Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Friends in low (and high) places: My attempts at companion planting

Companion planting is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who think too much.

Last year, I tried mapping out what could and shouldn't grow together, based on several books. I thought I'd finally have the answer...until I put it all to paper. It was a mess. In the end, I overplanted and undersucceeded at much.

Fast forward a year, and Jenn at the Green Phone Booth and I are still scratching our heads about the notion of companion planting. But this year, I've opted to stick with what I know has worked for me, and what I actually want to experiment with.

My garden journal showed previous attempts at radishes and carrots, which I remember to be a success. Thank goodness my kids eat both. And if the ground ever dries up and my root plants haven't rotted already, we might have another shot at that.

Tomatoes and herbs? Check. Love growing basil, oregano and garlic along with my tomatoes, and it's worked well in the past. (Not to mention, it's easy for harvesting together!)

And the whole three sisters' thing? Corn, beans, and squash: I'm actually considering trying that this year, given that my new love - asparagus beans - and the thai beans my friend gave me last season wound all throughout my garden late last summer. Climbing up a corn stalk might be worth it, even if we have a tiny lot!

What I've learned? Use advice as a guide, not an absolute given.

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