and grow smaller. What is the definition of companion planting? Can 2 tomato plants planted closer together be companions? I have learned if I plant my tomatoes closer together 2 feet apart they are very crowded but the plants shade each other this prevents sun burn tomatoes and makes the soil have more moisture for plants to grow taller and better. Trees can be a companion too if my tomato plants get full sun all morning then full shade the hottest part of the day 12 noon until dark from a tall shade tree tomato plants do better. Soil does not dry out in full shade the hottest part of the day plants grow taller and tomatoes grow larger.

BEANS take nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil. If you plant beans with other plants they provide nitrogen of the other plants. This provides a continuous supply of nitrogen to the soil. As the bean plants grow larger the nitrogen supply becomes larger too. The nearby plants are growing larger and can use the nitrogen.

BIRDS are my garden companion too they keep the bugs out of my garden that is why I put up lots of bird houses. I never need to spray for bugs.

CATS are very good garden companions they keep small animals away like rabbits that will eat my plants.

WEEDS. The garden soil is full of seeds, probably 1000s of seeds. They will grow and cause me all kinds or problems. HOW can I get rid of all those seeds? Many seeds germinate from heat from the spring time sun but they need to be near the soil surface to do that. I till my garden every day to stir the seeds to the surface to make them germinate. Tilling every day does root damage to the tiny plants that are trying to grow this kills them early. I think I can kill most of the seeds in my garden by tilling it every day for 2 weeks. This is not a deep till just a quick walk through with the tiller just enough to stir the soil and kill plants. When I plant my garden I see no weeds or grass for months so weeds are rarely problem for me. I don't start seeing weeds until late July and August by then garden plants are tall providing too much shade for weeds to grow. July and Aug is hot and dry, very little rain for weeds to grow also. Garden plants are already established with good roots so i never water my garden it just helps the weeds grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

"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."

Oh come on........ more hype. The sun is overhead, the plant leaves seek out the sun.
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jal_ut
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Gary: " Garden plants are already established with good roots so i never water my garden it just helps the weeds grow."

Lucky you. Here in high dry Utah, if we don't irrigate, we would not have much. I get my water from the Porcupine reservoir. It comes to me down a canal then into a pipeline and there is enough fall that I have enough pressure to turn rainbirds. I set out my 4 inch sprinkler lines with a rainbird every 40 feet on the run and turn it on and let it run for 12 hours once a week. Ya, weeds grow all along the canal and we get seeds in the water and the wind blows in seed. It simply boils down to: If you are going to garden you best plan on weeding too.

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jal_ut
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

rainbowgardener: "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?"

On my own authority! Yes, and with some 63 years of gardening experience! I have seen much with my own eyes, and tried many things. I will stick to my words: Garden veggies grow best when given their own space and enough space.
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jal_ut
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Here is something you may find of interest:

https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/GARDEN.pdf
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

Awesome list!! Thank you :)

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jal_ut
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Re: Companion Planting Guide

"Maybe, maybe not. I'm not saying it is 100% true but some of this stuff has been in familys for 100 of years, it worth a shot at least. You just have to believe,"

I will stick with my words: "Garden veggies grow best when given their own space and enough space!"

But what do I know, I have only been gardening for 70 plus years and had a large family of 13 children and most of what we ate came from the garden.......... O:)
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