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Novice gardener struggling with planning. HELP! :(

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Post  dizzygardener on 1/27/2011, 4:49 pm

Evil or Very Mad grrrrrrrrr garlic is really starting to tick me off! It can't go next to this or that or the other thing! With all the onions and garlic and chives in my beds I hardly have space to plant anything but carrots and radishes!

I might just leave garlic out of the mix this year or put it in a separate container!

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Post  Rolanaj on 1/27/2011, 5:03 pm

I hear you on that I find that one of the hardest things to do, juggling what goes where. I thought I had it and then found out the potatoes and tomatoes don't like each other and don't plant corn by the tomatoes as the tomato fruitworm and the corn earworm are identical. Grrrr!! It's like a giant puzzle.
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Post  boffer on 1/27/2011, 5:12 pm

@dizzygardener wrote: Evil or Very Mad grrrrrrrrr garlic is really starting to tick me off!

There are those of us who have been successfully gardening for a few years without a thought about companion planting. That is a viable option for you, too.

Another option would be to start with a simple objective plan for this year: what 3 pairs of plants should I absolutely not plant close together.
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Post  quiltbea on 1/27/2011, 11:10 pm

Don't be so strict with yourself the first year. Take some chances. The fact that they don't like each other doesn't mean that your variety won't mature just fine near its unlikely neighbor.

My first year I just put crops wherever I wanted, not even knowing about likes and dislikes and companions, and I did just fine. An enviable crop considering the torrential rains we had that drowned many Maine row gardens. Mine survived with several crops doing surprisingly well.

Take a chance.
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Post  Selandra on 1/27/2011, 11:33 pm

say to yourself... "I do not have to plant every variation of every type of seed in the first year"

also... "I will write down where I planted what so I do not have to post pics asking 'what is this plant' on SFG"

and lets not forget... "less is more".
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Post  kimbertangleknot on 1/27/2011, 11:35 pm

Couldn't agree more with the past few posts. We so need an "agree" or "like" button Smile
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Post  ander217 on 1/28/2011, 10:26 am

I'm with Boffer on this one. I tried companion planting a few times but I can't say it made much difference. Problem is, it's not just that some plants don't "like" each other. Some grow fine together but attract the same pests, or deplete the soil of the same nutrients, etc. While they may work well together for one purpose, they are detrimental for others. In gardens as small as most of us have, it's just not feasible to try to avoid all the combinations the books guard against.

I'd plant as you will, and if something turns out to be a real problem for you, note it and avoid that combination next year to see if that was really the problem. I'd make sure it was companion planting that was the culprit. With so many possibilities, it's difficult to blame a crop failure on any one thing.

The only plants I've truly found to be a problem are walnut trees. Nothing grows well near them except grass, a few weeds and vines, and strawberries, in my experience.
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Post  dizzygardener on 1/28/2011, 11:18 am

Thanks everyone. I'll definitely try to stop being so obsessive about companions etc. Maybe I will do garlic after all!

I just had a very informative conversation with our local horticulturist. Turns out most of the info I found online was wrong for my area.

Case in point: I'm actually in 6b. Very squarely in 6b though almost every online source said I was in 7a.

Also, my average last frost day is May 15 not Apr 26 as most online sources say.

That's a very big difference. Now I have to redo my planting schedule. very sad
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Post  kimbertangleknot on 1/28/2011, 11:45 am

@dizzygardener wrote:Thanks everyone. I'll definitely try to stop being so obsessive about companions etc. Maybe I will do garlic after all!

I just had a very informative conversation with our local horticulturist. Turns out most of the info I found online was wrong for my area.

Case in point: I'm actually in 6b. Very squarely in 6b though almost every online source said I was in 7a.

Also, my average last frost day is May 15 not Apr 26 as most online sources say.

That's a very big difference. Now I have to redo my planting schedule. very sad

Where about in the mountains are you? May seems a trifle long even for the western NC mountains. I was going through one of the posts last night and found this link. Check it out here! (can't remember who posted it it, I was on another mission, so thanks to who did!) And the majority of what I was planning on doing is pretty much spot on. Our 90%+ last chance of frost date is the 27th of April, but I was planning on, no matter what, to have plants in the ground the first weekend of May and staring my seeds this next weekend and trying what quiltbea was doing. (I had a lot of success with my seeds the year before, but the transplant shock was a big problem due to my eagerness).
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Post  walkaboutgirl on 2/8/2011, 10:30 am

How did you create those great pictures of your beds? Is that a special software?
Thanks, Laurie
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Post  kimbertangleknot on 2/8/2011, 11:37 am

@walkaboutgirl wrote:How did you create those great pictures of your beds? Is that a special software?
Thanks, Laurie

www.gardeners.com has a garden planning thing. Check it out here. It's pretty neat and useful for starting out. It doesn't have every single thing on it, but it has the most popular stuff for sure.
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Post  dizzygardener on 2/8/2011, 4:56 pm

@kimbertangleknot wrote:
@walkaboutgirl wrote:How did you create those great pictures of your beds? Is that a special software?
Thanks, Laurie

www.gardeners.com has a garden planning thing. Check it out here. It's pretty neat and useful for starting out. It doesn't have every single thing on it, but it has the most popular stuff for sure.

That's the site I used. Very helpful if limited in choice.
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Post  Old Hippie on 2/9/2011, 12:58 am

I am kinda with Boffer and Ander. My space is too small to get hung up on companion planting and I have found conflicting information too about what is good together and what isn't. I put both onions and garlic randomly throughout my garden and flower beds since they are supposed to repel various bugs. Not sure if it helps or not to be perfectly honest but they don't take a whole lot of space that way and I can then use the square they would have used for something else. Maybe that is why my onions don't get very big....I don't know.

I am also not too great at keeping records. I always mean to, and very often start but then get rather lazy and forgetful and my good intentions fall by the wayside. However, I am not going to worry about it. I garden for ME and we do get some great eats out of it.

Above all.....gardening is supposed to be enjoyable and I need it to RELIEVE stress in my life not add more.

Gwynn/The Lazy Gardener
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Post  Megan on 2/9/2011, 7:36 pm

I read about companion planting last year and drove myself crazy moving squares around on paper. To save sanity, I tried to reduce it to simpler ideas:

* If it tastes good in spaghetti sauce, it probably grows well together.
* Curcurbits and brassicas are friends and do not like spaghetti sauce.
* Keep big vines away from little stuff, unless little stuff doesn't mind getting beat up.
* Big vines play moderately well with big vines, if you give them enough space.

As far as the benefits of companion planting, I don't know if it worked or not. But in general terms, the only thing that had issues was the last one. The vines did well, but what happened was that some were done earlier than others. I wanted to rip them out to start something else, but they were deeply entwined with other plants still growing, so I had to leave them be.
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Post  acara on 2/9/2011, 8:59 pm

Thats genius !!!!!!!!

* If it tastes good in spaghetti sauce, it probably grows well together.
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Post  Megan on 2/9/2011, 9:32 pm

@acara wrote:Thats genius !!!!!!!!

* If it tastes good in spaghetti sauce, it probably grows well together.

Thankee! I guess that is the dyslexic in me. I kept seeing companion connections between "tomatoes (and all the other nightshades), peppers, onions, basil, etc. etc." and thinking there was a guideline hiding in there somewhere. Then forgot about it for ages... and woke up one day, presto, there it was!

If this goes viral, you heard it here first! Very Happy
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Post  The Cynergist on 3/21/2011, 11:24 pm

@kimbertangleknot wrote:
I love gardeners garden planner, it's so awesome aint it?

I'll have to try that next year. I did my plan the hard way.

xoxo
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