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Companion Planting

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Post  Dan in Ct 1/20/2019, 10:40 am

Quick question. I noticed in the First Edition, companion planting was mentioned with plants that grow well with basil in the Index. In the Second Edition, no mention of companion planting at all. I am just wondering if any gardeners use some sort of companion planting guidelines or have observed any effects good or bad when plants are planted near one another.
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Post  trolleydriver 1/20/2019, 11:05 am

In my SFG I don't focus on companion planting.  Not sure that companion planting is a proven thing.
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Post  CapeCoddess 1/20/2019, 2:31 pm

I tried companion planting years ago and I think I may still do it but it's mostly on an unconscious level now. I know that I plant tomatoes with carrots, and probably remember that because it's in the name of a book. I know not to plant beans and peas with onions and garlic but I don't remember why. ..maybe something to do with stunted growth. Whatever else I do is probably automatic .
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Post  trolleydriver 1/20/2019, 5:13 pm

From our local library I borrowed "Growing Perfect Vegetables" (Mel Bartholomew Foundation). I just started reading it and on page 14 they have a half page blurb on companion planting.
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Post  OhioGardener 1/20/2019, 5:18 pm

Check out the Companion Planting Charts for Vegetables site.

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Post  yolos 1/20/2019, 5:53 pm

I do not do companion planting except where I can plant some smaller plant under the shade of a taller plant or mix some slower growing big plants with fast growing small plants.
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Post  OhioGardener 1/20/2019, 6:01 pm

I always plant Basil around the tomato plants.  I love the smell of the Basil as they get brushed against while picking tomatoes.  I've seen claims that Basil repel insects, makes tomatoes sweeter, etc., but I just love the smell of them as I work around them.  Very Happy

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Post  trolleydriver 1/20/2019, 6:35 pm

OhioGardener wrote:I always plant Basil around the tomato plants.  I love the smell of the Basil as they get brushed against while picking tomatoes.  I've seen claims that Basil repel insects, makes tomatoes sweeter, etc., but I just love the smell of them as I work around them.  Very Happy
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Post  Dan in Ct 1/21/2019, 9:58 am

My thinking was if anyone would observe the phenomenon of companion planting, good or bad, it would be Square Foot gardeners. If we know from soil microbiology that plants put out root exudates to attract specific bacteria and fungi then it would seem that some plants near other plants may not like the microbial company that they seek and keep. This is only one reason. Another reason certain herbs seem to repel insects or at least confuse them. Finally there are plants that act like traps or are more liked by pests than the ones you are growing. The pests attack this plant leaving your plant to grow strong enough to produce and for the most part ward off the pests. Just taking a look at companion planning, seen some things that may verify but really a year off from running kind of citizen scientist experiments as most gardeners are doing anyway. To learn we may have to do this ourselves as there is no money in telling people what to plant next to another for the benefits other than healthier people and a better environment.

CapeCoddess, I tried to follow the garlic with bush beans in the raised beds. Not one bean seed germinated. I then transplanted tomato, pepper and celery plants after three weeks and all did well up to the first frost. It is only one observation but next year after the garlic harvest I will trial beans again but in only one of the garlic beds. 

trolleydriver, The Three Sisters is the most notable companion planting example.

OhioGardener, thanks for the google topic, there are a few companion planting charts out there, plus I ordered a few books on the subject.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 1/21/2019, 6:35 pm

I have tried with varying degrees of success to do succession planting, but no true companion planting.  One example is radishes around tomatoes and peppers.  Radishes are done by the time the plant gets big enough to shade it out.  Have tried with spinach and lettuce with less success, but still.  

For a couple years, I put Yukon Gold in after spring spinach and even sugar snaps.  First year, worked well, next year, nope.  Weather dependent.
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Post  wolfskehl 2/23/2019, 7:39 pm

I found an interesting article on companion planting on TheCapeCoop.com, and it lists the common vegetables and herbs and which vegetables and herbs are "friends" or "enemies."  I'm going to give it a try, as one of my concerns is finding ways to keep pests away without using pesticides.
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Post  Dan in Ct 2/24/2019, 10:22 am

wolfskehl, there is a considerable amount of research on-line of the aromatic herbs warding off insects. Louise Riotte wrote two books on companion planting, Carrots Love Tomatoes and Roses Love Garlic, both have recently arrive and are on the next to read list. There also maybe plants that you would wish to grow as either habitat or a food source for beneficial predatory insects and may want to look into that aspect. You can't get rid of all pests but knowing the thresholds of certain pests and still achieving a bountiful harvest is and has been the guideline here.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/10/2019, 8:15 am

While searching for what are good companion plants for kale & chard, I found an interesting article on the Farmers' Almanac on companion planting, including a printable chart.

