Saturday, January 18, 2020
Sunday, January 05, 2020
A whole new look is coming! Later this week I'm switching to WordPress and this blog will be getting a make-over. All links will be forwarded, and you will automatically go to the new version. I'm very excited to see how it will look. It's been a big deal to transfer a blog with so many posts. I started this blog in 2006 (14 years ago) and have 3345 posts (that's 239 a year, almost 1 every day). Over 4 million people have looked at this blog. It is so much fun for me to write this - almost as much fun as being out in the garden!
Thursday, January 02, 2020
I am very excited about my new garden plan for my Community Garden plot. I have a plan to grow a great mix of plants that are all Companions. I'll grow them intermixed rather than in patches so they have the benefit of being near their companions.
I was a bit concerned as I started to plan this year because my crop choices are quite limited this year. Community Gardens often have particular plants pests that make growing some crops very difficult, or impossible. At my Community Garden, bean beetles are severe - so no beans. Eggplant flea beetles also make growing eggplants almost impossible. And this year, we have the problem of a recent influx of a certain voracious rodent critter. They devour the fruits of squashes and pumpkins, tomatoes, corn, and strawberries. They also dig up bean and corn seeds before they sprout.
The plants I plan to grow are mostly potatoes, onions, and brassicas (cabbage family plants). These do great in my Community Garden plot. It has beautiful full sun, not so many cabbage worms, and nice rich soil from all the composted cow manure I bring in every year. Plus, these plants are not affected by the rodents, bean beetles, or flea beetles.
I was interested to notice, when reading The Companion Planting Guide at Mother Earth News that these plants are all good companions. Cabbage family plants do well planted near onions, which deter root maggots. Potatoes like to be near cabbage family plants. Based on the lists in this article I added a few more companions to the mix. I'll mix in basil with my potatoes - it deters potato beetles. I'll add some carrots and beets among the rows of onions, since onions deter root maggots. I'll add some flax near the potatoes since this is said to deter potato bugs, and improve growth and flavor. And I'll add marigolds wherever I can. Marigolds are good to plant with all crops because they stimulate vegetable growth. In my garden marigolds will also help by deterring aphids, potato bugs, nematodes, and maggots.
Since I stumbled on this great mix of companions, I switched from my usual pattern of planting crops in patches and decided I will plant in alternating rows. I think the resulting plan looks beautiful! Can't wait to get planting.