Farmers' Almanac Companion Planting Guide


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Post  Sunsanvil 4/10/2019, 10:00 am

The thing about companion planting is that the concept is proffered more for traditional monoculture gardening where even at small scale home garden you would have a couple rows of this, a couple of that, and so on.

In SFG, the reality is that we are doing so many different things in such close proximity, that you cant help but have companion plants in effective proximity to BOTH companion and anti-companions. Smile

For my first few years I paid attention to the proverbial lists, putting companion plants in adjacent squares, non friendly plants at opposite corners of the bed...then I realized that the distance between my beds is only 2 feet...so whats on the edge of one bed is pretty darn close (in this context to whatever is in the next bed).

Now I've changed my focus: I do my layouts based on plant size and foliage: I DONT do bush beans next to carrots as the beans will completely cover the carrots and stunt their growth. I try to terrace everything with tallest at north, shortest at south etc. In such a dense layout as SFG, this seems far more important and relevant than getting a companion RIGHT NEXT TO another.
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Post  toledobend 4/11/2019, 1:09 pm

I think more important to us would be what not to plant near other plants.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/11/2019, 3:50 pm

toledobend wrote:I think more important to us would be what not to plant near other plants.

I make that simple - the only things I never plant together are Tomatoes & Brassica family (they are both very heavy feeders, and will rob each other of nutrients), or Bush Beans & Onions (beans hate onions, and don't do well next to them).  Other than that, it is pretty much free form or whatever there is room for....

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Post  sanderson 4/14/2019, 4:12 pm

Sunsanvil wrote:The thing about companion planting is that the concept is proffered more for traditional monoculture gardening where even at small scale home garden you would have a couple rows of this, a couple of that, and so on.

In SFG, the reality is that we are doing so many different things in such close proximity, that you cant help but have companion plants in effective proximity to BOTH companion and anti-companions. Smile

For my first few years I paid attention to the proverbial lists, putting companion plants in adjacent squares, non friendly plants at opposite corners of the bed...then I realized that the distance between my beds is only 2 feet...so whats on the edge of one bed is pretty darn close (in this context to whatever is in the next bed).

Now I've changed my focus: I do my layouts based on plant size and foliage: I DONT do bush beans next to carrots as the beans will completely cover the carrots and stunt their growth. I try to terrace everything with tallest at north, shortest at south etc. In such a dense layout as SFG, this seems far more important and relevant than getting a companion RIGHT NEXT TO another.
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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 10/23/2022, 12:48 am

OhioGardener wrote:
toledobend wrote:I think more important to us would be what not to plant near other plants.

I make that simple - the only things I never plant together are Tomatoes & Brassica family (they are both very heavy feeders, and will rob each other of nutrients), or Bush Beans & Onions (beans hate onions, and don't do well next to them).  Other than that, it is pretty much free form or whatever there is room for....

Could I plant bush beans and onions in the same 4x4 bed though, or should they be in separate beds?  Just reading here: https://www.backyardgardenlover.com/companion-plants-for-beans/ where it says
Onions and other members of the allium family produce a natural chemical that kills beneficial bacteria on bean roots, both inhibiting bean plant growth and preventing beans from fixing nitrogen in the soil.
Just wondering how far this chemical might extend?  I'd like to do tomatoes and bush beans in my first gardening summer Very Happy
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Post  OhioGardener 10/23/2022, 8:06 am

KiwiSFGnewbie wrote:Could I plant bush beans and onions in the same 4x4 bed though, or should they be in separate beds?  Just reading here: https://www.backyardgardenlover.com/companion-plants-for-beans/ where it says.
.
.
.
Just wondering how far this chemical might extend?  I'd like to do tomatoes and bush beans in my first gardening summer Very Happy

As long as they are separated by about a foot, one square, it would not be a problem.

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Post  KiwiSFGnewbie 10/23/2022, 3:21 pm

OhioGardener wrote:
KiwiSFGnewbie wrote:Could I plant bush beans and onions in the same 4x4 bed though, or should they be in separate beds?  Just reading here: https://www.backyardgardenlover.com/companion-plants-for-beans/ where it says.
.
.
.
Just wondering how far this chemical might extend?  I'd like to do tomatoes and bush beans in my first gardening summer Very Happy

As long as they are separated by about a foot, one square, it would not be a problem.
Oh, cool, thanks Very Happy

(And in case anyone is scratching their head wondering why I talk about onions and beans at the top, and then tomatoes and beans at the bottom, I'm planning on chives to help out the tomatoes!  Re-reading yesterday's post this morning I can see it's a bit garbled...  Rolling Eyes )
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Post  Granny C 1/2/2024, 1:00 pm

I would like to reply to the person that Comintern about the 3 sisters style of planting. There is a pattern that will give you the best results that helps if followed. A little research even for experienced gardeners is often helpful. Also the type of bean should be a climber, and I prefer yellow squash, while some use green ones. Check out the Choctaw or Chickasaw web sites they are full of info.
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